It’s the most ... time of the year. As we deck the halls and fill the malls, we’re filled with ... joy, and ... The holiday season is upon us, and it’s a special time we choose
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As we deck the halls and fill the malls, we’re filled with anticipation, joy, and excitement. The holiday season is upon us, and it’s a special time we choose to show our appreciation and share our love with the special people in our lives. However, with all of the joy the holidays bring, this still tends to be one of the most stressful times of the year. Why?
Could it be because it’s intoxicating to buy loved ones whatever their hearts desire – and we’re willing to rise in the dark of night to shop in the pre-dawn hours for the “gift of the year”? Ah, yes, the mad dash to the 5 a.m. sale where you’re guaranteed to be pushed, run over, stepped on, and after a long wait told “Sorry sold out;” only to then have the pleasure of standing in a check out line as long as the east coast. Hum. Do you ever question the sanity of a day like this in a life that seems to have so little time, and a world that’s filled with job insecurity, war, and economic ups and downs? If so, why do you still feel so torn? Could it be because we’ve allowed marketers, advertisers, manufacturers, and retailers to shape our outlook and convince us to buy into their vision of the perfect life? This life where you shop to create the perfect body, so you can be with the perfect partner, live in the perfect house, and drive the perfect car to the perfect job so we can afford the perfect lotions and potions to forever live the perfect life. Wake up and smell the perfect hype! The holidays are not about being manipulated into believing in some artificially created image that drives sales; it’s about your vision of giving and sharing the joy your choose to create.
Stress of the season happens when we fret about how our gift will be received. A disconnect exists when we fear if our gift is disliked, then somehow we too will be rejected and denied the friendship, affection or acceptance we so desire. Although intellectually, we know nothing could be further from the truth, we may still feel the need to explain away or apologize for our gifts of love. I say if you hold this to be your truth and also believe that the worth of your relationships is based on the monetary value of gifts exchanged, then I strongly urge you to re-examine and re- evaluate your relationships.
At a time when many feel compelled to spend more money (perhaps more than they can afford) yet feel they have less time, it’s important to focus on the deeper meaning and spirit of the holidays. Now and in the days to come, regroup and refocus your energies to give the most priceless gift you always have to offer – YOU. Truly the most wonderful gifts of the year are heartfelt, so here are a few you can offer the whole year through.
1. Create A Moment Moments are magical times when someone later turns and says, “Remember the time we…” Moments don’t just happen; they’re created. Moments are the gifts that keep on giving and that can be relived at any time over and over again.
2. Unconditional Love and Friendship No judging, no gossiping, no criticizing – No Kidding!
3. A Random Act of Kindness Give of yourself daily. Acts both small and large count - choose to donate your time, energy, or money. You can experience even greater gratification if you don’t tell a soul.
4. The Gift of Time * Time with yourself to reflect and grow * Time with others to develop and build powerful relationships * Time given to others that empowers them to expand their greatness
5. The Gift of Respect Respect for yourself and others empowers you to value beauty inside and out. Value the beauty of your relationships by infusing them with respect and honoring them with your time.
I encourage you to start today - share any or all of these gifts with yourself, family, friends, or colleagues. Remember, the most wonderful gift of all is the gift that keeps on giving!
Joy Fisher-Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at (757) 427-7032. Go to her web site, http://www.thesykesgrp.com, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."