What The Holidays Were Meant To Be

 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I see those old movies from the 1940’s and 50’s about Christmas time and Holiday fun, I get happy. Genuinely happy. Things just seem right. Particularly the Jimmy Stewart movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I walk away feeling like I have a better grasp of what life is really about. And I appreciate the fact that I get to live life even with its craziness and disappointments.

It’s times like that when the Christmas holiday season is such a great thing.

But then there are those moments that seem to creep up and want to take over. Like when I go to the store to find the Star Wars toy my son begged for last month and it’s not there. Or when the perfect gift costs twice what it should. Or when there’s one more party that I am suppose to be at, that I want to be at, but can’t figure who to leave the kids with this time.

Actually, the ironic thing about the most wonderful time of the year is that it comes with a lot of demand on your wallet, your time and even your expectations. The challenge is to not let the demanding part over take the joyful part – to keep ourselves focused on what the holidays were meant to be.

Here are a few strategies that can help us keep our heads:

Remember that the best part of the season is the relationships we have, not the things.

  • Quit trying to find the perfect gift.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Stick to a budget.
  • You don’t have to entertain.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Don’t totally abandon healthy nutrition
  • Set your expectations around connecting with people – children, parents, friends.

This truly is a time of the year when we get to reflect on our many blessings and joys. One of the best ways to remember all that we have is to remember those who have less. And often those who we believe are less fortunate are actually a genuine example of happiness and peace. Gratitude is the key to true happiness. Let’s take the time this holiday season to rediscover the many places we can feel, show, and share gratitude.

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