The Big Picture

Imagine that the holidays have come and gone. The food has been eaten, the gifts have all been opened, and you are observing the aftermath. Picture the scene carefully: the way the house looks, the way you feel, what your family is doing. Once you can see the image clearly, answer the following questions.

  1. Does your usual celebration focus on those aspects of the holiday that you feel are most important?
  2. Which parts of your celebration would be the easiest to change so that you could spend your time on more of what matters?

To guide you, think about the following: what holiday tasks did you perform last year?

Spend some time remembering how you felt last holiday season as you were doing each of the tasks checked. Which ones did you actually enjoy? Can you eliminate those you didn’t? Can you delegate them? Can the tasks be simplified?

If you’re having trouble letting go of the unpleasant tasks on your to-do list, think back to your childhood holiday celebrations. Which traditions, activities, or occasions were particularly pleasurable for you? Ask your partner and children as well. You may be surprised by their responses. Maybe, for example, the holiday village you feel pressure to set up just-so every year won’t be missed!