In America, we spend the months of November and December fretting and anticipating the idea of gathering with friends and family, exchanging gifts, listening to music, spending time at events, having conversations and experiencing the joy that is Christmas. Why should this bring "stress"? The answer is pretty simple.
We anticipate the worst outcome. "Oh my God, I have to go to the Mall. It's going to be packed, I'm going to have to park in Guam, it will take forever, I will spend too much and they won't even like what I get anyway." Tell me you are not putting this thought out there! You know you are!
It's really not that bad. If we just stop and not take this so personally we might get through unscathed and shockingly enough "ENJOY" the season. Let's take it issue by issue:
Shopping: There are several issues within this one small task. Traffic, Parking, Crowds, Long Lines & Item availability. My ideas are simple. First, please be organized. Know what you need before you even start out. Know what your looking for a list helps. Perusing the sale pages helps too. That's a great start.
The Drive: Take a moment as you get in the car. Sit in the drivers seat, before you put on your seat belt, and take a deep breath, eyes closed. Prepare your mind, Prepare your heart. Take one step at a time. Address only what is right in front of you at the moment. After the deep breath, say out loud to yourself and anyone who may be with you. (yes the child in the car seat and the teenager and most definitely the growling spouse) I (we) am going to enjoy this ride. I am going to get to where I am going easily and find a front parking space. Affirm this. Make a point of knowing in your mind exactly what you ARE going to do. This sets you up for success, as in anything else your universe takes your direction. Then put your favorite music on the radio. Strap in and glide to your destination without incident. The most important part of this is that you BELIEVE this. Know it is true. I can tell you from experience it most definitely works. I do it every time I leave my house.
Family Gatherings, The Relatives and
The Office Party:
The Bottom Line: Enjoying the Holidays is a choice as in everything else. Don't put expectations on yourself. Just enjoy the moment. If you expect to enjoy them you will! Just as if you expect to hate it You will! Just make the right choice. You are only responsible for your experience.
Happy Holidays my friends.