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November 2015

Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 4: Make It Real!

How are you feeling right now?

If your family celebrates Thanksgiving, you might be feeling a little stuffed and sleepy, and that's okay! Winter is a time for rest and relaxation... we just need to make room for it, in the middle of all the holiday shopping - cookie baking - eggnog sipping craziness!

Dec calendar1We can do it. We've already made huge progress:

In Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 1: How to Start the Season with Comfort and Joy, we created our vision of a blissful holiday season;

with Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 2: How to Make It Meaningful, we identified the people with whom we choose to celebrate; 

and in Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 3: How to Be Happy While It's Happening, we sorted through the activities that will build our bliss-factor and released the sense of obligation and requirement that all too often permeates the season.

I think we deserve a round of applause.

Okay, now it is time to pull it all together. It's time to make a plan.

Does my saying that make you feel a little queasy? The concept of planning affects each person differently.

For some of us, a plan provides a foundation of order and statement of intent from which miracles can happen.

For others, planning feels restricting and smothering. Take a moment to connect with your body and emotions. However you feel, just accept it.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten my promise to make this easy and fun. In this step, I am going to offer two options. Choose whichever feels good to you. Let's get started!


Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 4: Make a Plan that Makes It Real.

Continue reading "Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 4: Make It Real!" »

Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 3: How to Be Happy While It's Happening

Better than a bucket list and probably cheaper: It's time to build your Holiday Can-Do List!

Sweden-104689_1280I know this is what you've been waiting for.

If you already completed the activities described in Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 1: How to Start the Season with Comfort and Joy and Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 2: How to Make It Meaningful... Congratulations!

You are taking positive steps to ensure a more enjoyable and meaningful holiday season this year.

Now it's time to focus on what many of us get extra-stressed about: The list of activities that we will participate in over the next several weeks. 

Did you notice how I didn't say "must accomplish" in the coming weeks? Did you notice how I didn't call it a "To-Do" list? That's because we can reduce stress by reducing the sense of obligation and perception of requirement that we so often attach to the holidays.

Do you really need to bake twelve dozen cookies and ship them across the country? Do you really need to attend your company's and neighbors' and casual acquaintances' holiday parties?

Do you really need to complete every outstanding home improvement project before settling in to enjoy the stillness of winter?

Take just a moment and think about your holiday season last year and the year before. Was there something that especially drained your energy, your finances or your happiness? Are there any particular holiday traditions in your family that you simply dread?

I give you permission to skip them this year.

That's right. Tell them (whoever they are) that I said you can take the year off. I know, it feels scary, but you can do it. You deserve to do it. And it's not like you are going to spend the next six weeks sitting on your couch.

Unless sitting on your couch brings you joy.

Continue reading "Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 3: How to Be Happy While It's Happening" »

Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 2: How to Make It Meaningful

It can be all too easy to let your holidays be hijacked by your To-Do list.

Family-1003817_1920Turkey and stuffing? Check. Gift wrap and sugar cookies? Check. Christmas cards and colored lights and office parties? Check!

Wait... what... it's all over? I missed it??


That was me, more times than I care to think about. I could never quite get my footing. The close of every year felt like I was racing to some gold-encrusted finish line, only to discover that I'd misunderstood the assignment.

When it comes to the holidays, it truly is all about the journey.

This year, I am choosing a different path. This year, I am welcoming a holiday season that is meaningful, joyful and fun!

Will you join me?

If you haven't already performed the exercises in Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 1: How to Start the Season with Comfort and Joy, I encourage you to do so now. When you have finished, you will have a beautiful new vision of how you want your holiday season to unfold.

Let's pause right now and wallow in a little holiday spirit. If your vision is written down, take a look at it. Read it out loud. If not, just take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and picture the season as you want it to be.

Have a full-blown, Technicolor daydream. Look around a bit. What are you doing? Who is there? How does it feel, spending the holidays with people that you love?

Oops. I gave it away.

The secret to making your holidays more meaningful is to make them all about connections.

Yes, there is a place for tradition and ritual. Just ask my kids about me and my Christmas tree. I seriously considered putting it up right after Halloween, but I was afraid all the lights would burn out before December rolled around.

It's bad enough that it stays up until just before Easter most years.


The thing is, traditions are mostly about reminding us of our connections. Our roots. Our people.

Continue reading "Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 2: How to Make It Meaningful" »

Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 1: How to Start the Season with Comfort and Joy

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may already be feeling a bit of holiday pressure.


Girl-690614_1280Yes, we all know that with the autumn "harvest" complete, we are supposed to be entering a time of celebration (followed by a time of hibernation), but frequently the holidays feel like just another source of overwhelm and disappointment.

With the dawn of electricity, office jobs and shopping malls, few of us really settle in for a long winter's nap anymore.

Our regular lives are spinning ahead at full speed while we are being bombarded with every commercial enterprise's idea of just what we need for the ultimate holiday experience.

Our families start layering on invitations, expectations and obligations. Our kids begin making up Wish Lists, regardless of age or employment status.

I'm exhausted. And it's barely November.

Perhaps it doesn't have to be this way. Maybe, with just a little creativity we could experience a more... dare I say, blissful holiday season.

Anything is possible. It is, after all, winter. The season of magic, reflection and wonder!

I'm ready to try something new. Are you with me? I want my holiday season to be meaningful, refreshing and fun. So, let's choose a different course this year... We'll take it one step at a time. Nothing too strenuous. The process of feeling better should actually feel good, don't you think?

Continue reading "Your Holiday Bliss Plan, Step 1: How to Start the Season with Comfort and Joy" »