Recipe for a joyful holiday
I can always tell when the holidays are around the corner—drivers start to take out all of the slack! Gone are the polite Northwesterner’s who always let someone into their lane. Beware of those four-way stops! It’s everyone for themselves!
For many adults, the holidays are a mixture of sweet, sad, and stressful moments. Here’s my recipe for a rewarding holiday season for yourself and your loved ones.
Family obligations, what to get Uncle Bill this year, not enough money, kid’s constant demands, holiday cards, need to have this be the best Christmas ever, family gatherings, who gets Christmas eve and who gets Christmas morning, holiday meal preparation, too much drinking, travel, family secrets, shopping, too much eating, holiday treats that co-workers bring to the office, loneliness, no alone time, complicated family constellations (blended, mine, yours, ours, and step), obligations, office parties, catching a cold or stomach virus, credit card debt, growing gift list----shrinking wallet.
Recent deaths in the family, ill relatives, remembering those that have passed away, anticipating the loss of older relatives, struggling with your own health problems during the holidays, loneliness, unemployment, underemployment, marital problems, difficulties with your kids, problems that don’t go away because it is December, or difficulties with parents.
Trimming the tree, memories of childhood holidays, seeing family or friends that live far away, catching up, favorite holiday foods, renewing spiritual or religious traditions, photographs, family rituals, receiving gifts, after Christmas sales, time off from work and school, travel to warm, sunny, and dry places, skiing, snowboarding, giving gifts, and remembering what is really important in your life. It isn’t the gifts or the food. It’s the people that you love.
Don’t eat or drink too much, exercise, sleep, take naps, don’t be pressured by others, please yourself, don’t feel compelled to live up to everyone else’s expectations, cultivate realistic expectations, take a hot bath, get a massage, get a manicure, plan a vacation, get outside as much as you can, buy yourself something you want, hold hands with your partner, avoid eating too much garbage, shop late at night, establish your own family rituals, breathe, and breathe some more.
Rest, relax, and rejoice.