Doing what you want for the holidays regardless of the expectations people throw at you can seem like a difficult thing. Often we give up on our hearts’ desires or compromise our own joy so that others will be happy, satisfied, or even stay off our backs. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last seven years I have gone from the crazy Christmas chick with a party every weekend, a stack of holiday cards, and too much time with relatives I didn’t want to hang with, to a woman who does what she wants for the holidays without feeling a lick of guilt about not doing what other’s expect. How’d I do it? Truth and love. As corny as it sounds, when I stood in truth and love with myself, it all worked out. Here’s how it goes.
Truth. Every one of us owes it to ourselves to be honest about what we really want and need during the holidays. For me, it’s different every year. This year it’s space, my home, joy, and good food. I’ll spend my holidays nestled into home with my partner, my dog, and the Christmas music and white lights that make my heart all warm and fuzzy.
I always ask myself, “What do I need and want this holiday? And what will give me what I want?” I think all women should ask those same questions, and then commit to doing what they want—before telling their friends and family. You’ve got to be super resolved inside yourself to claim what you want or else you’ll crumble at the first sign of resistance. Let’s face it, it’s one thing to say what you want; it’s another to follow through. I know that when I am clear on my intentions and committed to doing what makes me happy, I end up in situations in which I feel great. Whatever your holiday wish is this year, find it and give it to yourself.
Love. First, we’ve got to love ourselves enough to believe we deserve what we want—time by ourselves, intimate conversations, a trip to the snow, staying home, etc. Then, when we step forward and express our plans or desires, we’ve got to do it from the place of love instead of from the place of being the dutiful daughter, the good girl, the victim, or the raving, righteous madwoman. I stopped flying back to the Midwest for holiday gatherings the year after I moved to California. I didn’t make some grand statement that pronounced, “I will not be returning for the holidays whether you like it or not, so deal with it” and I didn’t get all wimpy by apologizing for not showing up. After getting really clear that I loved being in California for the holidays (a.k.a. love for me first), I shared why I was staying in California to the relatives who asked. Some got it, some didn’t. But I spoke from my heart with all of them, and that left me guilt-free, full of joy, and ready to enjoy my holiday, my way.
Step forward this year with love in your heart, truth in your soul, and spend your holidays your way—whatever that looks like for you. Be real. Be wise. Be you.