Thought About Enjoying Things During the Holiday Season

Thought about enjoying Things During the Holiday Season in a thought bubble with a bit of holly in the corner.

The time between Thanksgiving and the arrival of the new year can be “full.” It is common to have additional responsibilities and activities, which perhaps means having less time to read blogs. Therefore, I’ve decided once again to spend the month of December sharing simple thoughts about enjoying things during the holiday season. They are short and sweet, and hopefully will make you feel a bit less stressed and more joyful.

[Note: If you are looking for more tips and thoughts on holiday organizing, I have many posts which you can access here.]

My first thought for this season is a reminder that we don’t need to be “good” at things to enjoy them.

Over the next few weeks, you might have the chance to do something new and/or outside your comfort zone, such as ice skate, bake a new treat, go caroling, or decorate a gingerbread house. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we have to perform perfectly or get “Insta-worthy” results for a holiday experience to be worthwhile. This just isn’t true!

After all, what does it matter if you fall down when you ice skate, your holiday treat falls flat, you can’t carry a tune, or your gingerbread house looks more like a gingerbread tear-down? During the holidays, let go of expectations, allowing yourself to simply show up and enjoy the experience. After all, sometimes it is the “fails” that make our best memories.

As we look at the weeks ahead, I encourage all of us to keep this in mind, remembering that…

  • Our gifts don’t need to be perfectly wrapped to be appreciated.
  • The Elf on the Shelf doesn’t need to be cleverly dressed or staged in crazy places to enchant a child.
  • We don’t need to cook photo-worthy meals to gather and share community.
  • We don’t need the trendiest holiday outfit to have a wonderful time at a party.
  • We can bring paper products to a potluck.
  • We don’t have to be a great dancer to hit the dance floor.
  • We can have just as much fun losing as we do when we win.

One other thing: don’t feel the pressure to create a social media winning image. You may even want to take a hiatus from the peer pressure of social media this month. Instead, choose to focus on doing things that feel good, creating memories you can hold in your heart.

*     *     *

A friend used to say, “People who participate have more fun.” Such wisdom!  Don’t let your lack of self-confidence keep you from stepping out and enjoying the many moments the holidays have to offer.

What are you hoping to enjoy in the upcoming weeks?

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15 thoughts on “Thought About Enjoying Things During the Holiday Season”

  1. I am enjoying the time together with my family. Working toward being less perfect has to also do with managing expectations with family. The less perfect the time together, often the more fun people have together.

    1. Such a wonderful point, Ellen! We need to let those around us, who may be expecting a certain level of “performance,” know where our priorities are this year. Often, those who have benefited in the past from perfectionism may not even realize all the effort and stress that has gone into various endeavors. This year, why not say, “I want to focus on having quality time with you all this year, so XXX may not happen.”

  2. I love this post. For years, from childhood through my academic years and my time working in television, I was definitely “Type A.” For a variety of reasons, I felt like I had to not just be good, but perfect and it’s the reason I didn’t take Italian or ballroom dance in college, and didn’t do many other things throughout my life. I even recall having a small meltdown about going to one of those places where you paint pottery because I’ve always been so bad at art. And while I don’t fear failure, per se, I’ve always feared mediocrity. It’s only been in the last few decades that I’ve appreciated doing things for the pure joy of it and understanding how being bad (yes, at ice skating, but lots of other things) can actually make it all more fun, or at least funny! Thank you for reminding us all to give ourselves permission to have fun and enjoy the experience, no matter the quality of our “performance” at it. Happy holidays!
    Julie Bestry recently posted…Paper Doll’s Thanksgiving Week Organizing and Productivity BuffetMy Profile

    1. Many high achievers walk in your same shoes, right? They focus on doing only what they can do extremely well. This leads to great success in some areas, but we may end up missing out on some very fun stuff. I agree that the memories end up being so funny… great stories! Let’s just soak in whatever this year’s season has to offer, less focused on results or how it looks, and more open to what joy might be hiding inside!

    1. We will not be hosting a Christmas party this year, so I might try a few different things just to see how they go. No pressure if they don’t work out. I love a simpler clean up. How wonderful that you have a son nearby to help you get the tree and greenery up. My mother was visiting over Thanksgiving and wanted to take my son-in-law home with her to help with all of her setup (and technology issues!)

  3. Great advice, Seana. I believe it’s also important to manage our expectations of our family members. We may buy what we think is the perfect gift and it may land flat.
    We may put together a good meal and one or more family members will decide it’s not for them.
    We may take our family to an event we love thinking we’ll create a warm and wonderful family memory to treasure and the family may not have the reaction we are looking for.
    As we participate, I believe, we need to leave our expectations for ourselves and others at the door. Let the event, the meal, the gift be what they are. We can only control ourselves – not the reactions, actions, and expectations of others.

    1. That’s so true, Diane. We have many memories of family “outings” that ended up in tears, instead of joy. That was so disappointing for me. Now I can look back and see that we made an effort, and that was enough. In fact, we laugh at many of those memories now!

  4. For the first time in many years I will not be hosting and preparing Christmas Brunch at my house. (Or attending one at anyone else’s house, either.) Instead, we will do our usual luminarias-at-the-cemetery on Christmas Eve (long story) and return to my house afterwards for a potluck. I don’t care what anyone brings, or how long they stay. I’m just not going out again that night, or getting up early the next morning, or cooking. (It’s not so much that I get up early, or can’t prepare in advance, as it is that hostessing is an under-appreciated role, if you ask me, and I’m no longer up for it.) Paper plates for sure. It will be different, but it will be all the same people and I’m excited to see how it goes.
    Hazel Thornton recently posted…Some books make better gifts than othersMy Profile

  5. It’s good to remember at this of year that less is best-less working to get ready and more time enjoying some of the Christmas events that can only be enjoyed now. We seem to believe that having a party at Christmas is the best but a party in mid- February when not much is going on is probably more enjoyable for everyone. December is only one month and we try to cram everything into the first 3 weeks. I like your thoughts on this.

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