JOY JOY JOYThis is THE word of the holiday season. This three letter word sounds so simple, yet why is it so hard to achieve pure JOY over the holiday season? Are you dealing with tons of extra stress, too many expectations (or perhaps expectations that are set too high) and lengthly to-do lists that just never seem to end? Are your struggles getting in the way of your pure holiday joy?
Marketing attempts to fool us into a life of perfection are a plenty this season and they often leave us feeling “less than” or “not enough”. We work tirelessly to achieve this level of “perfection” and “joy” and this can often leave us feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
These feelings and ideas are a matter of mindset and unfortunately our brains are wired towards negativity. As parents, we often fall into the trap of wanting to give and do more than we ever had to make the holidays perfect for our littles. These are great intentions and totally normal in today’s society. I too, love a perfect tree and monochromatic gift wrapping, but they often leave us feeling burnt out. Burnt out financially for over spending on gifts, and burnt out emotionally over doing the ‘doing’ and loosing track of what our littles truly NEED this holiday season.What do our little ones actually NEED this holiday season?
They need YOU!They need your presence, your mindful attention, your delight in them, just because they are! For little people, this often comes in very simple forms.
The words “will you play with me” are very powerful, they are an invitation to enter their world! Make sure you have time and space to play together this holiday season. This may cause you to re-evaluate your priorities. Don’t get trapped in trying to make things grande and perfect and miss the small opportunities to connect. Leave simple, slow time to connect and really play with each other! You’ll quickly notice that both you and your littles are more at peace, more relaxed, even during the busy hustle and bustle of the holidays!
So how do you grow that JOY- JOY- JOY this holiday season?
- Move towards a less is more mentality.
- Less presents, more presence.
- Less go-go-go and more time to just be.
- Less spend, spend spend, more meaningful gifts.
- Less ‘should’ and ‘must’ and more spontaneity!
Living in the moment is hard in a world that is hurried and values production. Ask your littles (5+), “When do you feel like we are connected as a family”? and aim to add more of that into this busy time of year.
Joy is grown in the simplest, quiet moments, where we delight in each other. Moments like this are the best gift you can give this holiday season!
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a FREE printable tool that you can use to connect with your littles this holiday season.
Copping with Struggles Through the Holidays
When it’s not the most wonderful time of the year. The Holidays are a time that often shine light on areas that are hurting or struggling. It’s a time of year that reminds us of all that is hard and makes it even harder. The reality is, despite what we see in the online world, Christmas is a time that many struggle.
Common struggles at Christmas include grief, separation, financial and relational strain. Know that if you are in this position, you are not alone, just far fewer folks post pictures on their Instagram feed about their grief or credit card bill then those who post pics of smiley families.
In times of change, such as the first Christmas separated, or the first Christmas without a loved one, I recommend blending former traditions, but also starting something new. The newness is something everyone is feeling anyways, so acknowledging it in some way through tradition is helpful. Sometimes when something is hard, we shy away from talking about it. The truth is most people are thinking about it, and acknowledging it is some way can be helpful, especially for children.
Traditions don’t need to be expensive or grandee, but the key to them is that as a family, they are YOURS. They set you apart from other families and they are a common understanding year after year. That is why, even with change we don’t want to abandon them all, as they will make the sense of loss feel even greater. The first Christmas after a separation, it is helpful for both parents to carry on the traditions from the past, while adding a few new ones. While it is not just the same, it has a shared meaning for both parents and the littles.
A special note for all of the parents out there…
Know that this Christmas, you are not alone in your struggle. You’re doing a great job.
If you are seeking support in healthy ways to establish new traditions this holiday season andtrying to navigate a season of “firsts” I am available for free 15 min e-consults. Email me with the subject line “ E-consult” at Melissa@www.growingrootstherapy.ca to book yours today.I want to help you develop the tools and the strategies you need to guide your littles through this time. Let this be my Christmas gift to you.