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Holiday acceptance – The gift you can give to yourself and to others

Written by Easter Becker-Smith. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on November 26, 2014 with No Comments

“True peace and joy begins with you accepting yourself and then truly accepting other people’s choices.”

The holiday season is here once again.  Thanksgiving is a time we remember to stop and give thanks and be grateful.  Then we are ushered into the December holidays that represent joy and more family gatherings.

We receive holiday cards that show scenes of quiet country roads lined with snow drifting across the way as a family brings home the Christmas tree. Other cards display beautiful white graceful doves wishing us peace and joy during the holiday season.

It is easy to miss out on the serenity and joy of the December holidays as we hustle and bustle to have the Christmas or Hanukah that we think we should have. We have our traditions, our expectations of holidays past that we want to preserve, which can bring us joy or cause us stress.

We all know that holidays can be an overwhelming time of year, but they do not have to be. I have written in previous years that we need to stop and decide what is important to us during the holidays, and what is not so important. There are things that you want to do to celebrate, but there are ways to cut back. Maybe so many decorations are no longer meaningful to you. Maybe so many parties are not that important to attend anymore.

If you are feeling a dread of this joyous time of year, then it is time to cut back on what you expect yourself to do. Remember to embrace the season of peace, joy, and love. A true gift you can give to yourself and to others is acceptance.

Accept that you may not want to cook such a big holiday dinner this year and allow yourself to do less, if that will bring you calm and joy. Accept that others may want to break some traditions, in order for them not to feel overwhelmed and worn out by the end of the month.

It may be that Aunt Margaret always comes by on Christmas Eve with her delicious streusel. Are you expecting that this year, just because that is what she does every year? Expecting others to do or behave a certain way is putting that person in a box with your label of, “This is what she should do, because that is what I want.” That box, tied up with a pretty red bow and label, is not about gratitude, but rather about what you want or expect.

As soon as we expect someone to do something because that is the way it has been, we take that person for granted. When we take someone for granted, we have lost gratitude for them.

Stop to realize the kindness and love that Aunt Margaret has shown over the years, and know things change. If she appears again this year with her traditional gift, it will be a pleasure and you can feel truly grateful for her gift.  If she does not bring her streusel, then that was a choice she needed to make, for whatever reason. Your gift to her will be unconditional acceptance and love.

Times change and people change. Our life circumstances can vary greatly from year to year. What we can do this year may be different from last year. It is important to realize that some family traditions will change. As children grow up, they have other demands in their lives and may not be able to spend the time with you that they once did.

Be grateful for what your friends and family are able to do and for the time they do spend with you during the holidays. True peace and joy begins with you accepting yourself and then truly accepting other people’s choices. There is no need for criticism, for complaints, or for chastising what your friends and family are choosing to do.

Accept your family members and friends for who they are and where they are in their lives. Embrace the holidays with all the peace, harmony and love that you can feel and then share that with others.

Have a truly joyous holiday season.

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About Easter Becker-Smith

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Easter Becker-Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

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