It’s been such a great year and I just want to wish everyone a great holiday season! Spend it with your family, your friends, and with those that make you feel absolutely happy and amazing. Life’s too short to drain your energy trying to please those that just aren’t wired to be pleased. I’ve spent a bit of my time this year trying to love those that just do not deserve all of my time and energy. And it’s not selfish to say that I’ve given up on trying to be a person that others love to be around. I’m just trying this new thing called ‘loving myself’ and trying my best to be happy. Genuinely happy. If that means that I make others happy in the process, well more power to me!
With all of that said, I made a list of some of the ways that I’ve found happiness this holiday season. Because, you know, the holidays are stressful and the time when a lot of people begin self-evaluating whether or not they are pleased with the way that their life has been going. Evaluating all of the things that they could do better going into the new year. It can be tough, but honestly be happy with yourself and the rest will follow suite. I’ve gone out of my way to do a few things that I know makes me happy.
So here’s my list.
Quality time with family
My family is not the close-knit type of family. We argue and fight a lot and disagree on some of the dumbest things. Most of the time it’s a power struggle to see who can go the longest without having to need the other. There’s a lot of huffing, pouting, and crossing arms in my house. But then again, we love each other enough to the point that we at least make an attempt to spend time with one another. Even when we honestly don’t want to. We compromise on doing things that we can all benefit from – like shopping or seeing movie.
We bicker and sometimes I think that we’re better off just separating from the ties that bind us. Spend enough time apart to find our individual selves. But my family is a part of me and I’m a part of my family. We always get pulled back into each others graces and when the holidays are over, we start the bickering all over again.
Reconnect with friends
I rarely get to spend time with my actual friends throughout the year, but when I do, it’s always amazing. We laugh. We cry. We drink a little. We dance. We act like children. We envision our futures. We get sort of depressed about how old we’re getting. Then we drink a little more and we laugh some more. It’s great. We tease each other, because we’re all moving at different paces throughout the year and sometimes we get ourselves into some weird situations that become the best stories shared over a bottle of Merlot and holiday cookies.
Get into the holiday spirit
Put on a Santa hat and study up on your religion or spirituality during the holiday season. Think about what the holiday really stands for rather than all of the commercial propaganda (which is nice given its limits).
Honestly, my family is huge on celebrating Christmas, but I’m diving more into Kwanzaa territory this year. I mean, why not? Whatever holiday that you celebrate, really get into it. Bring out the ugly Christmas sweaters, the eggnog, the platters of food, and 90’s Mariah Carey tunes. But also remember or learn about your roots and think about why you’re even celebrating the holidays in the first place.
Switch up the food
So for the past six (maybe seven) months, I have been vegetarian. Well, actually more so pescatarian, if we’re into labels. It’s been great in terms of how I feel about my body and health. Unfortunately, the holidays bring on a lot of anxiety in the food department. It’s mostly due to all of the family traditional recipes and lack of effort to adjust to everyone’s individual diets. There’s a ton of meat and heavy calories being served up at my house, but I have put in the effort to include the foods that work for me so that I won’t feel guilty or frustrated about the food that I am/not eating at the table.
Be appreciative of your work and coworkers
I work with a variety of people and personalities and I love it. Sometimes I forget to stop and appreciate those around me and those that support the work that I do. My coworkers and I truly are a team, though. Getting out of bed to come do our jobs keeps the system flowing nicely and the work spread in our different departments and positions. At the end of the day, we’re all just people with our own lives. Stopping to say thanks or taking a few holiday pictures with each other really adds depth to the relationships that we keep at work.
Share some mistletoe
It’s no secret that the holidays bring out the romance in the best of us. Whether or not you’re married or in a committed relationship, spend some time under the mistletoe and embrace the love in the air. Seriously though, what is it about the holidays that make us all lovey-dovey? My friends and I joke that the holidays should be called ‘cuddle season’. A force to size-up Valentine’s Day.
And even if you’re single, there’s no shame in appreciating the sense of kindness that seems to be a special ingredient in the hot cocoa that we’re sipping on. Spread the love.
*Just a note that David is in both of the photos above. Sigh. He understands what I’m talking about.*
Happy holidays guys! ‘Til next time.