Saturday, December 19, 2015

Guru Jane: Holiday Headache - Is This Shit Really Worth It?

 "Cigar smoking woman in Cuba" by Tibor Végh - Kuba 996.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Dear Guru Jane,

I love the holidays! Thanksgiving through New Year's is my favorite part of the year. My house is decorated inside and out from the beginning of November through the first week in January. Here's the thing, though. I am so tired, and I don't think my family is as "into" everything as I am. My husband goes along, because he knows it means a lot to me, but my kids (15, 12, and 8) just roll their eyes and/or complain about everything. I want to keep going but it is starting to feel like, what's the point? Do I quit and throw in the towel or keep going and stay exhausted?

Please help me figure out how to not ruin the holidays!

Jingle all the Way!

Dear Jingle all the Way,

I am a total holiday freak too, and so is my mom, so it comes completely naturally to me. Thinking about the situation with your holidays has me wondering about a few other things, so here are some questions I'd like you to ask yourself:

- What do you love about the holidays?
- When did you start loving the holidays?
- Do you do what you do out of love or obligation?

And, yes, I am asking myself the same things, and here are my thoughts: I love our traditions! Some of these traditions I have from my mom, others I have from my grandparents, and still others I started with my husband and kids. I love decorating the tree, pulling out the first ornament my son made at age 3. I love setting a fire and watching Christmas movies and drinking egg nog while snuggling with my husband. I love my entire family getting together and bringing over their favorite holiday foods for Thanksgiving. I love laughing for hours about the messes we were as kids, and how our kids are following in our footsteps. This holiday-love started when I was a kid, even though my favorite things about the holidays have changed over the years.

After you have answered these questions for yourself, here comes the big or obligation? Does it feel like you HAVE to do it  or do you really WANT to do it? Or it could be a mixture of both? Most things in life are. Once you are honest with yourself about this, take a hard look and figure out the stuff that can be dropped. Because, guess what? No one will die if things are a little different.

Here are some tips to stop you from being tired, without giving up all of your holiday love and fun. Include your family! Do your kids help you with the holiday baking? Is everyone helping you decorate the tree, the house, and the yard? Have you ever asked your kids and/or husband what their favorite part of the holidays are? If not, ask, and then have them be in charge of, or at least a major participant in, that part. Work together. There is no reason why you should be exhausted while everyone else is on holiday break. Bring your love to them all by including them in the love instead of keeping them as outside observers.

One of the biggest joys of the holidays is sharing with your family, so don't try to do it all on your own - share the joy (and some of the headache)! Include them. Invite them to help you. Ask them what they love. Ask what traditions they want to start. Really make the whole holiday season special for everyone - by including everyone. And, most importantly, take a break, enjoy the eggnog, eat a cookie, sit by the fire, and love those you are with - family, friends, and anyone else.

Please remember the holidays are about love and joy; the rest is important but not essential.

Keep feeling the jingle!

Guru Jane

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