I know that this time of year things start to feel like they are going faster and faster with dinners, parties, shopping, decorating and all the usual busyness of life.  We all want to have the best, most beautiful holidays and today, I’m here to help!

First, if you don’t already have it, you can get my Thanksgiving Meal Planner here: http://eepurl.com/cpLveb

I put together my own, personal, holiday menu with the recipes and even the schedule I use to make sure everything is done quick easy and all together. No more waiting on the turkey while the rest gets cold, you have a fool proof plan!

Now that you have that, let’s talk about making every day this season as enjoyable as possible. That’s what we’re doing all this for, right?  To bring joy and love to ourselves and others.  To feel closer to loved ones and celebrate all the blessings we have?

I think we lose sight of that when the holidays grow from family and friends to include more and more of the people around us.  We start becoming concerened with spending the “right amount of money” on gifts for near-strangers (lest we offend them) and choose events or gifts, strategically to advance our careers. These things can start to feel like soul-sucking chores and when we’re in that energy not only do we feel bad ourselves, we spread the bad feelings to our loved ones by being crabby, tired and sick.  The opposite of what we really want, yes?  Not to mention, when you’re in that low level feeling, those strategic gifts and events you attend suffer as well – people can see and feel that you don’t want to be there or don’t feel up to it. Everything suffers.

So, this holiday season, I invite you to simplify a bit before the real whirlwind starts.

Now is a great time to take 30 minutes of quiet with some paper and a pen to write down what you would like every day to feel like.

Imagine Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on – each day, what are the “chores” you need to do? What events are being put on the schedule? And for each of those days, how do you want to feel? Sometimes it’s easier to start with how you don’t want to feel and choose the opposite of that.

Here are a few of my personal examples:

When I’m shopping, I want to feel loving, generous and responsible with my money (not desperate and frantic or obligated to buy).

At the work party, I want to feel appreciative for my team, my income and all the blessing my work affords me (not anxious about a promotion/raise or irritated by the time spent being friendly to people who I may not especially like).

And every day I want to have time loving my family and friends, no matter what.

Then, looking at how you want to feel each day, within all the activities, choose how you’re going to show up.

This could mean only spending 30 minutes at the work party, saying gracious good byes before the raffles and tipsy fubars so you can be at home to hug your family and watch a silly sitcom before bed with them.

It could mean setting a responsible holiday budget, making a list of the meaningful gifts you want to give and to whom – then letting the rest fall away.  If a colleague or near-stranger gives you a gift that you weren’t expecting and aren’t able to reciprocate, accept it graciously.  Appreciate the opportunity you have to allow that person to feel generous and caring and let them know how special it makes you feel for them to think of you.  We are often looking for personal connection and the doodads are just a symbol to say, “Hey, I want to have a better relationship with you.”  So, connect with them! Perhaps, instead of trying to reciprocate with your own doodad later, plan to have a 10 minute conversation with them in the next couple days to reiterate your appreciation and connect on a meaningful level.  Just a thought!

I hope these thoughts will open you up to more ways to make your holidays loving and joyful and avoid chaos and desperation, so you can enjoy every moment!

I’d love to hear from you, so please share your wisdom in the comments below.

How have you handled awkward situations around the holidays? We all need your wisdom too!

P.S. If you tried to sign up for the Thanksgiving Planner and it wouldn’t let you, here’s a direct link to grab it now – no opt in required!  Because I love you!

Thanksgiving Dinner Plan

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Are You Ready To Have Beautiful Holidays?
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