Finding The Joy In Christmas

Gingerbread House Christmas! What a joyous holiday! … Or is it? If it is so joyous why is it that we hear (I hear) everyone complain about not being ready and expressing feelings of dread?

It’s time to have, what I call, an honest moment with our self … maybe even a couple.

How do we fill our Christmas holiday with joy? How do we step out of the holiday rat race and make it into something truly beautiful, enjoyable, and even relaxing?

Years ago I did a holiday workshop called “Finding The Joy In Christmas”. It was a powerful evening filled with holiday discoveries as we discussed ways to fill our holiday celebration with the joy and peace we all longed for. I will never forget the open and honest discussion from that night. We all came to the table agreeing that Christmas was too stressful to enjoy and changes needed to take place.

As a mom and wife I have always felt it to be my job to make Christmas happen. Most women do. We have a huge responsibility placed on our shoulders to give our family a Norman Rockwell … picture perfect … Martha Stewart holiday experience. We bust our behinds to make everyone happy hoping and striving to give them a memorable holiday. The catch is, it is at our own expense.

At the end of the day we are left feeling exhausted, resentful, sometimes sick, and broke on top of it. No wonder so many of us, men and women, end up dreading the holidays when they roll around each year.

Am I against celebrating the most wonderful time of the year? Absolutely not! I am all for it and actually love it myself. But I have learned to simplify things over the years so that I too can enjoy it in a way that fills my cup more than it drains it.

First, determine what exactly you are celebrating. What’s important to you and your family? What did you love most about the holidays when you were a child? What do your own family members love most about Christmas? Listen carefully to what they say.

The simple truth is this. We can’t do it all! So pick and choose what’s most important for you and your family. Sit down together, if need be, and discuss it. Let everyone choose one thing or come up with one or two things together that you will focus on.

You don’t have to have your house super decked out with decorations if it is too stressful and it steals your joy. Out of all of your decorations, what are the most meaningful? I know in my house it’s The Dickens Village and a Christmas tree. Yes, I do a few more things than that, but if that’s all I have time to do then we are all happy.

Do you have to have a hundred different varieties of cookies this year? No, you don’t. It’s ok! Do you have to attend every Christmas party? No, you don’t. It’s ok! Does everything have to be homemade? No, it doesn’t. It’s ok!

It’s ok to say no! Listen, we want our families to have special holiday memories. What we don’t want is for our children to have memories of how crazy stressed out mom and dad were. I remember during a pre-holiday family discussion my kids said, “Mom, we don’t want you stressed out and grouchy this year.” Ouch! That’s the year I began making changes.

When we have so much on our plates that we begin to give from an empty cup, we no longer are operating from a place of joy. We must make necessary changes that will allow us to keep our cup filled so that we can give from the overflow and have a wonderful Christmas experience.

Don’t forget to carve out little tidbits of time for just you. Those little tidbits of time have a greater impact on you in body, mind, and spirit … more than you think.

If you need some guidance on where to begin scaling back in order to have a more joy-filled Christmas, by all means email me. I would be honored to help you fill your cup with Christmas joy!

Merry Christmas!!

Shileen Nixon
Emotional Wellness Coach


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