You’ve worked hard to make this season the best one yet. But are you ready to really enjoy the season?
You’ve decorated, prepared special foods, sent out cards and packages, maybe planned or given a party or had friends over for drinks or dinner. You’ve scheduled time to go to work related parties and activities at your church.
But have you taken the time to think about what makes this holiday enjoyable and meaningful for you?
It’s not too late.
Here are 7 tips to help you enjoy the season:
Make This Holiday Joyful for You
Reflect on what makes the holiday enjoyable for you. Focus in on one or two activities that really “make” the season for you. For me it is putting up my Christmas tree and going to the Christmas eve service at my church.
Know What Gives Others Joy
Communicate with others in your family about what makes you enjoy this season and listen to what makes it enjoyable for them. Your teenager may have a different vision of the perfect holiday than your vision. Compromises need to be made so that everyone gets something. Communication helps everyone see that there are compromises that can give everyone something to enjoy.
Unrealistic Expectations Can Rob You of Joy
Be realistic. Not every activity that everyone wants to do is reasonable. Some holiday experiences take up a lot of time. Some cost more than is in the budget. Have a family meeting and talk it out. Choices must be made. If unrealistic expectations are allowed there will be stress instead of joy. The word “no” will have to be used – not only for others but also for yourself.
Plan But be Flexible and Open to Unexpected Joy
Use a calendar that is shared by everyone. Have everyone’s events blocked out. Also have times blocked out for special food preparation or time together at home. If everyone knows what is planned and what their part is in the activity, then there are no surprises. At the same time be flexible if something comes up that could be a lot of fun that is not planned.
Make a Game Around Your Chores
Lighten up on cleaning. This is not the time to do deep cleaning. Keep up with maintenance chores and delegate. No one in the family should have to do all the cleaning– especially if now there is time off from work or school. Assign tasks so that everyone knows what is expected of them. Do chores together as a family. Make a game of it. Have everyone pull out a card from our deck of Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time, set your timer and see what happens!
Savor and Enjoy Your Food
Be mindful of what you eat and drink. During the holiday there are so many wonderful and enjoyable foods and beverages. It is such a temptation to overeat knowing that you will not see that special food again for a year. Instead take the time to savor the holiday foods. Look at what you are eating or drinking. Admire the beauty or the time that has gone into preparing the food. Take a bite. Let it linger on the tongue. Thank the person who prepared or brought the special treat. Then walk away. You can come back of course but don’t wolf down 3 cookies without even tasting them.
There is Something Joyous About Unplanned Time
Allow empty time. Do this for two reasons. One is that there is something joyous about just sitting down listening to holiday music, watching a special on TV, or reading a book without guilt. Second is that if a planned event must be rescheduled there is some time available to allow it to still happen.
As the holiday winds down, take notes on what was special that made you enjoy this season and what you want to repeat next year. Also note any improvements you would like to make for an even more joyous holiday season next year.
Enjoy your holidays!
If you recognize that you are struggling with prioritizing your goals or want some help or accountability in developing and working your organizational home maintenance plan or other projects, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space for You virtual support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.