The stories we tell our kids about Santa are basically innocent; the ones we tell ourselves are far worse because they tend to erupt from the depths when we least expect it. It’s worth the effort to look at what beliefs tend to drive holiday frenzy. Here are a few that I turned up for myself. You might have your own.
Lie #1: I have to do it alone. Not true. You are not solely responsible for Holiday Elfdom. Look for help. Make a note to yourself to gather a group of friends to share the joy and hassle of baking, creating gifts and coordinating gingerbread construction projects with kids. Look for other places you can use help. Make a few calls. Now. Before it’s too late.
Lie #2: More is better. If we’re not careful, this thought gives the Queen of the Universe free reign from the Turkey Day Feast until she finally passes out from sheer exhaustion sometime in January. Symptoms include over-eating, over-shopping, over-partying, and general overdoing.
Lie #3: I have to get it right (along with its cousins, This should be a perfect holiday or I can’t disappoint the kids). This triad is the source of much misery, during the holiday and other times in our lives as well.
Heading Off Holiday Meltdown
I wrote this list 23 years ago and still revisit it every holiday season so I don’t buy into the mischievous triad above.
• Revisit past holidays now in your journal. Make a list of the memories that you cherish.
• Notice the ones that bring peaceful images into your mind. Keep them. Make sure at least one of them includes some quiet time for self-care and reflection.
• Cut your list of “Must-Do’s” in half by finding the thought beneath each one. What thought would drive you to bring stress into this season of peace? Ask yourself some questions. It it true? Absolutely? How do you live when you believe it? Who would you be without it? This is the “you” that will bring peace to the world and your loved ones this holiday season.
The holiday changes each year, but I still cut the list of what I want to do or buy in half and increase my time for quiet personal reflection during the season. I’m able to search out the untrue thoughts on the fly in much of my life, but there’s nothing like curling up with my journal and a cup of tea to discover the saboteurs still lurking beneath the surface.
How do you prepare for a peaceful holiday? Any and all suggestions are welcomed here.