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Reclaim Your Holidays

Stack of holiday gifts wrapped simply with brown printed paper and twine

I don’t know about you, but I only feel excited to put up a Christmas tree about every 24 months. I love Christmas trees, but putting them up and taking them down is easily seven hours of effort – and I don’t even trudge through the woods to chop down a fresh one.

Decorating a tree is an exercise in decision fatigue:

  • Where should I put each ornament so the tree looks balanced?

  • If I place this decoration from my stepson’s kindergarten class too far down or too far back, will he feel rejected?

  • Should I leave the political ornaments in the box even though they once meant so much to me but now risk igniting conflicts?

Add to it the heaviness of encountering memory-charged ornaments that bring a flood of emotions, and it’s honestly just too much. Some years, it is plenty just to have a tree with some lights on it and nothing more. But then people think I’m depressed. Where’s my Christmas cheer?

Where, indeed.

Listen, the holidays are hard. The expectations to plan the perfect holiday season are 100% unattainable. Impossible hopes and dreams, family conflicts, sensory overwhelm, financial pressures, end-of-year deadlines, concerts, parties and unexpected snowstorms all add up to way too much. No wonder we all hobble into January with sniffles, coughs, low energy, empty bank accounts and no tolerance for stress.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

What would happen if you said “no” more often than “Happy Holidays” this year? What if you could bound into January with your energy, sanity and bank account intact?

Several years ago, I started ditching Christmas traditions to better fit my flow of energy. As you might’ve guessed, it started by not putting up a Christmas tree, and instead, flying to Thailand. I expected to feel forgotten and sad on Christmas morning, but instead, I felt energized from a massive beach party on Christmas Eve. Who knew Christmas could be a dance party in the rising tide instead of church choirs and freezing rain?

I’ve gone so far as to spend Christmas Day entirely alone one year, stuck as I was in an exhausting new job without family nearby and fresh out of a difficult breakup. To my delight, that Christmas morning was among my most magical, waking up to a clear (and late) sunrise over the snowy peaks and flowing waters of Tofino, British Columbia. I’ve never felt fuller than I did standing alone on the frosty dock as the landscape came to life around me.

And yet, I’ve been told such Christmases are “just too sad” – that “no one should have to spend Christmas alone.”

In fact, after being told exactly that, I over-booked my next holiday season, trying to fit in at parties where I fell squarely outside of the well-established traditions unfolding around me. That year was the most lonesome Christmas of my life, surrounded by merriness and clearly not belonging.

If this sounds like your holiday experience, or if you’re already feeling the panic and anxiety rising about how to get done all the things that need doing in the next eight weeks, it’s time for us to talk – because this year can be different.

Join my FREE workshop to find out how to manage holiday anxiety and set boundaries to get what you need from this holiday season. In this workshop, you will:

  1. Identify what you truly want to change about your holiday experience

  2. Learn nervous system regulation techniques to ease the stress of change and over-stimulation

  3. Plan the steps you can take to claim the holiday experience you really want (not just what everyone else expects)

Space is limited, so register now. Together, we’ll explore ways to quell the anxiety, make it easier to set boundaries and prioritize your needs adequately amongst the clamor of everyone’ else’s.

You deserve to have the holiday season you truly want. Let’s make it happen.

  • November 10, 2023

  • 10 to 11:15 a.m. Pacific

Can't make it? Sign up for my newsletter to catch the replay!

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