How do we find peace and tranquility during the holiday season? We have to look for it… Like when you’re stuck in traffic or in a crowded shopping mall… believe it or not it’s there. Yes, this is some heavy shit I’m dropping on my keyboard. No hype here… Just real words you most likely will say to yourself during this special time of the year.
“I can’t believe Christmas is already here!”
“Can you believe how fast the holidays came?”
“I have not been able to get all my shopping done.”
and… of course, there will be those of us who scramble for gifts in the open-til-midnight drugstore on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine to bring back home so you can relax while you wrap those gifts.
For those of you who may be thinking that this is a negative blog post because I said you have to look for joy. You see, I write for us. The ‘us‘ who are odd, adaptable, resourceful, and who cannot be calculated by a statistics. We have to look for joy because joy just doesn’t pop up in front of us.
Since last year’s holiday season I learned a thing or two about holiday stress and joy.
I put together my Top 10 List of Holiday Stress and Joy.
There will be days you are pulled in so many directions. You may feel like you’re made of silly putty. You know that stretchy gooey, crazy compound that bounces, molds, stretches, snaps, and more.
Yeah, snaps… it snaps.
Just like us, silly putty stretches and molds. There are expectations and disappointment during this time of year… probably more than any other time of the year and we are expected to stretch and mold to others expectations. Why? …on so many levels do we even think we can meet the expectations that are portrayed in those f*cking Hallmark movies?
O.K. that is me thinking out loud and writing…
There is a positive side to the holidays… yes, there is Joy! You have to look for this. If you want anything in life you have to look for it. Hunt for it. Track it down.
During the holiday season… or any time of the year, for people to reach levels of personal performance… it is in changing the way we gather and utilize our energy, finances, and our compassion for doing the best we can during a time of year that is not always so cheerful… no matter how many red and white ribbons we put on those gifts.
It’s pretty apparent that the year is coming to an end… and a new year is going to be sneaking in like a friend who had too much to drink on New Year’s Eve
Let’s get to my Top 10 List of Holiday Stress and Joy now… I am on a huge deadline to wrap up my new book coming out January 2018. The Little Book of Start-Up Inspiration …20 lessons learned the hard way dammit’ [pre-order here: Coming Soon! January 2018]
Top 10 List of Holiday Stress and Joy
 Only you will know about the alternative routes you take. Buy those holiday plastic containers and put cookies in them. Buy the cookies at the bakery. Don’t bake them yourself. Put some colorful tissue paper liner inside the container… then place those cookies. Presentation, like many things in life, is everything. Besides, those cookies were baked by the baker man or woman… cheers to them! You purchased them and provided income to someone during this holiday season.
 Traditions change… and so do you. Yes! forever everyone has gathered at sister Susie’s home forever! … probably every freaking holiday since the beginning of time. How many times have you said to yourself: “Just once I’d like to spend the holiday in my own house.” Then do it! What are you waiting for?!
 Holiday stress is not real. Actually, if you think about this, holiday stress is not real. It just looks like something else because we’ve all been conditioned to forgive and forget… or to just accept things the way they are. Sorry, no way Jose… in my book, if you’re an ass, I don’t want to be around you. Holiday stress can make some people feel overwhelmed and they will somehow talk themselves into believing that they are supposed to spend a glorious time celebrating baby Jesus’s birthday… with jerk-ass relatives along with the shiny ornaments hanging from the evergreen tree purchased at Home Depot. Do not go to anyone’s house who treats you badly. period. enough. said. #byefelicia
 Holidays can appear to look different than they really are. I suggest you create your holiday season to be as stress-free and joyful as possible. How do you do this? Hmmm, let me share a little secret with you: “It’s up to you to create what you want with the time you’re given…” Remember, your job is not to make everyone happy. You will receive criticism no matter what you do to ‘keep the peace’ during the holidays. Maybe this year you and your significant other just take a trip out of town and avoid all the festivities with dumb-asses. This is your life. Own it.
 There is joy in volunteering and giving. If there is anything I’ve learned since last holiday season… is that volunteering at a homeless shelter during this time of year will make you feel appreciative of all the crap going on in your personal world. I have had to step over homeless people sleeping on a cold sidewalk as I enter the homeless shelter to serve food. These children, woman, and men have no blanket or pillow… just cold city cement. [I live in Houston, TX with the metro-population at approximately 6-million] I suggest you volunteering like this… you will have a totally different perspective on ‘holiday stress and joy.”
 Necessity and experiences will get you through the holiday season. Having a graveyard of stressful memories is not how you should spend your holiday season – create what is missing. Make your holidays cheerful. Your holidays are not in the old negative memories and the old negative conversations… Live now – The choice is yours it really is that simple. Don’t worry about what other family members are going to think or say. They do not live your life. Spend the holidays with close friends who have become your ‘2nd family’ – – Remember, this is a time for giving thanks, for being kind, for lifting spirits up. Unfortunately, even our closest relatives will not get to experience this with you because they are negative and have no self-awareness.
 What makes you smile and brings you joy during the Holiday Season? Use this question as a springboard to jump into some sincere answers that can put a smile on your heart. What can you do to help others that no one else can do? What would you do differently this year… knowing all the lessons you learned this year? What is the hardest thing you did this year and how did you Hulk-Smash it?
 Tacos, Tamales, Wine, or Margaritas! Yes! Why not? In your home… along with some baking. I find joy in baking cranberry and walnut cookies, pumpkin spice bread [add a tequila shot into my lovely mouth… just a couple] and put one some great music! Now, I am not suggesting you aim to get sloppy joe lush face and turn your remedy to cure holiday stress by consuming large quantities of alcohol… Once you cut through the vague sense of dreading the fact that you do not have to tolerate negative family gatherings and identify specific problems, you can find ways to de-stress from holiday stress. Invite your friends to your home.
 Put some social obligations into January. People always feel the need to throw holiday parties in December, a time when everyone’s social calendar is stuffed, bloated, and over-crowded. I have learned to say no instead of trying to juggle three or four events in one day.
 Over contributing and overspending will only bring you a pounding headache. Can you feel it? The emptiness your checkbook? Again, this is some heavy shit I’m dropping on my keyboard. No hype here… Just real words you most likely will say to yourself during this special time of the year… On top of your monthly responsibilities, bills, payments, etc. you can see how the holiday buying shrinks our budgets during the holidays. Some of us will spend like drunken girls at a bachelor party… Remember this is not a time to blow all your money on gifts. Marketing on social media, television, the radio will raid your brain daily to buy, buy, buy. It is the season fo giving. Give love. Give. hope. Give peace. These are things that cannot be bought.
I expect more for you this year… more grit, more inspiration, more bravery, and more of whatever you need to become a kick-ass person of value.
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