2023 December 19 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Dec 19, 2023

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about reimagining your life. Thanks for joining me today to talk about dealing with the holidays. So let's get started. 


But first, as a reminder, this is the Suicide Crisis Hotline, 800-273-8255, or just dial (988) and you'll get connected immediately with somebody.  I'm not a medical professional, but I will be talking about things that I personally find useful and generally helpful. So if you find yourself having too many bad days or just feeling depressed, please seek professional medical help or just dial (911). Good to know for yourself or a friend. 


If you like what you hear today, please leave a like, tell your friends, send me a message. 


Tonight's about being in the holiday season. It's only only a few days from Christmas, six days from Christmas. Tonight is all about Christmas in all its forms. This is the holiday season for many people for so many reasons, and perspective is really important by everybody. This is the time of the year that many people get divided over what Christmas is and what it's supposed to be, with their preconceived notions of what everybody should be doing. 


I'll preface this by noting that many countries, especially those with British roots and other European countries, have something called Boxing Day, or Second Christmas. That either nicely separates the gift giving or extends the gift giving, depending on the particular country and the customs of that area. The reality is that there are multiple celebrations going on at the same time for a lot of different religions and for secular things.


Instead of being annoyed, the other response is to be excited that you're sharing a day thinking about others. Remember, life is what it is. But our reaction to it largely determines how we perceive it. If we look for all the things that we have in common, such as bringing joy to other people, then even people with different beliefs and customs become allies in bringing joy to people, and not annoyance simply because they're not doing the same thing that we're doing. 


Another aspect of the holidays is to prepare for the new year. We talked about that last week. Remember, we don't do resolutions here. We set SMART goals, actionable goals consistent with our vision and our purpose. But that doesn't start on January 1st. That starts and continues on every single day of our lives.


If you think you have a goal you want to start to work towards, don't wait for a particular date or day of the week. Just start now. Right now, just start doing it. If you push it off into the future, you're just giving your mind time to come up with more reasons that it isn't quite the right time to start. You have some other priorities, or maybe next week will be better.


If it's really important, then don't delay. Take action now. That even includes seemingly mundane things like managing your budget, because Christmas is probably the premiere shopping time. There are companies that do 50, 60, 70% of their business over the Christmas season. 


But Christmas is about showing love. It's not the quantity of the gifts or the trends or the flashiest gifts. It's really about spending time with those that matter most to you. We shouldn't overlook the reality that sometimes we just don't have people nearby. That can sometimes feel very lonely around any major holiday, particularly Christmas. 


So perspective again comes to the rescue. Don't get caught up in what people are posting on social media, or what you see on TV shows. Enjoy the holidays as best you're able to, in ways that bring you comfort. Don't worry about having a great story for work the next day.  That'll happen, work will be there.


Rather, worry if how you're living is consistent with your goals and your vision. Now is an especially good time to try and spread some joy around in any form, no matter how small it might seem to other people. Not only is it a nice thing to do, but as always, focusing outside of yourself brings you clarity and empathy with the world.


Let's go over some simple tips to make the best of the holiday season. For this holiday season, and every holiday season, look for commonality with other people and respect the differences.  If this or any holiday has special meaning to you, then be thankful for that, and not resentful, that some people have different customs than you.


Think of every holiday as an opportunity for change. That's always a way to move closer to our goals and vision, especially for the end of the year holidays. If you think of something you want to do to try and reach your goals, then start right away. Don't wait. Be impatient. Be excited to move closer to your vision.


Keep perspective on all things. Don't be swayed by the unimportant, such as social media, ads, TV, mass media. Live to your own vision. See the good. Learn from the challenges. Share your joy with others. They may be down or sad for many reasons, and something as simple as a smile can bring some life into a life that's currently filled with clouds and looking a little dingy. 


I know for many people, holidays seem to be a big source of stress. If you're able to, look at the actions in terms of your own life vision. This way you'll have a guideline to direct you towards your own best self. You don't have to explain anything to anyone else or make excuses. Just politely live your life as you feel comfortable and in a way consistent with your own vision and principles.


If someone tries to force their ways upon you, drinking or drugs or binge watching TV, politely follow your heart and feel happy inside about your life and your decisions. If they can't understand that, then, they probably weren't the right people to be with anyway.  We have a say as to whether we let the holidays be stressful for us or not. Be willing to take charge of your own life and accomplish what you want today, tomorrow, and always because you're fully capable of it. 


That's it for tonight. Just a little pump up for the holidays. I hope your holiday season has been going well and gets even better, and I hope they bring you joy and not stress.


If you feel stressed, then envision what you do to make them enjoyable again.  Your homework (always optional) is to think about what might be bringing you holiday stress and how else you might be able to view it or somehow arrange it so that stressful situation doesn't arise or you can deal with it in a different way. Extra points if you write down the biggest item along with how you could reframe it to a more pleasant time and then work to make that other vision the reality that you want to live.  


That's it for the evening.  As always, if you're able and interested, UKR7.com has links to donation sites related to Ukraine. There's also a link to the World Central Kitchen at WCK.org. One of the best ways to care for yourself is to care for others. It changes perspective on the world, brings you outside of yourself and inside of the world. It really brings you more in touch with the people around you and helps bring you in touch with things that you have yourself. So if you can and you're able, please check out UKR7.com, WCK.org, or a local charity that you typically would support. Even just being nice to people you meet in the street, can make a huge difference. 


Merry Christmas, happy holidays to everyone. As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along and please hit that like button. If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dreamed of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you. 


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