Is it really possible to have holiday balance and be the envy of the neighborhood this year?
In the States, we are in full swing of the holiday season.
Holiday chaos looms everywhere: overspending, over committing, over eating, and no balance left to actually enjoy the season.
So, let me give you a head start on what’s possible THIS year.
THIS year, we’re aiming for BLISS!!
Here are 25 ways for you to discover and create your best holiday balance season ever!
1. Find your One Thing. When we aren’t clear, the holidays happen to and around us, but not “in us” and “with us.” Find what really means “holiday” to you and make it happen. This year I need a big outdoor light show. I’ll go by myself if I have to. It’s on. 😉
2. Ask each member of your family what they really want. This is going to make you hit your head in simplicity, but here is my magic sanity holiday balance sauce – ask each person what’s one thing that they love about the holidays – then do it. It’s meaningful and there’s no more guilt that we’re missing something. Trust me. Try it.
3. When in doubt – say “ok”. Does it feel like a family member is not saying what she/he reeeeaaalllly wants and just asking for something small? Say ok. Don’t dive in. You’ll save 15 minutes of life that could be spent napping – and probably $50. Going to a friend’s house and they want you to bring nothing? “Ok.”
4. The zone of yes. Look at the calendar and decide the days and weeks you’ll say “yes” to whatever comes up. This may mean you’re full on all week, or you’ll show up every Saturday for whatever happens until New Year’s. This is already decided.
5. The zone of no. Same calendar – different color days or hours. Find the pockets of time that nothing is to be scheduled. Guilt-free options include: Date nights, Family night, Me Time. Guilt. Free.
6. Photos. Are you taking them? Or is someone else? What’s enough- one a day or a whole folder full? Decide in advance what you most want so you can factor it in. Consider last year’s holiday photos – what did you wish you took? What were you glad you took?
7. Margin. This is where you factor in bubbles of time and schedule nothing. Why? Because the unexpected happens. We go from one event during the week to four. No problem when we have margin – this means that the entire weekend will be free because we need it. Guilt. Free. 😉
8. Joy. Don’t miss it. Look for it. When you’re driving, see if you can feel it. Find it. Make it happen for yourself as a priority this season. Secret: I listen to the self-talk in my head, find the crabbiness, decide that everything I’m crabbing about is more than good and enough and perfect… and as that settles, joy begins to spark.
9. Bedtime -Yours. Call it and work toward it. Imagine if you had an entire season of 9:45pm bedtimes????? I didn’t say you had to go to sleep. Just go to bed. Guilt. Free.
10. Food Are you going to lose the 5 pounds before Christmas or can it weight? Is it enough to try to maintain your current? If losing is essential, schedule in the workouts and make it happen. Otherwise, we all know we have large sweaters or skirts that save us every. year.
11. Anticipation-What do you SO look forward to? Cookies on the plate for Santa? Christmas morning? First snow? Candy canes? Decorating? Whatever your zone of joy is, lean in to the anticipation of it and share it with others! Let’s not overlook or cover our own excitement- let the family include and make room for ours too!
12. Celebrate others. Did someone get a gift you always wanted? Celebrate them. They may have had the year from Hades – or will have one coming up. No one gets all 52 cards in the deck and when we share in the joy of what others received, we stop jealousy in its’ tracks.
13. Waste Time. Plan to do something that’s FUN for everyone – no point, no goal, no have to do it right. Laugh, hang out, play games, deliver hot chocolate next door. BEST memories happen here.
14. Factor in the sacred. What makes this season sacred for you? Candles? A religious service? Prayer? Engage every. single. day. I wonder what would happen if a bunch of us showed up to let the season sink in our cells… maybe magic…..
15. Permission to surf. We’re all going to do it- Facebook, social media, Instagram. Let’s give ourselves one full hour every day to have at it. No sneaking, hurrying, or peeking. Just dive in. Guilt. Free. Then let’s shut it down and engage full on in our life.
16. Self-compassion. Let kindness for ourselves be the new normal. Let it be okay, we did our best, we’re trying, we’re learning, we’ll know for next year. This alone may change our entire season and shift us into holiday balance emotionally.
17. Welcome sickness. If it happens, welcome it. Lay around. Take the hint- it’s been too much. The kids will eat cereal and survive. Hubby/boyfriend/ partner will ask for kudos for all they did for you – give it to them. There’s no rule that says we have to press through (UNLESS it’s Christmas eve and then yes, throw up and come back and wrap gifts). Staying in bed, and regrouping, thinking, resting = priceless.
18. Flow. Every year has it’s own flow. Look for it. Use it. Is it busy or more open? Are weekends sweet or do they need a little structure? Being aware of the flow of the needs and what everyone needs goes far in figuring out family holiday balance.
19. Let go. Of perfection. Of guilt. Of control. Of needing the perfect turkey/biscotti/Christmas eve. Instead, lean in.
20. Surprise Someone. The past few years, I’ve put out small Subway gift cards for the garbage men. Last year I watched them take them off the trash cans, look around, look at each other and shake their heads. I wish they weren’t surprised. They’ll be surprised again this year. Join me.
21. Exhale. Every. Single. Day. Consciously. At some point. Guilt. Free. Exhale : stress, fear, guilt, others’ expectations, perceived failure, and stress. And more stress.
22. Moments Matter. Now is all we have. Soak it in. When I have a really hard time getting out of my head, I touch the smooth counter and come back to the moment. Or go barefoot and feel the floor. Or look in the eyes of my son while he’s talking. The senses help us to come back to center in the moment. This creates a super easy holiday balance to the swirling insanity.
23. Add adventure. Do what you haven’t done and always wanted to. You never ever have to know beforehand if it’s good/ cool/ worth it. Go find out. Go drive in a neighborhood and see the lights. Go try a new place to eat. Go find the best hot chocolate in town. Go.
24. Reach out. Put an invite on social media for anyone who is alone to come to your house this holiday season. It’s not even going out of our way – it’s just inviting in someone who doesn’t need to be alone.
25. Hug Consciously. When you hug someone, say a blessing quietly. Bless you. Thank you. I love you. Linger an extra second. When someone hugs you, receive it. Take it in. Enjoy and relish it. Guilt. Free.
Print this out. Put it on your fridge. Make this your most meaningful, blissful, envy of the entire neighborhood, balanced holiday season EVER.
Cheers to you!
Author of Momifesto: 9 Practices for Phenomenal Moms.
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