Holidays can be extraordinarily happy even when you are experiencing hard times. Here’s how to enjoy the holidays when you are hurting.
Be Honest About Where You Are, Decide To Be Deliberately Different – Consciously deciding to change and do things differently helps cut painful connections with the past. Different can be very delightful, deliberately deciding to do things differently can be very liberating.
Joy Has NO Price Tag – Our greatest joys don’t come from gifts of material things. The people, memories, experiences and magic moments that bring us the most joy are not tangible items. Recall sources of joy in the past and recreate them in new and different ways.
Create a Colonial Christmas – imagine what Christmas was like 250 years ago for the first settlers of our country. Create a 1760′s Christmas – simple, joyous, special. Decorate using free, natural items: pine cones, evergreen limbs, pop corn strings.
Cut simple decorative shapes from colored paper or old magazines. Enjoy candles with mirrors. Look for bonfires if you don’t have a fireplace.
Consider Exchanging Care Coupons - Create and decorate coupons for the intangible gifts your loved ones will value the most:
- This coupon is good for one hour of help with anything you ask – I promise to work hard happily, enthusiastically and energetically.
- This coupon is good for one hour of undivided, uninterrupted time together doing exactly what you want to do. I promise to give my full, undivided, sincere, enthusiastic attention and appreciation to you and whatever you decide to do.
Create a Another Country’s Non Commercial, Cultural Christmas – What Christmas would be like if you were living in a Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist country? Or in a simple village in Latin America? Mongolia? Ethiopia? Learn about other cultures, recreate one for a memorable, enjoyable holiday.
Emphasize Enjoyable Experiences – Look for experiences that bring happiness and joy in the holiday season.
End Extravagant Expectations – Money does not buy a joyful holiday.
See Stabs Of Self Pity As An SOS - Immediately redirect your time, energy and attention toward thoughts, actions, objectives and activities that will help you to build happiness and spiritual success.
Enjoy Natural Beauty – Take walks. Savor, enjoy and appreciate the beauty around you: the special smells, the fresh air on your face, the spectacular sunsets you were always too busy to watch.
Assess Reality Accurately, Don’t Get Carried Away - Don’t diminish holiday joy by over spending, over eating or over compensating for any difficulties, it’s not necessary.
Strangers Can Offer Security And Safety – Family relationships and even long standing friendships can suddenly turn toxic over the holidays. New or different people change holiday dynamics and interactions. Changing the place, time and theme of holiday celebrations can help break bad ruts.
Begin Your New Year’s Resolutions Early - Whatever they are, begin now. Eat and drink healthily. Avoid excesses, too much rich food, alcohol. Too many sweets and starches can drive you nuts. Jump start your diet, exercise or personal development programs. Exercise aggressively. Eat wisely.
Continually Sparkle, Radiate and Set A Positive, Enthusiastic Holiday Tone – Consciously deciding to continually sparkle and radiate joy raises your spirits and the spirits of the people around you. Use holidays as an excuse to smile, speak and greet strangers warmly. Extend a genuine holiday welcome to everyone you meet.
Be Adventuresome And Creative – Decide to do things you haven’t done before, or decide to do them in very different ways.
There are lots of wonderful new ways to enjoy the holidays, find them, explore and enjoy them.
Look For Free Festive Activities With New People In New Places – Volunteering to help others often comes with free food and fun holiday festivities. Find free concerts, free special holiday events and religious activities. Learn about different cultures or religious groups. Visit a friend, relative or shut in who will relish your company.
Spend time really exploring, enjoying and savoring the holiday season and holiday decorations. Do things you were always too busy to do in the past. Make this holiday wonderfully different and it won’t be deficient.
Creativity Is A Key To Happiness In Ordinary Times, It Is Especially Important In Hard Times. Find Creative New Ways To Enjoy Your Holiday And Bring Joy To Others!