Thursday, November 15, 2012

40 Days of Holiday Encouragement

Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Even with all the excitement of the holidays, did reading those salutations give you a little twinge of anxiety?  Useless anxiety?  The kind that sucks the joy from the “Joy to the World”?

If you are a human, an American, live someplace in the U.S., and have family members, then you can probably relate.

For years and years, Thanksgiving and Christmas have been decaying into something rotten, stinky, and almost unrecognizable.

The 40-50 days of the Holiday Season (from Thanksgiving to January 1) have always been more torturous for me than the 40 days of Lent.  Why, you may ask?  I mean, seriously, what is there not to love about frigid cold, bulky clothes, crowded stores, baking and baking and baking, spending lots of money on unappreciated gifts, eating and eating and eating, and then eating some more, having to be “merry” all the time, forced conversation with family members, and I could go on and on.  What’s that you say?  The Grinch?  Bah Humbug!  If you don’t understand me so far, you don’t have to read this term paper.  But before you go, yes, yes, Billy, there is a Santa Claus.

IF……….If, however, you think that your holidays could use a bit of a makeover, then *knuckle pound* we gonna git down to it!

This year, I am planning on making changes that will, hopefully, improve my experience (and your experience, if you so choose to accept this challenge).  I am going to offer helpful tips, meditations, and different perspectives.  I do not think that I am the only person who struggles with “Tis-the-season-syndrome”.  Come on now, admitting it is the first step!  Don’t worry, I am NOT going to ask you to sell the house, your belongings, and your first-born, and have you go Christian missionary to Africa.  “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”  But, there has got to be a way to have a nourishing holiday right here, right now.  Spiritually, physically, intellectually, and emotionally nourishing.  Nourishing is not a word I would have associated with the holidays in the past.  I cannot expect things to change if I keep doing the same things over and over again.  I believe that you don’t have to make huge changes, but making small changes here and there will go a long way.

Alright class, a few topics we will cover:
How to deal with the abundance of food
When to say “no” to the rule book
How to get rid of unrealistic expectations
How to stop comparing yourself to others
How to slow down in a fast paced environment
Dealing with insecurities and not-so-fun emotions
and much, much more!

I don’t really know how to do this without teaching a course on Sarcasm 101.  I feel like a teacher/fruit-spray/televangelist/Swan’s-man/me.  So, I’m just going to start.  Now.  Okay, now.

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