How and why I set an intention to do the Holidays my way.
ready or not, winter is here
You should see the excitement on my daughters’ faces when Christmas music begins playing on the radio. They jump in the car and promptly turn off my NPR newscast and switch it to Christmas music. “NO!” I snap, because it is not even Thanksgiving yet. My personal rule is “No Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.” They groan, give me a pouty face and we settle on some type of pop music instead.
During the holiday season, I find the frenzy to be overwhelming and speeding around me like a tornado. Life moves fast, way too fast for me most of the time. I cannot stand that we celebrate a holiday months before it is even nearby. I am not in the business of rushing time. I am the one who tries to slow it down and savor the moments. I never round up on my kids’ ages (in fact, as I type I would tell you that my third child is only seven when in reality she turns eight in two days).
In order for me to feel comfortable and at ease during the holidays and the winter in general (that whole lack of light thing really gets me!), I require a deep line of conversation with myself. I set a morning intention that typically sounds something like this: “Today my intention is love, peace, patience, and awareness.” I check in with myself and listen to my heart. If I need to switch up the schedule to make room for self-care or one-on-one time with one of my loved ones, I do that.
acceptance means letting go
I also remind myself that I do not have to do it all for everyone at all times. Sometimes you have to let shit go! It has taken me years to let go of the desire to host the perfect events, buy the perfect holiday gifts and always look happy doing it. No more of that for me! I do my best. If you are coming over to my house, you can expect to see some kids toys. You know why? Because I have small children and no trailing behind them cleaning up all day long!
I also have to filter through the long list of events and activities. There are those that the kids really want to do, the ones I am personally interested in, and then the ones that come with “obligation.” There is no way to say yes to everything so I have made peace with what I pass on. I don’t allow myself to feel guilty because we only have so much time and our capacity is limited.
The other thing I learned to let go of years ago was traveling for the majority of the holidays. With four kids and a co-parenting situation, I just had to admit that taking the kids out of town was too expensive and too stressful. Instead, I do what I can to make our holiday experiences at home fun and intimate -- and welcome anyone who wants to come join us. Our doors are open -- just know that I will likely have yoga pants on and there will be toys around!
at ease in the comfort zone
Most months of the year, I can feel a sense of home anywhere there is laughter and joy surrounding me. It doesn't matter if I am actually at home, working, teaching a workshop, or sitting with my friends at book club; if we are laughing and experiencing joy, I am "at home."
During the holiday season and winter months, I feel like wrapping ourselves up in our comfort zone is perfectly acceptable! Don’t push yourself too much. Instead of paying attention to all the obligations, listen to your soul and your body. What are they saying to you?
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Blog by Heather Vickery
Heather is an award-winning entrepreneur, business owner, and transformational life and business coach. But Heather isn’t just a savvy businesswoman − she’s an inspiration. The founder of Vickery and Co., Heather is a featured expert on achieving an authentic and meaningful life and designing your own roadmap for balance and success. Connect with her on Instagram at @VickerandCo.
Photos by Lauren Alexandria
Lauren is a freelance photographer who works for a variety of local businesses and companies including Connecticut Post, local Hearst newspapers, Moffly Media, and a food magazine. She is a Series 8 photography collaborator with our magazine. Lauren has her B.A. in Fine Arts and her Master's in Communications. She loves to travel! Connect with her at LaurenAlexandriaPhoto.com or on Instagram at @laurenalexandriaphoto.