Remember, that this is only a short segment of each year and much of it is “driven” by media advertising hype or our wanting to keep up “appearances”. Keep it in perspective.
Mentally sketch a clear portrait of what a “great” festive season would look like for you. Once you are crystal clear about what you want, then start planning plus, practice in a mirror saying “no” to the suggestions/invitations from others that do not fit your picture!
Discard the preconceived ideas of what this time of year “should” be like. This year, start taking actions that you can expand on each following year, to gradually begin totally redesigning the lead-up and follow-up months to suit you and your family.
Recognise that everyone around you is likely feeling the same and they may actually be relieved at a suggestion from you that gives something the K. I. S. S. (keep it simple stupid) treatment.
Give yourself permission to feel the way that you do and to make the choices that you need. Generosity of spirit comes easily if you are not afraid to treat yourself well. When giving yourself what you need you'll be in a better position to give generously and from the heart, to others. This festivity is not about providing the kind of giving that is done through gritted teeth and has ‘duty’ written all over it.
Set up a plan of action for keeping in touch with friends and doing nice things for friends/family throughout the year. This will alleviate that “guilt surge” in this period and feeling that you “must” contact everyone who you have neglected the past eleven months.
A no cost gift idea that’s aligned with the spirit of the season, is asking friends/family (well before the festive period) what is their favorite voluntary community organisation. Then, in your gift to your friends include a note from the organisation (using their letterhead) telling your friend that you have given a gift of donating a certain number of hours of your time to that group.
This one needs to be started a few months before the gift-giving season and to guide you, it could even be based on your current hourly rate of pay. For example, if you earn $30 p. h. and you would usually give the friend a $45 gift if you’d bought it at a store, then donate 90 minutes to that community project.
Start planning and take actions for next year's season, now. Especially if any undesired circumstances that you experience currently are the same ones that were around this time twelve months ago. . . and each of the years before that one!
©Thea Westra is an international life coach who resides in Perth, Western Australia. She is editor and publisher of a free, monthly newsletter at http://www.forwardsteps.com.au Thea also publishes a few blogs, visit here http://inspiration-daily.blogspot.com/ for directional links to each.