Monday, November 21, 2011

Avoiding Holiday Hangover

I'm not going to lie.  I don't like Christmas. I think it's because I have so many bad memories of becoming overwhelmed at all there is to do, spending too much money, and getting stuck in mobbed stores and traffic jams. After it is all over, I am exhausted and mad at myself because I'm broke in January. Since I've become a cancer survivor, I have taken baby steps to reel in the holiday excess, say no to the extraneous, and hone in on what really matters. I did this last year and it helped lighten the heavy burden that sometimes comes with this holiday.

First, I am forthcoming about what I can and cannot spend on family gifts during the holidays. Second, when I cook for Christmas Eve, I expect  everyone to pitch in and clean the dishes afterwards. Last year, I knocked myself out cooking. After the food was eaten and presents opened, my brother and his boys headed upstairs to watch TV. I was furious! I also stopped flying to Florida or other far away places because snow storms and overcrowding could my disrupt my schedule. I refuse to travel in any unnecessary traffic.  For example, I always go into New York City to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree between December 26 to December 30--after the holiday shopping crunch. I try to focus my energy on the spirit of giving and creating joy. I put on a Christmas party last year for the first time in many years. It was hard work but everyone had a blast. I felt wonderful about the whole event afterwards so it was worth it.

In short, stay focused on how YOU want your holiday experience to be this year. Say no to anything that doesn't align with that mission and I'm sure you will have a happy and memorable holiday season

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