Create Your Merry!

3 Tools  You Can Use to Create the Holiday Season You Want!

So, do you look forward to the holidays ?

Do you look forward to the shopping,the annual parities you are expected to attend? The decorating, the baking, the wrapping?

Yes?

No?

 

It’s probably a mix of both. But, I have some tools you can use to create the holiday season you’ve always wanted. Now is the time to plan before the craziness begins.  Let’s go!

Step one:  Create a Theme for Your Holiday

That’s right, theme your holiday!   One of the best ways I’ve found to make the season more enjoyable for myself is to find two words that describe how I want to feel during the holiday season.  I keep this theme in mind when people ask me to do things, invite me to events and when I consider adding things to my holiday season. I hold new activities up against my theme and I use it as a tool to decide if I want to do it or not. Is it going to help me feel how I want to feel? If yes, Yes! If no, probably not.

I’ve had themes like “comfort and joy”and “joy filled connections”.  Last year my theme was “surprise and delight”  and I give it the credit for getting me through the most difficult season I’ve ever had.    You see, I spent the month of December driving back and fourth, every day, from my home town about an hour away.  My Dad was in the hospital and I wanted to be there for him as much as possible.  But, Christmas is  my most favorite time of year and because I had a theme for my season I was able to think and act in ways to consciously create the feelings I wanted.   I did things like secretly putting up a wreath on my Father’s front door and then later decorating a tree in his living room.  I kept it a secret, and thought about it often that month, knowing how surprised he would be when he got home to see it.  I decorated his hospital room and brought him his Christmas cards every day.  At home I put together a portable hot chocolate bar for my kids and left it out for them to find.  I did a lot of online shopping, finding the perfect gift for someone you love, Bam, nothing better than that.  Surprise and delight! Yes!

What will your theme be?   Below are some words to help get you started.

Glee     gracious     blessed

Joy     awe     triumphant

Gracious     rested     surprise

Wonder     anticipation     dashing

Valued     excited     remember

Spiritual     sacred     traditions

Holy     joyful     holiday

Happiness     connected     goodwill

Comfort     connections     laughter

Surprise     festive     grateful

Delight     generous     bright

Love     elfen     jolly

Peace     lavish     warm

Content     miraculous

Jolly     magical

Marvel     very merry

Merry     cozy

Step 2:   Take stock of how you celebrate!

Make a list of all of the different ways you celebrate the season. List everything, events and parties you attend to everyone you exchange gifts with, sending Christmas cards, wrapping presents etc… Put everything on paper. Which activities do you love, which ones are you not too crazy about?

Step 3: The “3 B Tool”

“Bag it, barter it or better it!”  Take a look at your traditions, which ones can help you create the feelings in the theme you created for yourself?  Which ones send you running for the hills?  Let’s apply the “Three B Tool” to each of the traditions you aren’t crazy about.  Start by picking  one from your list.

Can you bag it or eliminate this activity all together? Consider why you feel like you have to celebrate the season in this way. Is it really that important?   If it doesn’t bring you joy then bag it. Really, bag it! If not, keep going…

Do you feel like this is a tradition that you must keep?

Does it have to be you doing the activity? Is there a way to barter it? Who else could do it? Could your husband attend your sister’s boyfriends, son’s bassoon concert? Could your Aunt host the holiday meal this year?  Could you hire someone? Can you and your best friend trade duties? Can she bake cookies and you wrap her gifts?

Still no? If you still feel like you have to do it and you are the only woman for the job then it’s time to better it!

Ask yourself, how can I better this? Meaning is there a way to make this activity easier, more pleasant? Brainstorm how to make the task more palatable.

If you decide you have to do the activity and nothing can make it better then I suggest a change in your thinking needs to happen.     A powerful shift can occur when you just change your thought from “I have to”, to “I choose to”. I choose to go support my nephew and watch his band concert (even though he really sucks at playing the tuba and I have a million other things to do. ) I “choose to” is an empowering shift.

I’d love to hear the theme you create and how you “Bag, Barter or Better” your holiday in the comments below!  xo