Choose to Have Happy Holidays!

With the holiday season upon us, there are so many opportunities for happiness and joy. People have the chance to visit with friends and relatives that they don’t get to see very often. Families have time to slow down and enjoy each others’ company without the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. That is, if they choose to. Other people will make the choice to visit with relatives that they cannot stand. They will spend their precious vacation time with people for whom they have no respect. They will squander away potential joy by engaging in activities that will make them miserable. Some will make so many plans that their vacations are actually much more busy or stressful than their normal work weeks. Families that have never worked to develop common interests will have a very strained experience trying to actually enjoy all the togetherness. How will you spend your holidays this year? How many things are you doing that you simply don’t want to do? How many people are you going to visit with that you really just don’t enjoy? Have you planned so many activities that you really can’t savor any of them? If so, please understand and realize that those are choices you’ve made. Choices to be miserable. Please also understand that you can make different choices, better choices, more healthy choices. If your father is an alcoholic and you can expect him to get sloppy drunk and publicly humiliate your mother just like he’s done for the last 40 years that you’ve been alive, ask yourself if you truly want to go witness that for the 41st time or if you would rather just let them know that you don’t enjoy that activity and that you’ve planned something else for yourself this holiday season. There are no rules. Nothing says you have to go back and endure the same dysfunctional thing over and over and over. You can break the cycle by refusing to participate in it. Think of the type of message that will send to your children. You will be showing them how to set boundaries with family members in a respectful and appropriate way. Time is far too short to spend it doing stuff you absolutely hate if it is not necessary. Taking out the garbage and doing your laundry is necessary. Visiting with your brother and sister-in-law who clearly hate each other is not. Remember that you have choices this holiday season and that your enjoyment is directly proportionate to how many healthy choices you make.

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