12 Ways to Survive Holiday Happenings

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The Wishful Thinking Works “12 Ways to Survive Holiday Happenings” can help you avoid prickly moments!

If you are heading to a family gathering this weekend but do not see eye-to-eye with all of your loved ones about touchy topics such as politics, religion, child-rearing, sports, lifestyles, or even the weather or who should bring what – this post is for you.

I am sharing my Wishful Thinking Works version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,”which I wrote in 2010 after being inspired earlier in the year by author and life coach Marianne Ford. Marianne reminded me that being right isn’t a right and sometimes conversations and life go better when, instead of sharing our wisdom, opinions, advice, or rebuttals – we simply listen and respond with a friendly, “I hear you.” or a non-committal but respectful “Ah- huh,” Wow!” “Okay,” or “Really?”

In other words, when respect is present agreement is not a necessity. We can change our experience and the conversation by using Marianne’s tips to transform debates into discussions and boring exchanges into interesting encounters. 

I can use a bit of help around this time of year, so I wove Marianne’s thoughts and some of my musings into . . .

“Wishful Thinking Works’ “12 Ways to Survive Holiday Happenings”

On the 1st day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me patience for the party,

On the 2nd day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 2 sacks of courage.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 3 “Ah-huh’s.”

On the 4th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 4 smiling nods.

On the 5th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 5 “Oh, that’s great’s!”

On the 6th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 6 “Tell me more’s.” 

On the 7th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 7 “That sounds interesting’s.” 

On the 8th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 8 “I-can-do-this’s!”

On the 9th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 9 “Okay.” “Wow!” “Really’s?”

On the 10th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 10 “That sounds so frustrating’s.” 

On the 11th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 11 “Oh my gosh’s.”

On the 12th day of Christmas my inner wisdom gave to me 12I got through it! I am so happy!”

Feel free to share my new holiday classic with your friends and family. It may help everyone’s holiday shine a bit brighter and feel a tad merrier.

(In case it comes up at a holiday gathering, the twelve days of Christmas are the evening of December 24/January 6 or December 25/January 7 – depending on the calendar, Julian/Gregorian, you are following.)

And, if you are now trying to remember the original lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas,”  here they are . . . 

Twelve drummers drumming,

Eleven pipers piping,

Ten lords a-leaping,

Nine ladies dancing,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree!

Happy Holidays!

 

Hello, Beautiful!

Monkey mirrorStudies show simply hearing a compliment, such as “You are beautiful,” even from a perfect stranger – can brighten your day.

Why wait for someone to tell you that you are beautiful? Why not start each day by looking into those sweet little eyes of yours in the mirror and sharing a “Hello, Beautiful” with yourself? 

Telling yourself you are beautiful, is an act of self-compassion. Saying it out loud is a act of courage, and can reduce your holiday stress by putting a smile on your face and maybe even a bit of merry in your mood.

Don’t worry if you feel shy, or even embarrassed; keep up the practice and you will feel the joy. The happier you are, the more likely you will be to notice the beauty in the people and the world around you, which is a true expression of the holiday spirit. And, you can share your joy by letting others know how beautiful they are, which is the perfect gift for strangers or your loved ones.

Start today, and by the New Year you will be welcoming 2019 with a brand new perspective to keep the good feelings flowing throughout the year. 

Give it a try, Beautiful, because you are gorgeous, inside and out, and you deserve to hear it much more often.

If you are still hesitant to give it a try, check out this video,  or this one, or this one, or even this one, to see people’s happiness when they are told how beautiful they are. It is heartwarming and my holiday gift you to, and it’s guaranteed to make you smile!

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Measure what matters

Knowing what matters to you and focusing on it can make your holiday season richer, more memorable, and way more fun!

Unfortunately, many of us have a tendency to fill our holidays with strife and worry and thoughts of who gets what and who doesn’t; who gathers where and who doesn’t and what gets done and what doesn’t, we drown out much of the joy of the holiday season before it even has a chance to surface.

We layer our lives with so much stress that when magical moments appear – the kids playing quietly in front of the lit Christmas tree at dusk, an unexpected card or gift from a loved one, watching a child help a grand parent, a heartfelt hug or the mention of how much we mean to someone or even the kind gesture of a stranger – we barely notice or bother to savor them.

The good news is, studies show that what we focus on tends to grow. Therefore, if we focus on what really matters to us, we can increase the likelihood that those things will move center stage in our lives because we will be more likely to notice and enjoy them.

Start by asking yourself what really matters to you.

Christmas Holiday (2)What do you want to celebrate throughout the holiday season?

What are your personal beliefs and values related to the season?

In simplest terms, what is most important to you? Family? Love? Togetherness? Religion? New Experiences? Traditions? Food? Fun?

Once you know what matters it will be much easier to notice those things and begin planning ways to integrate more of them into your holiday plans. And, with practice you will soon be sloughing of the stress and slights that normally occupy your mind.

How to make your season brighter

  1. Ask yourself what really matters to you. What do you want to hold in your heart this holiday season?
  2. Then capture every moment that matches what matters to you. Note and savor the moments as they occur.
  3. To reinforce your resolve and truly impact your holiday spirit, use one of these suggestions.
    • Jot down your memorable moments in a journal. (You can start a special holiday journal, pack it way with the holiday decorations and have the fun of re-reading and adding to it each year.)
    • Write your moments on bits of paper and store them in a jar to read during or after the holiday. (The jar can be saved from year to year and enjoyed year- long or before next year’s holiday season.)
    • Write your moments on holiday-colored paper and create a paper chain throughout the holiday with all the moments you have enjoyed and want to remember.
    • Encourage your kids, spouses and even your guests to add their special holiday moments to your jar or chain and watch them grow along with everyone’s holiday spirit. (Next year to spread the joy, you can make gift jars or chain supplies for other family members and share them in November or early December!)
    • Take a few minutes each night before you go to bed or when you wake-up to review these special moments.
    • Or, simply put a penny in a jar or bowl to capture each moment and watch your “riches” grow.

Truth is, we are in control of the holidays ahead. I know it seems like life is moving too fast, and that the gift lists, demands and commitments grow longer and greater each year, but in my case so has the love. And, the more I remind myself of that, the brighter my season shines.

Here’s to enjoying the holidays ahead!

Please note: This post was adapted from an previous year’s Wishful Thinking Works post, because I loved it so much and it was a great holiday reminder for me!

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Register for your Free Wishful Thinking Works Discovery Session!

 Use Wishful Thinking Works Free Resources.

“Like” Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook.

Change your life!

 

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