Let’s all make a pact for the holiday season…yes, already.

Posted on November 2, 2009

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I hear a collective groan from you all in regard to me posting about “THE HOLIDAYS” already. But I had a thought

charlie brown xmas

be welcoming of all that the next 60 days will bring

 today. Yes, just one. But it was a good one in my opinion. Here it is:

People tend to get a little cranky about how early Walmart puts up their holiday displays & how often Martha Stewarts’ Holiday specials start running on cable (you’ll never be as good a crafter as her, so don’t waste time worrying about it). In my grocery shopping today, I saw that from Friday to today, gone was the Halloween candy & thanks to some under-the-cover-of-night-holiday elves, the shelves were now stocked with holiday cookie dough, different flavored chocolate chips for holiday baking & extra rows of whipped cream with cans of pumpkin stacked neatly below.

It’s “only” the first week of Nov, but folks, it’s the first week of Nov. This type of thinking is the same thing that gets us into trouble with our fitness & nutrition goals as well….”but it’s ‘only’ 1 cookie…’only’ 1 week of skipped workouts…’only’ one breakfast a week that I pick up from Dunkin Donuts.” When we justify a situation by saying it’s “only 1 time”, we’re really only giving ourselves an ‘out’ for when we don’t meet our goals.

You don’t have to be ‘holiday-perfect’ all the time. And I wouldn’t want you to be. It took me a long time to learn that lesson- being an only child, I was pretty sure I was perfect- but I’m so grateful that now I know perfection is a myth.

So why would we be annoyed by the fact that the holidays are being brought upon us earlier & earlier? So you can begin thinking about your loved ones & what you’d like to prepare for them as a gift of love & gratitude this year? So you can bubble up from a deep hiding place the joys you remember as a child of holiday songs, gifts, traditions, memories…admit it…at least once in the holiday season something hits you that makes get all warm & fuzzy & remember why you loved-loved-loved the holidays as a kid.

So here’s my thought: Let’s make a pact this holiday season, that you use that Positive Mental Attitude you’ve been working on all year to welcome the holiday season (no matter your faith or denomination), welcome what the holiday season brings with it…cheerful carols, the chance to be with friends & family more times in the next 60 days than many people get in the whole year, reminders around every corner that special people in your life deserve special things (material or intangible), opportunities to join up with friends and loved ones to create new memories & traditions (baking cookies, festively decorating the house, serving in a local shelter for the less fortunate, watching “A Christmas Carol” or “A Charlie Brown Christmas” for the 1,000th time)…because really, you have two ways to look at the next 60 days…

…as a welcome friend that brings with it happy memories, moments of remembrance of loved ones’ no longer in this place celebrating with you, chances to smile at something so tiny-the red Starbucks cups- you know it’s holiday season when the red cups show up! All this great stuff that gives you an added to spark to your already Positive Mental Attitude!

…or, as an annoying, stressful, bah humbug time that you wish would just go away. Well, hate to break it to you, but just as I coach you on taking a positive action on your fitness goals, it would be wise to do the same as we enter this holiday season because just like that fitness goal you have yet to achieve, it doesn’t just go away on its own & it will be much more tolerable to work with if you try to have a little fun with it!

So here’s our pact: We, the people, are excited for the upcoming holidays & all that they will bring. We will be calm rather than stressed when thinking of all that comes with this season. We will go at the cookie-baking, dinner-making, gift-making/buying/creating with excitement for the people we’re creating it for & in anticipation of the joy that will come from our delivery of said cookies/dinners/gifts. We’ll remember that for many, this holiday season is a reminder of their faith & return to our own faith or explore a new one to progress our spiritual well-being. And when someone complains about yet another too-early holiday display, we’ll remind them that really, it is lucky for us all that it comes early because it gives us plenty of time to enjoy the whole experience.

I’m serious. Try to enjoy yourself this holiday season, it does your fitness goals no good to pile on another stressor in your life.

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