Over the last few years I have “reinvented” many parts of my life and that includes how I celebrate the holidays. What used to bring me anxiety, stress, and a feel of constant rushing, now brings me a feeling of happy anticipation, appreciation, and joy. During holiday time most women put themselves last and feel it is up to them to provide an environment that makes everyone else happy. Let’s change that thinking and start creating a holiday that brings us joy and happiness too.
1. Ask yourself “how do you want to feel” during the holidays?
After reading The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, I started a practice that has truly been life changing. Every morning before I get out of bed I ask myself “how do I want to feel today?” Every day is different. Some days I want to feel like a bad-ass business woman, while other days I want to be an ambassador of love. Then there are those days I want to feel like I am practicing the highest level of “self care” and taking good care of myself and I just want to feel happy and stress free. For the holidays I want to feel loving, relaxed, and grateful. Ask yourself “how do I want to feel this holiday season” and then figure out what it will take to create those feelings.
2. Stop comparing!
Do what works for your family! I follow quite a few business coaches and lifestyle coaches on Facebook and on blogs and it took me awhile to realize that often those natural photos we see are crafted by a style team! These people have hairdressers, clothing stylists, makeup artists, even “stagers” to make their home look a certain way. Do not compare yourself to what you see in the media! If your family wants to sit in front of the TV all day and watch football dressed in your sweats, then do it. Do what makes your family happy and content.
3. Simple is best.
One big lesson I learned is that when serving holiday meals, unless you are gourmet cook or a “Foodie,” you don’t need an endless supply of food including five types of stuffing or gravy. Find the items that your family really loves and just serve that. Every holiday I choose to make Garlic Mashed Potatoes (and small plain mashed potatoes for my brother) because that is what everyone will definitely eat. It’s now a family tradition. Another thing I always do is make cookies and serve them on my Thanksgiving Pie Tin that I purchased years ago and truly love. That is another of my traditions. Keep it simple. Don’t forget to delegate so everyone plays a part and you can enjoy your holiday too.
4. Start a holiday gratitude list.
No matter what your situation there is always something to be grateful for. I absolutely believe that the more thankful you are the more good things show up in your life. Before you sit down with your family for Christmas or Hanukkah or attend your company holiday party, make a list of everything that you are grateful for. Sounds corny, I know, but it will truly lift your spirits and raise your energy. Here are some of the things that I am grateful for: my husband’s improving health, my new job, my wonderful mother, my neighbors that I see when walking my little dog Trixie, that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and clothes to wear, and that my grown son is turning in to such a generous and loving person. Did bad things happen this year? Absolutely, but the biggest thing I am grateful for is that we are all here!
5. Remember you are creating memories.
When I think back on holidays in the past it triggers feelings. Your family will not remember that the turkey was dry or that you had a big wine stain on your shirt, but they will remember that you made them feel loved, included, and special.
As I get older, I am acutely aware (actually painfully aware) that everyone may not be at our Thanksgiving or Christmas table with us next year. All families have drama of some sort and lots of personalities, but my goal is to be the best version of myself. That includes being as loving, giving, and helpful as I can so when we look back on these days we have wonderful memories. Eventually it may be all we have.
Check out more of Holly’s posts where she shares her journey on her Road to Reinvention.
Holly Zucker is a wife, mother of a grown son, business owner and on the “Road to Reinvention”. After feeling like she had “lost herself” she has spent the last few years bringing back joy, pleasure, passion, fun, and community into her life. Her mission is to help other women “reinvent themselves” and start living their dreams and desires. We’ve done so much for everyone else, it’s our turn now!