Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday Happiness: Control Your Holiday Season, Don't Let it Control You!

As I sit her writing this the clock continues to tick down to the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are growing painfully close, a week away as a matter of fact. While it’s time to start mentally planning the dinner, and days to follow as we are hosting company from out of town, I have yet to truly settle on anything other than pork tenderloin. I should say conceded to pork tenderloin because truly it was my husband’s decision. Aside from the food and the decoration I, like many of you, am focusing on whom I will be spending my holidays with.

A friend of mine recently stated how happy she was that she loves the people she spends her holidays with and that this allows her to look forward to the holidays; rather than being one of those people who dread the holidays, as well as their families. I have to agree with her.
My husband and I have had our own experience with snags in our family blankets. Very early on in our marriage we sat down and discussed how important it was for us to spend the holidays, not only with people we love, but who love us as well. As only children with three sets of parents and extended family and friends, the first two years together found us struggling to determine who we would celebrated with and when; leaving us thoroughly exhausted and snarky.

After one particularly stressful and unhappy holiday season we sat down at the dining room table and decided: Never Again! We wanted to enjoy the season with warm nostalgic memories of fun and love. We listed people who we loved being around. We listed people who made us feel loved and wanted, who were actually interested in what we were doing and what we had to say rather than getting glossy eyed as soon as we opened our mouths or put on a fake smile to be polite. While talking we realized something that, I believe very few people realize. We have complete and total control over how we spend our holidays and how we let the holidays affect our mood and our lives.

Since then we have hosted holiday dinners strictly for people that would normally be considered as friends by other, but who are considered family by us. We have been fortunate enough to go to dinners where we have met our friends’ parents, and have. We have had dinners that only included our parents, giving them a rest from hosting. We have even gone to Mexico for the holidays. But most importantly, we have redefined the term family to fit our own needs for a rich and fulfilling life, we have redefined tradition and have torn down the unhealthy belief of what one must do during the holidays and replaced it with the idea of what one could do. And by doing so we are able to come home tired, full, happy and feeling like the richest people on Earth.

So my challenge to you all who are reading this, and I thank you for reading this, is to sit down with your self, your significant other, your family, and decide to take that courageous step to spend the holidays the way you want to and with who you want to. You don’t have to explain yourself; you don’t have to feel guilty. In fact I give you permission to be guilt free. But you do have to challenge yourself to be happy. Go on, don’t be a turkey…I dare you.