Quick, before the flurried frenzy begins,
8-Step Plan For The Best-Yet-Holiday-Season-Ever!
It’s here! The holiday countdown! ‘Tis the season of high hopes, high expectations and high energy drain. This 8-step plan offers a strategy for increased strength and stamina so you can make 2011 your best-yet-holiday-season ever.
Make a list. Not another to-do list, and not a list for Santa, but a pause-and-reflect list. Find a little hide away, even if it’s behind a locked bathroom door. Take a few deep breaths, let your mind clear and write down or key in your favorite moments from holidays past. Since this season is the epic nostalgia trigger for most, be prepared to write, key in, any and every little thing that comes floating up into mind and heart.
Now, analyze your list. Is it made up of childhood, adolescent or more recent, adult memories? Are there events you initiated? Or, were they planned by family, friends, community, workplace or church? Are there quiet moments with one person; child, parent, spouse, significant other, sibling; or, festive, celebratory gatherings with many? Any travels or traditions? Was there a book you read or a movie you watched? A play or concert you attended? A special cake you made? A gift you created? Or, maybe it was something you received? Including good news?
Okay, now for the flip-side. Write down or key in your not-so-favorite moments from holidays past. Since this season is the epic nostalgia trigger for most, be prepared to write, key in, any and every little thing that comes stampeding into mind and heart.
Now, analyze your list. Is it made up of childhood, adolescent or adult memories? Are there events you initiated because you thought you should? Or, were they planned and forced on you by family, friends, community, workplace or church? Are there unpleasant, tense moments with one person; child, parent, spouse, significant other, sibling; or, outlandish, annoying, loud gatherings with many? Any exhausting travels or long, worn-out traditions? Was there a maudlin book you read or an obnoxious movie you watched? An amateurish play or a never-ending concert you attended? A special cake you made that was wolfed down without so much as a simple thank you? A gift you created that was made fun of? Or, maybe it was some tacky and cheap, obvious re-gift you received? Including some upsetting news. Couldn’t they have waited until after Christmas?
Now lay your lists side-by-side. There’s truth in both isn’t it? But which one would you rather live into this year? And how are you going to do it? Let’s eat this elephant one bite at a time.
From each list, rank your top five favorites and top five not-so-favorites. Now brainstorm. What one thing, if altered or eliminated would make the biggest difference? What one thing, if added? Or, maybe several small adjustments are needed? Or, perhaps just a check-up from the neck-up is necessary? An attitude of gratitude can do wonders.
If applicable, have a family meeting and share your vision for the best-yet-holiday-ever and encourage family members to make their lists. In the event of mixed opinions, practice the art of negotiation and concession. For example, everyone wants the elaborate, home-cooked spread that takes one week to prepare except for the one cooking it. At least it’s out on the table. Or, not
Now, taking into consideration and accepting some things are beyond our control, make your best-yet-holiday-ever action plan. Make it before the flurry gets started and there’s no time to think. Be merciless. What do you need TO DO or NOT DO to make 2011 your best-yet-holiday-season-ever? Post it on your bathroom mirror, monitor, or on Facebook.
One of the things on my action plan is to watch Dr. Seuss’, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”
“He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought…doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps…means a little bit more!”
“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ‘ten’ Grinches, plus two!”
And like I tell my students in art workshops, don’t expect a
Happy best-yet-holiday-ever to one and all!
Enjoy The Journey,