Nick-izms: Rez Born, Urban Raised

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jpeg_pic.jpgHow to Enjoy the Holiday Season

We are in the midst of the Holiday

Season and it will reach a fever pitch soon. Here are some

suggestions to help you enjoy the holiday season.

Find meaning in the Holidays

We learn what a holiday means to us

from our childhood. We observe what the holiday means for other

people then interpret meaning to it. We gain notions about what a

holiday is from the media. It is important to spend some time

figuring out what is important for you and your family. Is it the

time you spend together? Is it cooking? Is it being in fellowship

together? Is it the rituals you built with them over time together?

Figure out the meaning of the holiday for yourself and your family.

Building Family Traditions

The holiday season can be an

incredible time of the year, but they can also be difficult for some

of us. For myself, I am in the midst of building traditions with my

family. Every year we clarify what is important to us, as individuals

and as a family. Every activity is reviewed for whether or not it

will continue on to the next year, or not. We are building family

traditions together. It’s an exciting process.

Manage Expectations

What I’ve learned is that I have

this particular idea of how my life is or how it should be in my

mind. When it doesn’t meet my expectation then I become frustrated,

disengaged or overwhelmed. I grew up watching TV so it was those

images of family that I wanted. TV Images that didn’t look like my

family. What I internalized was shame, resentment and frustration. My

mother reminded me to honestly look honestly at my family. I did. I

learned to understand the historical trauma that my family endured. I

understood the various coping mechanisms each of us has. I learned to

accept people for who they are. It was an invaluable lesson.

Distinguish between Needs and Wants

It’s important to teach our children

the difference between needs and wants. My teenage kids get caught up

in the consumerist fever this time of the year. They want this, they

want that. They look at me with this expectation that I am able to

answer all these whims. As a single parent amongst the working poor,

I try to get what I can. I learned to help my kids understand our

finances, so I sit with them each month to review bills. It helps

them to learn how to manage finances. It distinguishes for them the

difference between a need and a want. It is a skill that is needed by

everyone. Also, it helps them manage their expectations. They’ve

learned to save money for stuff that is important to them and they

work to get what they want. Invaluable life skills

Don’t Compare, You May Despair

It’s difficult to not compare your

current circumstances with other people. Don’t do it. Celebrate

what you’ve got. Appreciate what you have. It’s important to

understand that when you compare your circumstance with someone else

that you don’t know many factors that contribute to their life.

When you find happiness, contentment and joy in what you got then

your overall satisfaction in the holidays will increase. Make the

best of what life has given you.

Be Gentle with Yourself

I am harder on myself than anyone else

could be during this time of year. I judge myself harsher. I am my

own worst critic. I learned to be gentle with myself during this time

of year. I may eat too much, but I find my way to the gym to

exercise. I find myself feeling sad because of the loss of a family

member, but I do something in remembrance of them and share that joy

in prayer with them. I seek out people who love to laugh and have a

joy about living during this time of year, cause they are reminders

of how vibrant life is.

Reconnect with People

Holidays can be

a time to reach out to people you haven’t talked to throughout the

year. Our lives become busy with the tasks of living that we tend to

lose contact with important people in our life. Call them, write to

them, make a homemade gift for them. Demonstrate their importance in

your life. Reconnect with people.

It’s hard not to get caught up the

anxiety of the holiday season. We live in a capitalistic society so

we are encouraged to buy stuff to prove our love for family. The

commercials entice us to buy more, spend more on stuff that we don’t

need or can’t afford. I hope this list can help you find joy and

happiness during this time of year, however you celebrate it.