Tag Archives: holidays

Keeping the “Spirit” of the Holidays

laptop computer macbook apple
Don’t let stress ruin your holidays!  Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Are you enjoying this holiday season, or just going through the motions?  December especially can be so busy; there are always so many things to do and get done, before the holidays and before the end of the year.  Santa is not the only one who makes lists this time of year, and like his, ours sometimes seem unending.

Are you doing the things you need to do-shopping, baking, decorating, or whatever else because you want or choose to do so, or because you feel obligated?  The reason behind your actions can make all the difference in your attitude, and your stress levels, as you go about your day.

I know that though there is snow on the ground, and I’m anticipating my own grown kids gathering in the next week, I have to remember to keep the right mind set as I go about my daily tasks.

Those of us that work in the health industry sometimes especially feel the strain, as patients struggle to use insurance benefits and money in Health Savings Accounts before the end of the year, or while college-age kids are home for the holidays.  The volume of business, the crowds, and the inevitable waiting in line add to everyone’s stress levels and quell the goodwill feelings many struggle to keep.

Personally, I have learned the best way to manage everything is to learn to say “enough,” and sometimes “no.”  Ask yourself if some traditions are not important or meaningful to you at this point in your life.  Are there tasks or duties or events that you can say no to, or simply “let go?”

“Picking and choosing” which traditions you uphold, decorations you use, events you attend, or even the number of people you shop for does not make you a bad person, only a human with limited time, energy, and resources.  Eliminating some less important or more trivial tasks may even make more pleasant to be around, bring more significance to those things you choose to keep on your list, and give you more time to simply be with your loved ones.

When you are not overwhelmed by your chore list, the decrease in stress can really put you in the holiday mood.

I’m sitting and writing this before I get ready to go to work, another busy day in the season.  I am not done with my holiday preparations, but the end is in sight, so I can go about my day with a lightened heart, knowing that everything is okay.  I will get done all the important things.  I will not let the below-freezing temperatures, the traffic, the crowds, or the grumpy over-stressed customers get to me today.

I hope you all find your bliss, your holiday spirit, in the middle of the chaos today, and are able to enjoy the season for all it’s worth.

Happy Holidays,

Amy

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Tomorrow marks Thanksgiving in the United States, a tradition started by peoples of two very diverse cultures sitting and peacefully sharing a meal.

Today, the meaning and emphasis placed on the holiday varies as much as the diverse groups who acknowledge this day.  For some, it is simply an extra day off work or a day to begin, or finish, holiday shopping.  For others, it’s about family, overeating, and falling asleep in front of the TV, with either a parade or football on the screen.

Many though, choose to remember that this day was originally envisioned as a time to give thanks for the blessings of enough food, a safe home,  freedom from religious persecution, and good neighbors.

group of people making toast

Family, food, and time together.  Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Thanksgiving is also a time to remember there are those out there who do not share the blessings our ancestors celebrated- enough food to eat, and a safe and warm home.  Please consider sharing what you can with your local foodbank, the Salavation Army, or another local charity.

Above all, have a safe, and happy Thanksgiving!

Amy

Happy Labor Day!

photo of fireworks display
All across the country, many cities will be having their last, and most spectacular fireworks shows of the year this weekend.  Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Today is the day we Americans celebrate the national holiday Labor Day, the official celebration of laborers and the collective power of unions, and the unofficial end of summer.

Many Americans use Labor Day as the excuse to hold one last barbecue, or go on one last camping or fishing trip, or just plan a picnic and a trip to the nearest firework show.   My family plans to grill out at home this year, and just enjoy a day off from jobs and normal responsibilities.

While many employers are giving their employees a much-deserved break, just as many companies will be promoting wares and holding massive sales to attract consumers.  I need a new stove, so perhaps I will venture out later myself.

While the official beginning of autumn is still a few weeks away, most school children have just or will be starting back to school this week, and kids and adults alike have fall on their minds.  What that means to individuals varies, though many focus on the beginning of football season, and getting ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow, I will think about taking down the red-white-and-blue decorations I’ve had out around the house since Memorial Day, and pulling out my own stashes of orange candles and harvest decorations.  September is still warm here, though the nights have cooled down into the sixties and even fifties a few times, and the garden, which was so dry and wilting in the August heat, is coming back to life.

Fall and Halloween decorations have already made appearances in many stores, and fall flowers like chrysanthemums and ornamental cabbages are ready to take home and plant in gardens that will very soon be festooned with pumpkins and gourds off all types, dried cornstalks, and bales of hay.  Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I look forward to the colors, the scents of fall baking, and the cooler temperatures.

However, all of that can wait till tomorrow.  Today is about relaxing, and spending time with family, and eating some good food, preferably outdoors.

I hope you and yours have a very Happy Labor Day!