What’s up, ya’ll? Can you believe Thanksgiving is near and stores are playing Christmas music already? On November 3rd I passed one of LA's big shopping centers, The Citadel, and I'll be damned if they weren't lifting up huge Christmas ornament decorations onto the top of the stores. November. 3rd. Come on, man!!
It irks my nerves a little bit to know that some stores have been playing Christmas music for weeks but even as I cringed, I did get a little giddy last week when my favorite holiday jam came on while I was driving home. Is it kinda this way with you too? Where you feel a tinge of frustration and your armpits start sweating because you're thinking about having to cook all day, evade distracted mall goers, wait in long lines to buy the roll of paper towels you always forget or sit an extra 36 minutes in traffic, but joy comes quickly after because you are excited about watching new holiday movies with your family, opening gifts from loved ones and falling asleep with a full belly? This is totally how it works for me.
So, I started thinking and realized that there are a few things I need to always remember when the season of gift giving comes around. Because being "big mad" during the holidays is not for me.
1. I have to remember that I’m blessed to be here for another holiday season. I know the shopping, cooking, and cleaning can get overwhelming, but there are others who aren’t afforded the chance to enjoy the 2018 holiday season at all. Yet, I am here, so I want to remember to always be thankful for my continued life and the fact that I have a roof over my head, food to eat and a tree to enjoy.
2. It’s not really about me. This season is about joy and happiness (especially when we hear our favorite Temptations song playing in the mall), and we can embrace it without guilt. We don’t always have to be negative about the holiday season. We can admit that we enjoy gathering with our families (even if they get on our nerves), and that shopping for gifts can be fun (even if we spend a little too much). This season is about getting out of our regular routine and enjoying life a little.
3. I have to give to give, not to get. Oftentimes, we get irritated with others because they don’t match our heart of generosity during the holiday season. We clean our homes from top to bottom only to have a 3 year old come destroy the living room in a matter of minutes. We buy expensive gifts for someone secretly hoping that we will get an even better gift from that person. We leave disappointed when we don’t give to give. Happiness (which is a part of self-care) comes when we do things from our hearts instead of our expectations. Give to give this year, and let’s see how that improves our holiday experience.
I’m going to try and remember these three things this holiday season when I hear Feliz Navidad blasting from my neighbors window for the 17th time, lol. I believe that remembering these ideas will turn my eye rolls into soft smiles, a little more joy, and a little less stress. I wish the same for you as well.