Guest post by Deb Scott, author of The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue – Turning Your Upside-Down World Right-Side-Up!
Memories most treasured are the moments that matter the most. This is especially true for busy moms (and dads) with non-stop active kids, family commitments and a to-do list that seems to never-end.
So how do you create the best holiday ever with all of this going on? First take a moment to define what will truly create your best holiday ever. Is it the activities you do during the holidays? Is it the material gifts or perhaps the special memories that inspire you? Whatever it may be, here are five key ingredients I find are the perfect recipe for a happy holiday season:
Create a family tradition. Creating a special family tradition where each person contributes in some special manner is a great way to make any holiday unforgettable. Family traditions are important in every individual because it strengthens the connections between each member and it bridges the gaps between them. If you cook together, it could be that each person prepares his or her signature dish. Other ideas would be a gratitude tree that you decorate reflecting what each person appreciates the most about each other, certain prayers before your holiday meal, music you enjoy, or even doing errands together in preparation for the celebration itself.
Help someone else have a happy holiday. The irony in volunteering is the person you help most is most assuredly yourself. Some wonderful holiday ideas include: Helping out at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter; taking care of another family’s children for a night so their parents can get some alone time; walking a neighbors dog; visiting a nursing home and dropping off some home baked cookies; or writing a letter to a solider living away from his/her family through a program such as the American Red Cross’s Holiday Mail for Heroes.
Watch an inspiration movie together and discuss what you experienced. Stories and movies are a powerful catalyst for introspective emotion because we see ourselves in the characters and their story as we watch. Find a movie that inspires reflection on priorities you value such as love, integrity, respect, or simple appreciation for life itself. Start a family discussion of your favorite scene, message, or quote, which especially touched your heart. One of my favorites is “It’s A Wonderful Life” – such a great message.
Share gratitude prayers together. Sharing prayers of gratitude for the blessings you have in your life, and praying for those who don’t, keeps you fully in the present moment. Not only will you feel better when you reflect on the many blessings in your life and family, but scientific studies show that children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families.
Give one another the gift of time. In this electric speed information age where everything is instantly available, it is easy to forget the material world is not the real world. In fact, oftentimes the things we want the most can’t be purchased or touched with the hand, but only felt. Things like love, appreciation, respect, and happiness. One ideas is to instead gift the “gift of time” with certificates to get ice cream together, visit a museum, go ice skating, finger paint, or finally make that family vacation you’ve been talking about.
So the challenge this holiday season (and always) is to try thinking about the most valuable gift you can ever give. It’s oftentimes yourself. Try one or all of these tips, and discover how they can help you and your family have the best holiday ever.
Have more ideas? Sharing is caring!
Deb Scott, Certified Professional Coach, specializes in working with individuals, businesses, and corporate environments, transforming ineffective group and personal dynamics into high-powered, successful, dynamic individuals and teams. She speaks and writes about how you can turn things around whether you’re in sales, marketing, advertising, hiring, or team-building. She is also the author of “The Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue – Turning Your Upside-Down World Right-Side-Up!” More information can be found at www.greenskyandbluegrass.com.