Enjoying The Holidays

22 Dec 2015

I could have titled this article, “Surviving The Holidays,” but that had such a negative tone! I also thought of, “Staying Safe Over The Holidays,” but that sounded so pessimistic.

How are you planning to enjoy the holidays? Will you enjoy them, or be stressed out? What would it take to actually ENJOY them?

I realize this article is mostly for Americans, for where else do people get their panties in such a wad over a season that should be meaningful, sweet and relaxing.

This is the time of year we can be vulnerable to potential pitfalls. It is important to enjoy time with friends and family, explore spiritual celebrations, and a get a break from the routine.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Let it go. People are busy driving, shopping and preparing for Christmas. Some drivers seem to be going especially slow. Others are obnoxious shoppers with whiny children and attitudes. Family members know your buttons and are likely to push them. Let it all go. Don’t take offense. Don’t get frustrated. Let it go.
  • Take a deep breath and relax. Do you really have to have 5 salads for Christmas dinner when 2 will do? What is the worst that might happen if you don’t get everything on your list done? Will you die? Will the world come to a end? Probably not.
  • Watch your back when you’re out shopping. Thieves look for opportunities. Be mindful of your surroundings, keep your keys out and ready, and hug your belongings tight.
  • Never leave a purse or other valuables within sight in your vehicle. NEVER leave your purse, even if you don’t think there is anything of value there. Even a driver’s license or ID card can help someone steal your identity. Also hide purchases in the truck or on the floor.
  • Never go into debt to buy gifts. Give within your means. Show your love to friends and family by giving modest gifts that are personalized. Have NO money? Make your own gift cards promising acts of kindness like babysitting, doing chores, or helping with yard work. Create a unique piece of artwork or bake something. I have a friend who makes me a rum cake every Christmas!
  • Don’t let potential robbers know you’re not home. If you’re traveling, hold the mail, stop the paper, and set timers in the house so lights come on. Even ask a friendly neighbor to shovel your walkway if it snows during your absence.
  • Creatively get rid of present boxes. Nothing says, “take my new TV,” like placing the box on the curb after Christmas. Instead of advertising what you bought or received, take cartons to a recycle place or cut them into smaller pieces and hide in trash bags.
  • Take time for meaningful religious celebrations. Contemplate, reflect, attend services. Feed your soul and worship the one who gives you life.

Most importantly, remember the reason for the season. Christmas should be a time of giving, receiving, listening, laughing and loving.

 

Royalty-free photo by Bill Davenport; retrieved from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/446620

 

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