It’s the time of year for taking a few extra days off work and doing those extra-special niceties for the family. Stay away from Facebook, turn off the iPhone, computers and even the TV. The holidays are about getting back to what’s most important in life – yourself and the ones you love.
It’s work, and especially if you’re spending time with those relatives that drive you absolutely crazy – but loving others always requires a bit of sacrifice and everyone in your family deserves love.
Here’s a few topics to focus on during the holidays to help you enjoy the family a little more and get the most out of the Christmas season.
1. It’s all about attitude. It’s like this with anything in life but nothing ensures a miserable time at the family get-together like arriving with a goal of simply just getting through the day. That’s a defeatist attitude that is certain to cause more problems in life than just time spent with relatives at the Christmas party. If you’re guilty of this, use the occasion to rid yourself of a negative emotion that is of no use. Make the decision to enjoy yourself – and that’s only going to be possible if you start with a positive outlook. You know that crazy cousin that tells the most ludicrous of stories? Give that guy a big hug and encourage him to tell you what’s been happening in his life. He can be a lot to take, but you can take it – because it’s just one day and he’s family.
2. Laughter is the best medicine. A trick for getting through the most arduous of family reunions? Laugh more. Don’t take yourself too serious and don’t take others too serious either. Laughter makes others feel more comfortable and it invites in the spirit of love – and that’s what the holiday season is really about.
3. Help others. Back when I was a kid, I remember a particular uncle that always showed up at every holiday gathering. He didn’t smile much, didn’t talk much and didn’t really even move much. Even as a young child, I recognized that he came out of obligation to my aunt, who immediately hit the kitchen and took to helping out with preparing dinner. He had no desire to be there and after three or four hours, he was always asking his wife if she was about ready? Here’s a guy that just looked miserable at family reunions. Don’t be the guy that finds the first chair at the reunion and sits there the entire time. If laughter and conversation make you uncomfortable, then be the guy that helps out. Head into the kitchen and ask how you can help? Get some games out for the kids. Help other guests with unloading when they arrive. Just these small, simple acts can make all the difference in how you feel. The gift of giving really does make you feel good.
4. Get some time to yourself. Even the most ardent of devotees of holiday celebrations need a break. It’s a busy time and family reunions make for a lot going on. Give yourself a break. Slip outside and take a walk or head to the local Walmart by yourself and buy something just for you. You’ll come back refreshed and with more energy if you set aside some extra time for yourself.
5. Have fun. This gets back to maintaining that positive attitude and laughing a bit more but it focuses on what should be your primary goal – getting together with family and simply having fun.
Here’s hoping you can enjoy the special moments you have with your family this holiday season. Time is fleeting and the moments shared as a family should be treasured. Pay extra special attention to those young children – they’ll be grown before you know it. Love those who love you and even those who you’re not as fond of – and enjoy the holidays with your family.
Merry Christmas all.