Let’s all chuck out that notion that the holiday season brings on the blues, shall we? It’s a notion propagated by the retail industry who hope that by foisting the blues on us we’ll be apt to shop more. Pretty devious, yes? So, let’s look in our hearts and be surprised to find them just as resilient as any other time of the year. To help with the task, we’re compiling a dos and don’ts list for the upcoming holidays, and shopping will not appear on there – at least not the sad-sack variety…
A Do: Follow your own traditions, whatever they may be. And if you don’t have any traditions, what’s stopping you from creating new ones? Traditions help with continuity as they let people know what to look forward to experiencing on the day. Whether it be decorations, menu items, location or after-party shenanigans – a tradition is definitely a do.
Another Do: Designate a family photographer to capture the holiday moments. Obviously it’ll be someone who can frame folks up without cutting off heads, but yeah – the day will be over, all your hard work – poof into thin air, so a few 5x7s in the family album and to send out or post online will remind you of why you went to all that effort.
A Don’t: Are you really going to try to do everything by yourself? That’s a wee bit selfish, yeah? Share the tasks you’re dreading, whatever they might be, it’ll be better to get 2 pairs of hands dirty rather than yours alone. You love to delegate, you love to delegate…
A Do: After the holidays, gather up your family face to face or via facetime and ask what were their best bits that they remember, and jot all the memories down in a holiday journal – it doesn’t have to be a Proustian entry, just as much as you like to type out or scribble down. Trust me, when you look back at your holiday journal you’ll be cheered by the compiled entries, especially the naughty ones.
A Don’t: Are you expecting perfection for your celebrations, if so, eesh, that’s one way to be disappointed. What with the weather, ovens, babies, teenagers, in-laws, feuding relatives, airport snafus, dogs eating turkeys, cats tearing up tinsel-covered trees, and a recession — I think you should lay aside expectations as they destroy happiness. Instead, be your best self, put aside perfection and live in the ornament and gravy strewn present.
My Last Do: It’s one meal out of the entire month where you’re expected to indulge just a bit, so do. And then the next day, shelve any lingering guilt over that second piece of pecan pie and hit the trails/sidewalk/gym/track/surf/course/ring and while you workout replay your recent celebratory memories ’cause I’m sure they’ll be golden.
[Img.Src: party hats, family skating, beach holiday]