Did you know it’s only 47 more days until Thanksgiving?
Did your heart rate go up, blood pressure increase and a general feeling of dread come over you when you thought about the holidays?
Isn’t it really sad that when we think about the holidays it generally involves a reaction of “oh no” rather than “oh yay!”
Several of my friends have been participating in a 40 day joy challenge on facebook. Every day, they post something that has made them joyful that day (or multiple things if they’ve had a good day.) I’ve loved reading what has made them happy, thankful and put a smile on their face and it’s made me want to try to restructure my feelings about the holidays.
I think I really began to loathe the holidays when I worked in retail and moved to Atlanta. Nothing will kill the holiday spirit like a twelve hour shift the Saturday before Christmas or the challenge of getting to the airport, not losing your luggage and praying your plane isn’t delayed because it’s the last flight out of the night.
Now I have a baby and I want her to have good holiday memories – not memories of perfect holidays because that’s just setting her up to fail when she gets older! – but memories of families together and playing with her cousins and peace, love and world happiness, etc. I don’t want her to think holidays are times families are forced together, stressed out, bickering with each other, complaining about the same thing year after year and not doing anything about. I want her to flat out have a good time and just to feel that holidays are a time of love.
Next week, I’m starting my own 40 day challenge. It’s my 40 days of thankfulness/joy, of trying to reshape my thinking about the holidays, to let go of silly stresses like finding the right Christmas cards (and getting them out on time), and to focus on what made me happy about the holidays when I was little: spending time with people I love, that feeling of peace and happiness and utter contentment that comes when you open the door to home and hear everyone inside say “Yay, you made it!” I’m going post something every day that I’m thankful for, and I’m going to try not to make them all Marion related. Some days I imagine they’ll be universal ideas (good health, a roof over my head, etc) and some days they’ll probably apply just to me (like buying new yarn.) But every day I hope they’ll make me feel a little more thankful, a little more joyful, without even having to work at it.
If you’ve lost your holiday joy and spirit, take the 40 day challenge with me. They say it takes 21 days to make something a new habit so finding something to be thankful for over 40 days should make it life altering!