Bringing the “Happy” Back to the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be a time to eat, drink and be merry. So why is it that they usually come with nothing but stress for so many out there?

I hold high hopes for the holiday season every year. Time with family I don’t see very often, and a break from… well, everything else. Eating, drinking, being merry. Downtime.

What usually happens instead, though, is anything but relaxed. There’s the holiday shuffle – driving back and forth from city to city during the days surrounding Christmas. There’s the gifts – and the massive credit card bill that comes with them. There’s party after party to host and visit, with a host gift for each one, of course. There’s the mall crowds and the holiday traffic to contend with.

I could go on, but you get the point.

What should be a relaxing time of year ends up being one of the most intense instead, with the net result being that you feel like you need a vacation from the vacation. It feels like someone hit the fast-forward button on the holidays.

So what’s the solution? Well, at the risk of sounding like Scrooge, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the answer lies with the word “no.”

Hear me out.

We all have countless asks that come our way this time of year. Asks for donations, asks to attend parties, to give just one more gift. And all that stuff is great – if it’s truly important to you. And that’s the key. Say “yes” to the things and the people that are most important to you, and “no” to everything else. Because if you don’t, you might just find that your downtime isn’t really yours at all.

Just remember: the holidays are for what matters most to you, whatever that is. Let those things be the focus of your time off, and cut down on the things that don’t. Less stress. More holiday. Sound good?


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