Getting the Holiday Season You Really Want In 4 Simple Steps

Peace On Earth_via FlickrCreativeCommons_marynbtol

Welcome to the season of goodwill toward men.

Fact is though, this time of year can stretch the most good-willed among us to the breaking point.

We wish for peace on earth. But the endless demands on our time and finances, expectations for the perfect gifts, perfect family moments, perfect social events make it near impossible to find peace anywhere.

I rode that roller coaster year after year until my family and I decided that something just had to give. Try this and see how it works for you.

1.  Decide if the old way is working. If not, commit to trying something different.

If the old way is working – fabulous! Go have a wonderful holiday season. But I’m guessing if you’re still reading, then there’s room for improvement. If you’re ready to make a change, there is another way.

2.  What do you really want for the holidays? Decide on a central focus to guide your choices.

The first time I did this with my husband and son, what we all wanted boiled down to three pretty simple things. Love – genuine, loving connections with family and friends. Joy – we wanted to play together and have a great time. Peace – that contentment of well-being without frenzy. This was the filter we ran the rest of our decisions through.

3. Identify the most important experiences that create what you’ve decided you really want.

It turned out we all loved admiring the city trimmed in lights. A thermos of cocoa was an added bonus. We loved the music of the season and playing in the snow. School concerts, favorite holiday movies and special time with friends made the “yes” list.  Then we put it all on a calender, because we’d learned that too much quickly became frenzy, and drained away what was most important.

4. Say “No” to everything else.

I know. It’s hard. But so is constant stress when what you really want is peace. With every choice, when we asked “will this give us love, joy and peace,” the things that weren’t important easily dropped away. Now here’s a radical idea for this time of year – anything with a “should” attached goes immediately to the “no” list. Tricky, but doable!

It’s simple really. Decide what you value most this season. Then make your choices from that place.

Try it. You just might start a trend!


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