7 Tips for Escaping the Chaos of Christmas

My focus with my coach this week was how to survive the chaos of Christmas.  It seems like no matter how much effort we put in to simplifying and focusing on what really matters, the holidays continue to be filled with rampant consumerism, overindulging, a ton of extra work, and a lot of emotional and family complexity.  I specifically celebrate Christmas, but I notice the chaos is present for all my friends, family, and clients no matter their holiday traditions.  We could easily call it the chaos of Christmas, the hullaballoo of Hanukkah, or the havoc of the holidays. It seems like work is busier than ever with everyone trying to get their year end things buttoned up before the holidays.  There’s more work to do than normal and fewer days to do it in.  And, then we add on holiday parties and luncheons.  Personally, we take holiday photos, send cards, decorate our homes, buy gifts, plan parties, attend parties, and travel.  All on top of our regular, normal lives.  My coach patiently listened to me complain until I paused for a breath and then very gently asked me, “What’s most important about Christmas?”  It completely stopped me, mid-rant, and caused me to take a deep, cleansing breath that pulled me out of my stage 2, powerless, complaining, victim mentality into a more thoughtful, stage 4 place.  It caused me to realize that a lot of the chaos is of my own making and that I do it for important reasons.  For me, here’s what’s most important to remember about the holidays:

  1. Spend time with the people we love.  We may not make time during the year.  The holidays are a time that remind us to connect with each other by sending cards, attending or hosting parties, or getting together.
  2. Remember people who aren’t with us anymore.  There are people in our lives that we miss.  The holidays are a good time to share stories and celebrate family traditions.
  3. Surprise and delight each other with treats, cards, gifts, and tokens of thoughtfulness.
  4. Remember those who are less fortunate than us and do something meaningful about it:  make a donation, volunteer your time, get involved in a social justice project, etc.
  5. Embrace rituals as ways to become more present, celebrate, and focus our attention and energy. For some of us, our rituals are tied to our faith traditions or our spiritual lives.  And, some of our rituals are deeply embedded in our families and our secular traditions like decorating our homes, sending cards, traveling to visit family members, making specific foods, etc.
  6. Embrace traditions as ways to stay connected to family and friends and to remember people who aren’t with us anymore.
  7. Reflect on the meaning of the holiday.  Our faith traditions and our secular traditions are grounded in meaning.  Find your reasons for the seasons.

We wish you happy holidays filled with joy, peace, and love.  And, we remind you to ring in the New Year intentionally by reflecting on your purpose, your values, and your goals.

Happy Holidays,

The CultureSync Team

Carrie, Jack, Harte, Ken, Carolina, and Lindsay

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