If you ask enough people this time of year 2 out of 3 will answer the question, “How’s it going?” with, “I have so much to do.”
It’s pretty evident to most women in particular what they are talking about – preparations.
No matter what your family does or doesn’t do to celebrate the season there is some date that you are looking at right now that is a deadline for all your preparations. You have things you want to accomplish before that date to help make it an experience for all to enjoy. And – you may even feel it is your responsibility to ensure everyone’s good time.
Tough to be Jolly with so little time and so much to do.
But without Jolly the main person you are responsible for will probably miss out on the good time — YOU.
Take a deep breath (I learned this from Yoga for Dummies). Look at the face of a child on the street or in your family and see their innate joy. Now practice Joyful. Jump up and down. Do the jitterbug. Dance to “twist and shout”. Say a prayer of thanks. Sing while you bake. Make a mess while cooking with the kids or your friend. Talk on the phone to someone you haven’t seen while you’re wrapping presents. Meet someone for lunch while you’re out shopping. (You get the picture.)
Be Optimistic. It truly is the thought that counts. The people who love and appreciate you will love whatever preparations you have made (no matter what you think you haven’t gotten to). Planning can be endless but deadlines aren’t. What gets done gets done and what doesn’t goes on for the next planning. This is great because there can always be new things to look forward to in life. Give yourself a deadline to stop and appreciate all you have done and all that you have to look forward to. Know that tomorrow will always bring new experiences and new goals to look forward to as well.
Be Loving to those around you, the ones you know and the ones you don’t. Hold hands with a family member or partner while you shop. When you see someone struggling lend a hand. When you perceive tension from someone else, smile in their direction. When you see sorrow realize we all have burdens and be grateful for the ones you have as opposed to what others might be suffering through. Do what you can for others and know it is appreciated.
Laugh a lot! Find the humor in the situation. Help others to find humor and use it to release tension and stress. Make playing games part of your planning. Bring people together in fun and you will have succeeded in bringing them joy, providing lasting memories, and creating great relationships for those around you.
Never forget Yourself. In making all your preparations be kind and loving to yourself. You are an amazing person who needs to be recognized as your own best friend. A really smart person once told me when you have a decision to make ask yourself what advise you would give to your best friend in the same situation. Then take that advise and use it. Appreciate yourself and listen to what your mind and heart tell you that you need. Then follow through.
Now that you have the tools to be Jolly, start right away and have a joyous, optimistic, loving, laughing holiday for yourself.
Ho Ho Ho Happy Holidays, Kate