Well, here we are in the middle of another holiday season!  Are you rushing around trying to find the perfect gifts? Have you squeezed in the holiday baking and decorating in between your work life and your daily responsiblities? Have you started to wonder where has the spirit of the holiday season got lost among the chaos?
In this age of consumerism and information overload it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.  Many of us long to recapture the spirit of the holiday season.  You have a choice about the quality of your holidays. You can dash around like a crazy woman or make a decision to do something different.  


To support you in taking a different approach to the holiday season, here’s some suggestions:

1.  Instead of gift-giving, have a breakfast or dinner with friends.  
Make it a new holiday ritual.  The week after Christmas and before the New Year is a perfect time because things seems to slow down and people seem to feel a sense of relief.
2.  Attend a winter show at your local community center.
The holiday music, lights, and scene bring the holiday spirit to your soul.  It brings out the holiday cheer!
3.  Feel like staying home? 
Break out your favorite holiday music and light up some candles with holiday scents. Have a get-together at your home, but keep it light with the planning. Better yet, make it a pot-luck where your guests bring one dish for the get-together.
4.  Cut back on gift-giving.
Instead of buying a gift for each family member, put names in a hat where everyone picks one person to buy for.  You can extend this to aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.  This way it makes shopping less stressful and allows young children to better appreciate the gifts they do receive. 
5. Create an intentional memory.
Gather your friends or family and take a trip to your local assisted living home.  Engage with the residents there by singing carols or serving meals.  How about a family sleigh ride or an afternoon of ice-skating?  You could sponsor a foster child and provide a holiday memory for them.  
Finally, sometimes you just need to sit this one out.  This can be especially important if you are going through a time of transition, grieving a loss of a loved one, or just experiencing a low mood.  It’s perfectly fine to take care of yourself and let go of expectations.  The important thing to remember is you are in control of your holiday experience.  
Here’s to making the holiday experience yours!

If trying a new holiday experience is something you would like to try, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Feel free to share what has helped and what has hindered you to practice this new experience.  Also, if you think that there are people in your world who would benefit from receiving my self care tips, please do forward or share this post.