Perhaps you're one of the many billions of women feeling the pressures of holiday stress and materialism that fogs up the true meaning of the Christmas or Holiday - or perhaps you are among the elite few who don't have that issue - kudos to you!
Rather than give you tips to lessen stress during the holidays which we are currently in, we want to shift our focus to finding joy and meaning this season and beyond.
When you think back to your childhood memories and all the magical dreams of Christmas, what was it like? What are your most meaningful memories that brought a glimmer to your eye? Most likely they aren't "things" bur more moments and shared experiences. Consider the activities, family, friends, food, gifts, decorations and faith. For example: Sitting by a cozy fireplace with holiday music playing in the background, aroma of scented candles, a manger scene on the table, family gatherings for candlelight service or shared meals together are some of holiday memories that last a lifetime.
Many people unfortunately get caught up in overspending and find themselves drowning in debt very quickly. Why not consider something from the heart or homemade consumables such as food, candles or soaps. One woman I know has made a tradition of making rum balls for family and friends and created fun, humorous titles for various occasions that are remembered year after year.
Creating good memories is such a gift and can begin to connect us more fully with what matters most with those we love. They bring laughter, joy, smiles and hope for years to come. This season as you create memories and traditions for your self, kids, family and friends, consider documenting them for others to enjoy. How many times have you looked at old photographs and not only do you not know much about them, you're lucky if you know their name. Creating a family journal creates a context for who and what hold meaning to you and why. This can be done in a variety of ways -
- A creative, homemade way of journaling - making a journal - I've chosen to make mine out of a basic composition book and decorated it with various scrapbook papers, sayings, verses and decorations that fit accordingly to each person or family.
- If you are pressed for time or creativity you can purchase a journal that appeals to you and can be a welcoming place to store your memories.
- Add more to your standard photo book or photo scrapbook - make sure you put in all the meaningful memories that bring the pictures to life and tell the story
- Use that camcorder for more than just opening the presents, use it to interview or capture in living color the people you love, the sounds, the insights, the memories and meaningful stories of the year.
Traditions are practices or beliefs that create good feelings and are repeated regularly. They are more than routines; they create feelings of warmth and closeness. What traditions do you have - old longstanding ones that have been passed through generations or ones that you've created when you began your family. Take a few moments to reflect and write down your thoughts and memories of things that matter the most to you like - family, faith, direction and goals of your life. Reflect on how and why you celebrate as you do as well as what you think and feel. Traditions hold significant values - make sure they are intentional, well thought out and ring true with meaning to the values that work for your family.
Here are some examples of some traditions and holiday memories:
Tree decorating - Cooking up some hot apple cider or hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies and decorating the tree with decorations from ornaments from years past that bring back the memories
Reading the Christmas story on Christmas Day to kick off the celebrations - kids can even act out the story as you go along
Attending a holiday performance
Caroling to neighbors or those unable to get out
Host an "Appreciation" Evening for those who have especially impacted your life the past year.
Tales of past holidays that become treasured family traditions
What are some of your family's treasured memories?
Call to Action:
Reflect in silence for a few minutes on the traditions that are most meaningful to you Consider what is most meaningful to you and what takes all your energy - are they consistent?
What kind of memories to you want make now that will be remembered in coming years What can you do today that can begin to establish traditions and memories that are emotionally and spiritually fulfilling for you and those you love?
May the joy this season fill your hearts with love, joy and peace wherever you are!
Tressa is one of the MomMD coaching affiliate members who represent Women To Women Coaching. They are dynamic teleconference/workshop leaders, and personal and professional life coaches who are dedicated to working with busy Professional Women/Moms who desire to create more success in balancing time and energy in work and home that will significantly impact their lives. Join a unique group of women/moms from all over the world with the courage to go after their dreams. We will be offering upcoming teleconferences through MomMD and welcome you to join us in these interactive teleconferences that will stimulate your creativity and help you be more energized. In addition, we will be posting forum questions and replies that motivate you to explore important issues. Check out upcoming events and teleconferences at our website at www.womentowomencoaching.com.