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A Winning Formula for a Stress Free Christmas

December 20th, 2010 5 comments

Every one of us lives busy lives.  I have often felt like I was running a hundred miles an hour with my hair on fire!  I feel as though I’m juggling 10 balls in the air at the same time.  My life is stressful enough, then a holiday is added to it!  Christmas programs, parties, shopping, baking!  Yikes!

Have you ever felt like I just described?  I know most of us have.  This is a wonderful time of year when families get together to celebrate the birth of Christ and we turn it into a stress fest!  We end up being so stressed out we miss all the fun.  Sound familiar?

Here is a little formula I use and it works wonders for me.

N – No is a word I had to learn and use.  Saying no to the extra things, people, and stuff that stresses me out.  Will anyone notice if it isn’t done?  5 years from now will anyone remember I wasn’t in charge of it?
O – Organizing what I need to create our Christmas atmosphere.  Where the tree, lights, ornaments, paper, etc. are located.  I optimize my less stressful weekends during the year to organize my things.

S – Start small. I realized my family doesn’t care if I put on a big event.  They just want to enjoy me and being together at this time of year.
T – Target my important things.  If I know what’s important to my family, then I don’t have to stress about the unimportant things.
R – Release tension.  When I start to feel stress, I take time out for me.  I meditate or listen to soothing music.  15 minutes makes a mega difference for me!
E – Escape the stress for a short time.  My husband and I get away for a little time spent together.  If we are both stressed we become snappish.  No fun there!
S – Silliness and laughter.  There is nothing which breaks the stressful times better for me than a little laughter!
S – Security within myself.  I have realized, everything is fine in my world.  My family and friends love me just the way I am!

This is a beautiful time of year.  The gorgeous light displays and wonderful songs remind us of how important life really is, just the way it is.  Enjoy it!  Don’t stress.  Everything will be fine.

Here’s a cute little video to bring some laughter into your life!

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Our Family Holiday Traditions – Should We Keep Them or Sack Them?

November 16th, 2010 9 comments

There are many different types of families.  There are extended, nuclear, and blended families.  There are families who aren’t related by blood.  These friend families are, sometimes, closer than blood ties.  They are the family we choose. One thing, which has stood the test of time is, families who have the strongest ties have the most rituals.  The rituals are better known as traditions.  Why is it important for family closeness to observe holiday traditions?

Here are a few reasons I have found for participating in our important family rituals.

SENSE OF FAMILY AND CLOSENESS

It gives us time to spend with each other.  This time together helps us understand and love one another.  It’s a great time to drag out our old stories and memories, while we are making new ones, by being together.  These memories are very important for us.  We are able to call upon these memories when times aren’t going well.

A SENSE OF CONNECTION

Spending holidays together gives us a sense of being a family unit and understanding our commonalities of where we come from.  A family can’t stay close without, actually, spending the time together.  Even when we are away from our family we still feel this connection.

KEEPS OUR HERITAGE ALIVE

It gives us an opportunity, and the time, to teach our heritage to the next generation, our children.  In the United States, we are a melting pot of cultures.  We are, also, a nation of many different faiths.  The holidays, gives us a chance to share the traditions from the part of the world our families originally came from.  We can celebrate our family’s faith.  Our families might celebrate the Christmas holidays, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and the list goes on.  We can, also, celebrate our American heritage, such as Independence Day, on July 4th, and our Thanksgiving tradition in November.

A TIME TO RELATE TO EACH OTHER

A chance to problem solve and communicate what is important to us.  Things like goals, challenges and needs.  It gives us a chance to heal from things like the loss of a loved one.  There’s no better way to heal from a devastating loss than to be together as a family.  To share tears, stories, grief, blessings, and eventually move through it, closer from the experience.

A TIME TO FORGIVE

Being together for holidays gives us the togetherness to forgive each other.  We are able to associate the holiday traditions as a happier time.  It puts us in a frame of mind to forgive each other, so we can retain our sense of closeness and family.

COOPERATION AND WORKING TOGETHER

Preparing a meal helps us relate to each other by working to create a common goal.  Sharing this meal of accomplishment, helps everyone to relax and let their guard down.  We gain strength and appreciation from this closeness.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what your family unit looks like to the outside world.  It is only important to share the holidays and celebrate with our special traditions.  This family unit is the only one who can decide what they want to celebrate.  Each of  our souls need to feel this special closeness and celebrations of life!

From my family to yours, have a happy holiday season!

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