3 Ways to Keep the Happy in the Holidays

The holidays are kicking in high gear. Are you ready for it? Do you have your “happy face” on? Yeah right. For some the holidays are more harried than happy. While others complain that the holidays are simply horrible. Yet when the day arrives we say, “Happy Hanukah”, “Happy Holidays”, or “Merry Christmas”. Why is it that we feel less than happy as we enter the season? The answer to this question is complex. Some folks are sad over recent losses that occurred. Others are trying to cope with major health problems. While many are happy about their year-end bonus, some people were handed a pink slip. One common theme I hear– “family relationships can be really trying during the holidays.” Over the years I have had my share of unhappy holidays. Being divorced with kids was tough, especially navigating schedules and expectations. I remember feeling anguished when my kids were absent at family events. Boy, did I have to work hard to keep the happy in my holidays. It wasn’t easy. I’m relieved those days are over! The holidays are meant to be happy occasions. Here are 3 simple ways to keep the happy in the holidays.
Take a little time to reflect on your blessings
“Hustle and bustle”once described the holidays. Now it reflects daily life. People are busy 24/7. We need time to pause and reflect on the good things in life. One good thing about the holidays for most people is the extra time off you have from work. A few extra days off work allow you time to rest and give more attention to the things in life that matter. Your life may not be perfect, but I am sure you can find plenty of things to be happy about. If you want to keep the happy in the holidays take time to count your blessings. Make a list. You may be surprised how really good things are in your life.
Take a little time to give thanks
Once you count your blessings you will find plenty of reasons to be thankful this holiday season. A grateful heart makes a happy person. It is interesting to me that the happiest people I meet are not the ones who have everything they need. Rather it is the people who have gone through hardship and learned to appreciate the little things they used to take for granted. If you want to keep the happy in the holidays show gratitude to the people in your life you take for granted. You can even find something nice to say to family members who try your patience. Infusing a happy attitude in the holiday setting will rub off on others. Try it for yourself!
Set yourself an expectation to be happy and don’t allow others to ruin it
Holidays are a time for family members to connect. Young adults return from college. Married kids travel with grandkids in tow. Relatives arrive from out of town. Expectations are high for a good time. In a perfect world things work out. I haven’t found the perfect world yet. Don’t base your happiness on meeting the expectations of everyone in the family. You will feel miserable! Nor should you go into the holidays preloaded with a negative attitude. Instead, choose to be happy as your way of enjoying the holidays. People react to negativity. Yet they also respond to positivity. If you choose your attitude no matter what others do, you can keep the happy in the holidays. Count on some to push your buttons. Choose not to give in. Focus on those who share your goal to be happy. If you have a happy attitude it will bring most, if not all of your family together.

Now it’s your turn

What do you plan to do to keep the happy in your holiday? If you don’t know where to begin, I recommend you make a list of the things for which you are thankful. Go to one or more of the people you are grateful for and thank them for the good they bring in your life. If you have ideas to contribute to the discussion on how to keep the happy in the holidays I welcome it! Feel free to comment below or on one of my social media sites.
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