The holidays are upon us and for many people this is the most stressful time of year. There is so much to do and not enough time to do it in, places to go, people to see, gifts to buy, food to prepare, and on and on and on. We may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted, and angry, rather than joyful, loving and peaceful. Greeting cards proclaim wishes of peace, joy, happiness, and love regardless of the event being celebrated. They talk of families gathering, warm homes filled with love and peace, but for many, those wishes do not translate into reality.
Our memories of wonderful holidays from our childhood and our expectations for this year may put an enormous amount of pressure on us. There are traditions to be followed and expectations to be met, those of others and those we put on ourselves, along with the commercialism that has the stores full of holiday decorations and "gifts" even before the Halloween candy has been put away. Some people will struggle through much of next year to pay off the credit card debt that they accumulate over the holidays. But saddest of all, is when the holiday is over and we think to ourselves "Is that all there is?" "Where was the joy, the peace, the love?" "Why does it seem as though it never measures up to our expectations?"
The answer is "our expectations." One of the ways to reduce holiday stress is to take some time to examine your expectations for the upcoming months. What traditions have to be followed? What have you always done, because it is always done? Make a list, ask those who celebrate with you to make a list as well. Carve out some time to sit down and share your lists and discuss which of these traditions are really important to all of you and which are more work than you want to do. Get everyone involved in doing the things that may have been up to you. Discuss ways in which you can create new traditions or recreate old ones that will bring more peace, joy and love to your family, not only during the holidays. I recently read an interesting book by Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages: How to express heartfelt commitment to your mate.
Although it's primarily for couples, I think that the premise applies to everyone that we love. The author says that there are 5 basic ways in which we experience feeling loved. We tend to show others we love them in the same way we feel loved. The problems arise when our "love language" is different. The five languages, in random order, are "acts of service" "physical touch" "words of affirmation" "receiving gifts" and "quality time". If, for the holidays, you show your love for someone by "giving them a gift" and their love language is "acts of service" which means that they feel loved when you do something for them, there is a good chance that neither of you will feel that your expectations have been met.
Perhaps, when your family gets together to discuss traditions and expectations for the holidays, you could discuss what would help you feel closer as a family, more loved, more joyful, and how this could create more peace. This can be a season for joy, peace, happiness, and most of all for love.
Lorna Minewiser, Ph.D has been helping people reduce their stress for more than 15 years. She offers individual and group coaching, workshops, CDs, e-books and Stress Reduction and Relaxation kits. She is available for presentations on the power of beliefs and on Stress Reduction. Her popular e-course on Reducing Holiday Stress is available free at http://www.thestressreductioncoach.com
RELATED ARTICLESChristmas Shopping Online Might Or Might Not Be For Everyone: This Article Shows How Doing It Onlin
Christmas shopping online is not for you? If you are one of those that share this thought, you probably like to enjoy the atmosphere of physical shopping. Doing your Christmas shopping online despite all its convenience, lack the festive mood.
Halloween & Hounds
Halloween is "fright night" for humans not dogs. Screaming, running, spooky children in masks make many dogs uncomfortable, nervous and frightened.
Valentines Day - Where Did THAT Come From?
Just as soon as the stores put away their Christmas merchandise, out comes the Valentine's Day items - even though Valentine's is still more than six weeks away.I don't know why, but it always takes me by surprise to see Valentine's Day merchandise so soon after Christmas.
Christmas Tree Topper Ornaments
From my childhood memories, pride of place on the top of Christmas tree always went to a fairy dressed in white. Or was it an angel? No, I'm sure it was the Christmas fairy; and she was usually last to go on the tree apart from the tinsel.
Birthdays are one thing you can count on. We all have them and I'm willing to bet, all of your family members and friends have them too.
Holiday Survival Guide
The Holiday season has officially begun and Christmas is almost here. This is the time of year when most Americans are NOT beginning a new diet, rather ending their old one.
Funny Couples Costume Ideas For Halloween
Tired of the same old typical Halloween costumes. You know the ones?.
The Last Laugh: Parental Pranks for April 1
The exact origin of April Fool's Day is uncertain, but popular belief is that it began in France with the adoption of a new calendar. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar (still in use today) replaced the long-standing Julian calendar and New Year's celebrations were moved from April 1 to January 1.
Creative Christmas Gifts
Christmas is always the time of year we consider to be the best opportunity to give something special to someone and show how much we appreciate him or her. The mall is full of wonderful, shiny and delicious gifts and the Internet offers countless items that we can send to someone without ever seeing the product in person.
Top 15 Valentines Day Quotations
"If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours.
No More Ties! Homemade Fathers Day Gift Ideas
If you are like me, you never know what to get dad for Father's Day. Well, today, you'll get a few ideas that will get you out of a bind any time.
Online Shopping: Tips For Holidays Gift Shopping
It is holidays time, and you've the money and you want to go out and begin online shopping.But before you do, here are some tips to manage your onlineshopping and expenses.
Glorious Holiday Decorating (Without Breaking the Bank or Losing Your Sanity)
Decorating for the holidays can be both expensive and emotionally draining. But you can decorate your home beautifully--on a budget--by following just a few simple suggestions.
How to Host Thankgiving Dinner and Enjoy it Anyway
You've been nominated; or perhaps your family has issued a decree; or perhaps it's simply your turn. No matter what the reason, you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Tips to Save Time & Money; Christmas Shopping Online
So Christmas is a few months away. Seems like a lot of time but we all know how quickly time passes to the holidays.
Glorious Holiday Decorating: Ten Tips
If you're looking for ways to decorate your home in a glorious holiday fashion this season--without breaking the bank and losing your sanity in the process--here are ten terrific ideas to get you started.1.
Find Great Halloween Costume Ideas! Have The Most Creative Costumes This Year
Usually, the hardest part about Halloween is finding the perfect costume and top accessories for your ghoulish creation. Well, now it doesn't have to be! With the countless, great resources available on the web, finding Halloween costume ideas for the adults, kids and the rest of the family will be the easy part! Now, you'll just have to figure out what everyone wants to dress up as!So where do you begin? Let us help you! Take the time to browse through our site for some great tips on creating the your favorite costumes.
I was not planning to write this article. Instead, I was going to publish an article about integrity.
Anniversary Gift Ideas Year by Year, the First Nineteen Years
It's impossible to remember what gift is traditional for each anniversary. This article is perfect to print out or post on your website for easy reference.
Inexpensive Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Kids
After all the gifts have been purchased and placed under the tree, that is the time that many remember in a panic that the stockings over the fireplace still need to be stuffed. Holiday budgets have most likely been spent and there isn't a whole lot of extra money available.