Holiday Habits aka Traditions

With the holiday season upon us, I find I am having mixed feelings. This is only the second Christmas during the 18 years I have lived in Edmonton that I am not going to be with my family in Ontario. We have decided to stay home, as travel with a toddler and a baby at Christmas time is too unpredictable. I am sad that I won’t be with my family but at the same time, I am looking forward to creating our own little family traditions that are meaningful to us.

Holidays can be a very stressful time for people. I have been thinking about why that is and one of the big reasons is that people get caught up in people pleasing instead of staying true to what is important to them. People pleasing means putting your power and energy into worrying about other people’s opinions of you. Are the traditions I have mine or are they habits that I repeat year after year, increasing my stress level? Do they mean something to me or do I feel I “should” do them to make others happy or to keep up appearances? Who made up societal rules anyway that say what we should or shouldn’t do? I think we should just eliminate the word “should” from our vocabulary.

I have stopped worrying about what others might think of me and have chosen traditions that have meaning for me, that fill me up and give me joy. In this season of giving, I choose to give from overflow instead of giving from depletion. Giving from depletion ultimately leads to burn out. When deciding what is important to me, I ask myself the question, ” Does this make me feel lighter or heavier, happier or more stressed?” If I feel lighter, it is truth for me. If I feel heavier, I know it is an energy zapper that I don’t want.

I have simplified my holidays and got rid of the “shoulds”. I am making our own traditions that have meaning for us and have let go of the rest. I am going to have a peaceful and happy holiday season and I wish you the same.