The Holiday season can be magical and beautiful, but it can also be heavy & rigorous; if I could give you a gift this season it would be love in the form of advice.
REACH OUT. Humans are built for community – even the deepest introvert can receive care and energy by extending themself for someone else. You could drop off a treat to let someone know you see them and you care. You could offer to help someone prepare for an event or meal. Send someone a message letting them know that you appreciate them or that you are proud of them, share even the most simple encouragement and you are making the world better.
ANSWER THE INVITE. Don’t leave the invite in silence; save yourself the anxiety of an unanswered invite. Politely decline – “Thank you so much for the invite! I have a few things going on at that time and I don’t think I will be able to pull it off. If anything changes I will for sure let you know. Keep me in mind for next time!”
HOT COCOA SECRET. Butter! Start with whatever chocolate powder you prefer, add slightly less water than the package calls for, pour in some coffee creamer and BUTTER — use a whisk or an immersion blender! For a festive party addition you can have a Hot Cocoa Bar: Invest in a large ladle for guests to serve themselves from a warm pot on the stove or buy a warm beverage dispenser — have some marshmallows, espresso powder, peppermint sticks and whipped cream ready!
SAY NO. If you are overwhelmed or feeling heavy – cut something out. Decline that invite, skip that party, make that decision! You can’t do it all and you don’t have to and you’re not supposed to. Keep your health, make the decision, be intentional – Decide to decorate less, decide to make less food, decide to wrap with gift bags this year.
DEVELOP “A THING”. Find a recipe that sounds good to you and that is doable and work on it! Having “a thing” that you are good at, and is well practiced, feels great and helps with event anxiety.
GET OUTSIDE! With the early sunset and the lowering temperatures, we tend to spend more time inside: more time out of the sunshine, more time in dry, processed air. 5 minutes of fresh air and sunshine can heal, make the time – everyone has 5 minutes. While you’re at it – add some fruit to your diet!
PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION! Do the thing that you have wanted to do. Maybe, You have been wanting to send cards – send them! Go buy the cards and send cards, start somewhere. Don’t wait for the perfect card and the perfect address list just start. Maybe you have wanted to take the family to see Christmas lights – don’t wait for the “perfect time” or the extended family to join or the neighbors or friends, just do it! You have wanted to host a party – host it – if only one person makes it, you met your goal and that is what this is about! Don’t walk out of this season disappointed.
TO THE PARENTS AND CARETAKERS. Your kid doesn’t need to participate in every single school dress up day and holiday party / event. Model the behavior now to teach them what you and I are still learning – it is more than ok – it is both important and necessary – to be intentional about what we say “yes” to. And if you are reading this and you work in education: unless you are providing the event uniform, stop giving us a dress code for your Holiday events. Period.
MAGIC WEEK. Don’t forget about the week AFTER Christmas, Dec 26 – 30, there is often very little going on at this time and you can really leverage the free calendar space. Maybe you can push an event or tradition to the days after the 25th so as to not try and pack too much into a short time span. This is also true for post New Year’s Day- Jan 1 – 7, shift that calendar and give the gift of time!
HAPPY NEW YEAR. JUST ONE: Most importantly as we post on social media in the coming weeks and as we send texts or emails, as we see one another and exclaim “Happy New Year!”, please commit to note that you are wishing someone a Happy New Year … just one year, it is one new year, a singular year – Happy. New. Year. Some will not join me in this commitment, they’ll not heed my warning – they’ll post and they’ll shout “Happy New YearS”. Why? “It is New Year’s Day”, “It is New Year’s Eve” — the presence of the apostrophe in these statements is not due to plurality of the year, but because this is a possessive noun. Why are people adding the “s” saying “Happy New YearS”? We can’t know. Please be part of the solution and join me in wishing all a Happy New Year!
I love you! I am proud of you! Merry Christmas!!!