The holidays are coming! Does this sentence fill you with joy, dread or a little of both? This year, consider taking a few moments to imagine your idea of the best ways to spend the holidays — not someone else’s idea, but your own. Does it include presents, lots of food, family and friends? Do you envision a small group and a simple meal? Or does it involve traveling to family and friends? Don’t let the holidays happen to you. Let the holidays happen for you.
For the next four weeks, we’ll be exploring ways to create your own unique holiday experience with four steps.
Step One: Make a Plan
By making a plan and picturing it in your mind you are stating how you would like to experience the holiday season. Think of this step as creating a blueprint. Most of us would not begin a project or a trip without planning ahead. The same is true for the holidays.
Begin with heart-centered planning. This means stating what is your heart’s desire – not someone else’s. How do you want to feel during the holidays? Write it down. If you were overwhelmed last year with travel, or with many houseguests, ask yourself how could you change that this year? If you were alone and didn’t enjoy it, think about how to do it differently this year. Write out your ideal scenario and read it over carefully. If you feel happy and/or relieved by what you have written, then begin to make a list of what actions to take in order to make it happen.
If you wrote that you wanted to spend the holidays with a small group, write down the names of the guests to be invited and how you intend to extend the invitation.
If you usually go out of town to spend the holidays with family or friends and you’ve decided that isn’t part of your ideal holiday this year, make a note to contact them so you’re not left at the last minute with what might be an uncomfortable conversation.
Planning ahead makes anxiety and stress go away and opens the door to a happy holiday.
Step one takes personal courage and integrity. Go for it! Take control. These are your holidays. Make them your own.
Michele Senac writes about home, family, food and healthy living. She is co-author of Around the Table, A Culinary Memoir by Two Sisters, available December, 2013 on amazon.com. For more information, visit FineRedesigns.com