|December 1998 E-Zine Issue|
A PAGAN IN THE MIDST
Monthly Column by Jennifer Rogers©1998
Holidays.. To Stress or Not to Stress
This is the time of the year that all the sudden we realize the Holidays are upon us. This can be fun. It takes us out of the doldrums and catapults us into action. With a little planning and the attitude that there are others in this world that we can delegate duties to, it can be exhilarating and exciting. If we take it upon ourselves to do everything so it is done perfect, according to our worst critic (ourselves) than it can be nerve wreaking.
The trick is a little planning. Do not wait till the last minute to get things done. You should know by now what it's going to happen. It happens every year, at about the same time. Don't panic, take a deep breath and know that you can do it. The main thing is to do the things you want to do. Consult the family your significant other, the children. What are their expectations? If you take their suggestions into account, they will be more likely to be happy to lend a hand. If they don't really want to go to Aunt Martha's and her dry turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner, it's going to be a lot harder to get them to cooperate with the preparations for the trip.
The Holidays are to be an enjoyable event for all. Don't put yourself in predicaments, situations, family gatherings that you would rather avoid. If there is a particular event you do not feel comfortable attending, feel free to decline in a polite but firm manner. It's your life, enjoy it to the fullest. That is not to say don't try new things because of apprehension, perhaps you don't know the people that invited you or their friends. Be open minded, if you are at all curious certainly, go. If it turns out to be a fiasco, it's easy enough to say you had a previous engagement and can't stay long.
The difficult predicaments are usually family related. The same thing comes up year after year. You're expected to attend that special dinner. Every year you know what it's going to take place. You know, you'll end up going home disappointed, upset, perhaps even angry. All because of certain people that relive their tragedies over the dinner table. Why put yourself in that circumstance. It is okay to avoid pain. Graciously decline and tell them this year you have made other plans. If this is received with anger, do you want to be around controlling people that feel if they don't get their way they have the right to condemn you? I don't think so.
Once you have decided what you will and will not do along with your immediate family. Get the planner or calendar out so everybody knows what's on the agenda. This is of the utmost importance. Put everything on paper, where you're going to go, when, what is needed to take on the trip (if out of town) and make copies for everyone. Make a list of what needs to be done. Decorations, food, clean up detail (if parties or dinners are a part of the deal). Here comes the major one, delegation of duties for everyone. These duties are not chores to be looked upon with resentment, but an opportunity to participate and be an integral part in the "Family Holidays." It doesn't matter what tradition or religion you follow, almost every one celebrates something or other. By getting everyone involved it adds to the fun and everyone gets to take pride in the outcome. Once the pressure is off and everyone has their delegated responsibilities you can enjoy the journey as well as the destination. It will be a more pleasant experience for all and you will be a lot less stressed and a much better congenial person to be around.
Look at the Holidays as an opportunity to play, have fun be a kid again, be creative. Try something new, there are no set rules. Sure there are cases of family tradition where it is carried out with pride, bringing memories from loved ones that have been passed through the years. Try setting up your own tradition, something that your children can look back to with fond memories. Every year, try something new, however small or large to look back on that year as a Special One.
May your Upcoming Holidays, give you an opportunity to be truly Thankful for the abundance of Love in your lives and the cheerfulness to look forward to Many More Holidays to come.