The winter holiday season is over, and the holiday horror stories are rolling out. If you have some of your own, read on. See how to keep the holy days sacred so that this will be the last year of disasters.
My holy days are always fabulous. I look forward to them every year and have a great time. As long as you remember “sovereignty, connection, and Oneness” and these four guidelines, yours can be fantastic every time too.
Don’t Make It About Gifts
The quickest way to spoil a good time is to make it about gifts.
What are you going to get me? Is my present better than hers? Is my present better than last year? Did you put enough thought into it?
Ack! It’s enough to drive someone crazy.
Lots of people understand that consumerism is a mood killer. You could establish different rules that work for you like: no gifts. Only handmade gifts. Or maybe you only give gifts when you feel like it throughout the year. This way it’s always heartfelt, there is no obligation, and no pressure.
Gifts are a great way to show appreciation. However, when they become the center of attention or obligatory, they can be a way to keep score. And that’s not really what holy days are all about, are they?
Don’t Make It About Food
Depending upon when your holiday season starts, you could be looking at up to 6 weeks of feasting. That’s a lot of food to pack in. And if you are like most people, it’s carb heavy, sugar heavy, holiday foods that you don’t normally eat throughout the year. This can make you sluggish and moody, not to mention less healthy.
Food is love. Trust me. I know. So by all means indulge. Just maybe keep the feast days to the actual days and not the whole season.
If you’re like my family, you make enough food to feed the neighborhood for a week. If you dropped it down a notch or two, you can still have a great meal and enjoy it fully.
Don’t Make It About Money
Once we start asking for big ticket items or putting a price tag on the value of gifts, things can get really stressful. With that comes judgment that someone didn’t spend enough or family get togethers are too expensive to attend. Or maybe one family has all the financial burden of hosting.
Zoom out. Consider the big picture. We can’t know what someone’s financial resources are. So the best way to deal with that is to offer to help, commit only to what you can afford, and don’t judge.
Holy days are about connection. It costs nothing to do that. There are a million ways to do it in a way that works for all sides. All it takes is a little creativity.
Don’t Make It About Obligation
Holy days are a time when everyone is celebrating. There are lots of options for gatherings, and yet life still must go on. We still have to work. We still have to pay attention to our friends, family, and partners. Self care does not go out the window. It can be tough juggling it all.
This is when sovereignty works best. Trust that everyone is doing the best that they can. It’s not a reflection of their love or care if that means they aren’t spending time with you. The best gatherings are those where everyone present wants to be there, too. So enjoy it for what it is.
It’s easy to get lost in the madness that is the holy days. It can be a really stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. With healthier boundaries, less judgment, and clear communication, dysfunctional holidays can be a thing of the past. If you start planning now, by next Thanksgiving, it will flow effortlessly.