it Together for the Holidays
TO PUT THE JOY BACK INTO THE CELEBRATIONS
by Suzanne Zoglio,
Do you love the
holidays but hate what they take out of you? Have you ever wanted to just slip
away before one more Fa-La-La chorus? Is your heart in the giving but not in the
accompanying chaos? If so, you are not alone.
Many of us
literally ďlose itĒ around the holidays. We lose our heads and forget our
budgets; we lose our focus and forget whatís meaningful; we lose our balance
and forget ourselves. For many, the season of giving has gotten out of control
and the joy that we once experienced has diminished considerably. If all this
sounds too familiar, there are three things you can do to put the joy back in
another listóall the things that detract from your holidays. Jot down anything
that saps your energy, dims your joy, or just doesnít feel right. Your list
will be personal, of course, but might include such things as: feeling obliged
to give certain gifts, attending gatherings you donít enjoy, doing so much you
get exhausted, forgetting to give thanks for all that you have, enduring family
squabbles, not giving to others outside of your family, focusing on gift size
instead of the thought, foregoing traditions in lieu of convenience. Write down
anything that takes the sparkle out of your celebration.
your two lists, sit quietly and allow your mind to create an image of a
delightful holiday season. What are you doing and how are you feeling? Who are
you spending time with? Where are you making a difference by giving what someone
truly needs? When do you see yourself relaxing, reflecting, remembering whatís
important? How are others behaving in your presence? What "gifts" are
you receiving from others? How are you expressing what the holidays mean to you?
So You Can Be Spontaneous
You can agree on
boundaries for gift-shopping, responsibilities for decorating, the number of
gatherings youíll host and attend, when and where youíll spend time
together, and how you will keep the true meaning of the holidays alive in your
home. You might agree on how to simplify celebrations, how to distribute the
workload so everyone enjoys the season, and what non-material gifts (e.g.,
respect, quiet time, appreciation, affection, encouragement, empathy) each of
you would most enjoy this year. Itís also not a bad idea to write down agreed
upon commitments on a calendar or a holiday to-do list with completion dates
listed so there is a visible, gentle reminder and no one has to "nag"
another to keep a commitment.
Each Other To Be Helpful
We also need to
assume responsibility for our own happiness by asking for what we want,
expressing how we feel, and allowing ourselves to be less than perfect. To stay
centered on being your best self (the person you mean to be), consider spending
some time alone regularly. Just five minutes of silence every morning and five
minutes of silence every night can make a world of difference in keeping your
inner and outer worlds in sync. In the morning, try reflecting on what you
desire for yourself and others and in the evening focus your attention on all
that has gone well that day.
shared, negotiations complete, and each person taking responsibility, you can do
more than keep your sanity. You will create a holiday season that is filled with
warmth, love, and meaning.
with permission of Suzanne Willis Zoglio, Ph.D., author of Create
A Life That Tickles Your Soul. © 1999, Suzanne Willis Zoglio, Ph.D. $21.95.
Available in local bookstores, or call 800-507-BOOK or click
For a free online newsletter, visit the authorís website at www.tickleyoursoul.com.