For many this year the holiday season will once again be filled with stress, anxiety, and something close to outright panic.
First, here is a quick tip and reminder, stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Ah, pumpkin pie, apple pie, pfeffernusse cookies, chocolates, homemade whipped cream and ala mode anything. Feeling any better yet?
Second, let's not allow financial pressures and job uncertainties to steal our holiday joy. Christmas and Hanukkah will come and New Year's Day will follow, just as sure as two people will kiss under the mistletoe, menorah candles will burn brightly, and the Rose Bowl will be played Jan. 1.
The season isn't about money and gifts, but somewhere along the way, as the economy was strong and confidence high, we built the holiday up around the material things we could give one another in an attempt to out-do what we did the year before. So this year will be a little lighter for some of us relative to the gifts that we will give and receive. And this is perfectly fine - we can still celebrate in complete abundance anyway.
Through the years our family has amassed a fairly strong collection of Christmas decorations and ornaments. However, simply because of the frenetic pace of recent holiday seasons, time compression, and then dealing with breaking it all down and putting it all away, we had become a bit complacent and selective as to what we put out on display. Each year we just seemed to bring out less and less.
This year as we prepared to decorate the house, our children, knowing the financial situation and having proper expectations set, asked that we go all out and celebrate at our house with all of the things we already had hidden in the crawl space. As we pulled out the bins and boxes, the joyful smiles on their faces as they remembered the Christmas ornaments of years gone by, and as they each got to pick out their favorites and hang them on the tree, was the greatest early gift I will receive this year. So while the gift piles will be smaller and lighter this year, our house will still look like the North Pole inside.
And as we celebrate with abundance, my personal favorite displays are the Nativity scene and the Menorah. You see, even though we should be thinking about our roots and faith throughout the year, I appreciate the reminder each December, and the importance of everything that is non-material-gift related, the real reasons for the season.
Simply commit to celebrating with an attitude of abundance this coming season, with an abundance of family and friends, being over-generous with hugs, loaded down with love. Dig out all of those old decorations from the attic or crawl space, look back fondly on family memories, and let's take back the holiday season.
Tell me about your favorite part of the Holiday season and how you plan on taking it back, giving back, or celebrating with abundance at firstname.lastname@example.org and make it a better than good December 2009!
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.