Make a new holiday experience—one that fits in with today’s reality. Wipe the slate clean and do something different. The last blog included the following suggestions: Define what holiday means to you (and your family) and keep it simple. Other suggestions are detailed below:
- Give to others in greater need
A good case study comes from a woman and her son that volunteer for the homeless by bringing blankets and food donations. She reflects that the experience gives her joy, resilience and strength in countless ways and it is an excellent way to educate children. She says, “It’s what the holiday is all about.”
- Bring people together
Use your creative self to hold gatherings of friends and family and plan something unique—games, song fests, sharing memories and old photos of holidays. Make it a potluck so you aren’t responsible for all the food.
- Stay out of the malls
My advice is that it is too tempting with all the hype, music, and sale signs. Go shopping for what you absolutely need, or better still, find it online. The need vs. want syndrome can be addictive. (See exercises in Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags, www.upsidethebook.com)
The Center for a New American Dream, suggests giving oneself—providing gifts of time or experiences that will be remembered. Examples: give a friend her dream, sign her up for a class, purchase a gift certificate for a spa, or give tickets to a community theater.
- Attitude, attitude, attitude
Bring your best attitude to the season. It will affect all members of your family. If you are showing more doom and gloom about your current circumstances, it will affect everyone you care about. It is difficult to remain upbeat in these difficult times but the upside is that you have a choice on how to react. Your willingness to be motivated and have fun despite your circumstances will strengthen you in the long run.
- Look forward and not behind
It’s not what you don’t have but what you do have. It is a time for being grateful for everything we do have. Asking family members what they are grateful for is an excellent way to bring people together. After all, the greatest gift is that you have family and friends.
Have a Happy and Meaningful Holiday!