I Mug: Target
Today I want to talk about happiness during the Holidays. I know this time of year can invoke alot of feeling. Hopefully most of them are good but I know that it can also be a stressful time of the year. The Holidays can suck your wallet dry trying to buy all these gifts for all these people. There can be the stress of finding the right gift for the right person and there may be that one person in your life that can be difficult to please or have high expectations for their gifts. It can also be stressful being around so many family members. Of course it should be fun and full of love but if you are like me there is at least one person in the family that can emotionally suck you dry. Maybe they make those judgmental comments or question every decision you make. I am sharing with you ways that I try to find my happiness over the holiday season.
1. Be present
What I mean by this is don't just anxiously wait for Christmas to come and be over but enjoy it now. Sit and look at your tree lit up while drinking your coffee, tea, hot chocolate. Go for a walk or ride around your neighborhood or nearby neighborhoods and enjoy the light displays. Go to those popular homes in the area and enjoy the decorations. Enjoy that Christmas music because soon it will go away. This time is short lived but can be magical if you slow down and see it.
2. Enjoy Holiday events
In the Chicago area where I am from, there are tons of holiday happenings. I live across from our Arboretum and at this time the trees are all lit up and throughout the season you can go in and enjoy the event. Our Great America is open now for the Christmas season Our zoo has a Holiday lights event. There is a German market downtown and in a suburb, there is ice skating downtown and in some of the neighborhood parks, some of the downtown shops have Christmas window displays. Take your family and enjoy the events. Go with your friends. Make this time of year fun and exciting.
3. Start shopping early
Ok, maybe this one isn't helping you right now but maybe it will next year. I start my Christmas shopping in October so that I don't have to have as much stress of trying to pay for it all in one month. I start making my list in September or October of who I need to buy for and start looking. There are still great sales outside of Christmas that you can still take advantage of.
4. Those people....
You know who I am talking about, you know, the ones that sap your strength. You know, the ones that can raise your kids better than you, who has a cleaner house than you, more money than you, more time than you and have all of life's answers figured out. They are the ones that are vocal about it and try to make you feel low. No, I don't have a solution to how to make them stop. If they haven't gotten it figured out now they probably never will. Maybe they do know they annoy everyone around them but do not really care. Anyways, they holidays are not the time to start a fight with them. When you feel you want to say something, indulge on that pie or sip on that wine. We can't make those people go away. They are family but we can try to find something else to enjoy and put our focus into, like indulgences.
5. The power of giving
I know that we already discussed the financial stress of the holidays and gift giving, but if you do have any extra cash then think about giving to a charity. There are many charities out there doing great things. I usually give to my local small animal rescue, particularly the one we adopted both our dogs from but maybe you want to give to someone bigger. There is the American Red Cross, ASPCA, Humane Society, St Jude or many others that do amazing things. Giving feels good and it can make your heart feel a little extra full.
I hope these or at least one of these ways are helpful for you during this time. Try to make the most of it. It should be a fun time filled with love, fun and some great spirit. If you have young kids I am sure you can see the power of it's magical spirit. Kids can really make this holiday fun so if anything, let's take a lesson from them.