I love the notion of having a “reasonably” happy holiday season. It’s so freeing and realistic. It creates a mindset that actually allows people to enjoy the holidays. Seriously, who could argue against having a reasonably good time as a starting point? Anything above that can go into the “exceeded my expectations” category.

There is a lot of information on suggestions and ways to lessen the stress of the holidays. However, if you don’t take the time to examine your holiday expectations, it’s possible that there will be some frustrations, stressors, and disappointments that cast a wicked spell on your sense of holiday magic.

BizPysch facilitates a training called “Thriving with the Holidays” and it’s one of my all time favorite workshops. Why? Because it focuses on strategies for having a reasonably happy holiday season. It gives people a chance to “pause” before all the holiday craziness sets in and decide what they want their holiday season to be about. Participants get to think about creating new holiday traditions in place of old traditions they would like to let go of. We debunk some of the holiday myths that are a set up for having an unhappy holiday season, and offer some great ideas for simple ways to take in the magic of the holidays. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Ask for help…and take it!
  • Give yourself a present
  • Contact an old friend and enjoy the gift of connection
  • Let go of a problem that you can’t solve
  • Hang a favorite holiday ornament in your car
  • Compliment at least 3 people every day in December
  • Give the gift of forgiveness and acceptance
  • Record a cheerful greeting for your answering machine
  • Give someone that “great” parking space and enjoy walking a little farther in the cool air
  • Wear a pair of outrageous holiday socks
  • Learn to say “Happy Holidays” in several languages
  • Give someone who is discouraged the gift of encouragement

So, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or another holiday during December, best wishes for a reasonably happy holiday season!

Marcia Kent
President, BizPsych