Haha, we’ve all learned not to ask that question until about the 8th month! But that’s not the type of expecting we are talking about today.
Are you the gifted type of person that can create the PERFECT holiday in your mind? You watch an occasional Hallmark movie, but the dream in your head is better than anything on screen?
I am! -or, at least I WAS. I made so many plans, -had SO MANY expectations! I planned exactly how our Christmas tree should look. I planned the events we would attend, the parties we would host, the gifts we would give -and how they should be wrapped. I planned the menus, the activities, the baking, the neighbor gifts and every other little detail, right down to the scented candles that would make our home smell like freshly cut evergreen trees.
I worked so hard to make sure it was the perfect celebration for everyone and I was completely attached to my plan. I could see how it should go. How people should respond. How my family should feel…
And I was completely worn out by Christmas Eve.
As humans, we want things and take action to get them because of how we believe they will make us feel. This is important to understand because then we can look a little more closely, and determine whether something we plan, will truly provide the outcome we want.
Here are my top three tips to help you experience the joy you want to feel this holiday season, without driving yourself (and everyone else around you) crazy!
- Stop trying to manage everyone else’s Christmas experience. If you are working overtime to make sure everyone else is happy, ask yourself, “why?” It’s impossible for you to make anyone else feel anything. Their thoughts, create their feelings. Let them have the experience they are meant to have and work on managing your own thoughts, and feeling the way you want to feel.
- If it’s not a “heck yes!”, it’s a “heck no!” If you operate on people pleasing mode, you aren’t living in personal integrity. If you want to say yes, just make sure you like your reasons. And if you discover that it’s not in line with your goals for the month, it’s okay to say, “Sorry, not this time.” (And remember, you don’t need to worry about managing the feelings of the one who made the request!)
- Give without strings attached. If you have a generous heart and love to give gifts, be it a present or a gift of time/service, let the giving be your reward. Give without the need for appreciation or reciprocity. And if you have something you’d really like, speak up! It’s so funny! We teach our toddlers to “Use your words!” but we don’t take our own advice. Why? We think that because someone is an adult they should just know?? If you don’t ask, it’s YOUR fault… and even then, let the request be enough. If you don’t receive what you want, no worries! You can have your own back. When you are managing your own emotional health, YOU are the only one you need, to make you happy. Anything beyond that is just icing on the cake.
Wishing you all a beautiful holiday season. Be intentional, be grateful, be joyful and most of all, love unconditionally. After all, that unconditional love is the reason we celebrate.