Don’t you love the Holidays? Me too!
This time of year, I always get excited with visions of cozy holiday get togethers with family and friends. I picture me, dressed in the cutest outfits, surrounded by people I love – all of us having a fabulous time. There’s always gorgeous food, fantastic music, sparkly ambiance…you know, like out of a Hallmark movie.
Then of course, there’s reality. Wardrobe malfunctions, burned appetizers, jokes that fall flat and fluorescent overhead lighting.
Know what I mean? But there are still so many gorgeous moments that make it all so good.
In between, it seems like there are so many demands during these couple of months that we get more exhausted than festive. I already know people stressing out about getting the perfect gifts, how much to tip various vendors and service providers, what to feed people with food allergies, which events they are obligated to go to vs. those that they desire to attend, and of course still dealing with everyday busyness of life.
Are you one of them?
Do you find yourself dreading those long lines at the stores, cringing over budgets, screaming at crazy holiday traffic and wondering where you’ll find all the time to do it all?
I get it. I’ve been there.
Fortunately, God gifted me with this supernatural ability to plan and execute, including contingencies and fail safes, so I’ve been able to streamline some of these things over the years. In fact, I’m sharing one of those fool proof plans here.
Today’s topic is a little higher level than just how to make a plan so that you can fit it all in though. It’s about creating a mindset of enjoyment in the season which actually makes everything fall into place perfectly!
One thing I’ve learned from my mentors and can attest to is that when you take a moment to clear your mind and intentionally approach every thing with a mindset of “How can I enjoy this?”, it all just starts to magically flow right.
For example, all those perfect gifts used to stress me out. I mean, even if I figured out what people wanted and could find it, they usually had already bought it for themselves and when they opened my gift…well, it’s not so exciting.
Have you been there too?
So, I shifted toward thinking about the true enjoyment of gifts. The truth is that the giver and the receiver both enjoy it. It brings pleasure to know you got someone something they appreciate and isn’t it a joy to open a gift that you know you will enjoy? So, you can choose to create that joy instead of creating a chore of shopping for an arbitrary gift.
So, as I’m shopping for gifts, I focus more on that vision of joy than the specific item and I often find that just the right idea comes to me. When I’m thinking about my recipient and who they really are, what they really like and not cloud it with what I think they’d like or what I want them to like (ever do that?), the perfect gift jumps out at me.
Another thing this time of year is food and it can be tricky!
Food allergies and intolerances are on the rise and are way more serious than just being a picky eater. Plus, food is such a social and cultural thing that we have an emotional attachment even, don’t we?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand for that problem but I can tell you that going back to that mindset of enjoyment really works wonders.
If it’s you who has the food restrictions, this mindset is like a magic wand. Going to events with the intention of having fun and not worrying about the food can bring out the gorgeous elements that you never even noticed before. You can choose to delight in the beauty of the decorations, the festive energy in the music and focusing on your conversations to create closer relationships and be fully engaged in the event instead of what’s mindlessly going in your mouth next.
Also, as the host, it can certainly simplify what food you serve when you deconstruct the menu instead of trying to create an extravagant smorgasbord.
One simple strategy I would recommend is to focus on serving whole foods that don’t require ingredients lists, as much as possible. Having a selection of scrumptious fruit and veggies with dipping sauce on the side empowers your guests to choose what is good for them without fear. Even meat and cheese trays, separate from crackers or breads makes things a little safer. Then, you can focus on enjoying the party and trust that your guests will take care of their own food choices and you’re not exhausted from cooking all day either! Or having to put out a book of ingredients lists – ha ha!
So, those are just a couple examples of the issues I hear about all the time and why if you’re actively choosing to enjoy the people and activities, rather than trying to create an impossible version of perfect, the season can become a truly joyful and fulfilling experience.
Now, I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t found a cure for road rage in bad holiday traffic yet but try a few deep breaths (try not to hyperventilate though) and maybe sing along to the radio. Let me know if that helps! I know, it helps me.
Please leave a comment below with your thoughts. I always love to hear them and learn from you too!
And if you haven’t already, please CLICK THIS LINK to get your FREE Holiday Guides including a Thanksgiving Meal Planner and Happy Christmas Guide. It’s a delicious menu, recipes, shortcuts and a timing guide to help you get everything on the table together, easily (stress free!) AND a gift guide and simple tips to amplify the fun, love and gorgeousness of the holidays for you and your loved ones. Of course, the meal planner is gluten free but I promise your glutenmongers won’t even notice! My family loves it and I hope yours will too.