It's the holidays! For some of us, getting to a sense of fun and joy at this time of year is easy. For others, rather than "Yipee, what fun!" you might be thinking "Bah, humbug!"
Here's a little holiday acronym to help you S.N.A.P. into Holiday Fun!
S -- See Yourself
Take a moment and close your eyes. Create a picture of the kind of person you want to be for the holiday season. What are you doing? What are you saying? What are you seeing? What are you feeling? What do others see when they look at you? Spend some time creating the most clear and compelling picture possible of the desired holiday-you.
N -- Navigate a Path
Now that you have a clear picture of your holiday self, think about what 'story' the holiday-you might be ruminating on. What are your dominant thoughts? What are you focusing on? What are you saying to yourself? What feelings are most prevalent for holiday-you? What is holiday-you doing?
A -- Assume Control
Make a decision to choose holiday-you. Each morning recall your picture...and keep adding detail to it. Keep thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling and behaving like holiday-you.
And, when something happens that seems to be encroaching on your holiday fun, assume control by choosing to A.C.T.: Accept your current situation, Choose a vision of what you want in that moment, and Take action to achieve your vision.
For example: Let's say you are merrily preparing for holiday company to arrive. You've cleaned the house, you've carefully selected your favourite holiday sweater to wear, and you are just about to take the souffle out of the oven. Suddenly, everything changes. The souffle falls, the dog comes running in with dirty paws, and you turn around to notice the mess the kids have made doing holiday crafts in the living room. You then remember to A.C.T. You say to yourself, I accept that things are not perfect, as I had hoped (A). I want to enjoy our company when they arrive, and serve the rest of the food with pride (C). I will smile, breathe, remind myself that I'll have a better time if I relax, ask the kids to engage in a contest to see who can follow the dog and clean his paws the fastest for a fresh cookie treat, and hang the new craft project on the fridge (T).
P -- Press On
There will be challenges along the way, both big and small. Remind yourself to keep them in perspective, and to focus on all the positive aspects of the holidays. And jump in to 'play' a game or two. If FUN were an acronym, it might mean Fierce, Uninhibited, Nonsense. It's supposed to be silly.
Last year we played a game at a family dinner over the holidays. We were divided into teams and each team received a pair of pantyhose and a package of small balloons. We were told to create Rudolph using just the supplies we had -- and the first team to finish was the winner. The photo at the top of this post is my son Max modelling our team's creation. I cannot remember if we won or not, but I definitely remember that we had fun!
Today a colleague posted this video on Facebook. I cannot resist sharing it with you here. Another strategy to S.N.A.P. into Holiday Fun is to look for what's good about the holidays. This video felt so good to watch, especially after the very sad report that we all heard from Connecticut. It restored my faith in humanity, and I hope it does the same for you.
My wish for you this holiday season is simple...choose to be HAPPY. Hold your loved ones near, Appreciate them, Participate in life, Practice kindness, and Yuck it up as much as you can!