Most people I know here in the U.S. are focused on the coming holidays. Everywhere you turn the music, the decorations, and the celebrations are overlapping with festivities. It’s very easy to get swept up in cramming the calendar with every possible event and trying to do it all. It’s also tempting to compare one’s experience with the past, or the other people we see on Facebook. Or how about those Christmas movies where every relationship drama is resolved in less than two hours so that everyone is happy and in love by the end of the movie? That’s why it is SMART to remember that our expectations can either provide us with a wonderful experience—OR—they can make us miserable. Like so many things, if we stay conscious and aware we can choose to embrace the best and let go of the rest.
So when I found my calendar especially full this week, I decided to “repurpose” some of the best holiday articles I’ve written during the last seven years here on SMART Living 365. If you are fairly new to SMART Living, chances are good that you haven’t read them before. And if you have been with us for a long time, you’ve probably forgotten some of them. Here are ten of the best that I believe approach the topic from several different SMART perspectives.
- Christmas 2017—More Stuff? Or a Meaningful Experience? Much of how we celebrate is a habit we picked up somewhere along the way. Information from author Charles Duhigg explains ways we can change our habits and create the life we desire.
- 30 SMART Christmas Quotes To Get You In The Holiday Mood. Like quotes? Then you will want to check these out and add any I missed in the comments below.
- Five Ways to Rethink Christmas Gifts Without Being a Scrooge! Lots of people struggle to pick out and pay for gifts over the holidays. Here are a few alternatives for anyone who would like to try something different.
- 8 SMART Life Lessons From Santa. In case you haven’t noticed, I can come up with life lessons for just about anything. Here are a few things we can learn from Santa.
- 30 Inspiring Movies I Am Grateful For Like movies? Every year around this time I enjoy watching movies that inspire and uplift us all. Here’s my selection.
- Two Big Reasons To Celebrate The Winter Solstice. Next week December 21st marks the Winter Solstice for those in the Northern Hemisphere. This holiday has been celebrated for thousands of years. Read here to find out why.
- The Best Gift For Any Holiday Isn’t The Self Gift. While retailers might try to convince us that we all deserve to have exactly what we want every holiday, it’s more important to remember that experiences are better than stuff and giving is the reason for the season.
- In Defense of “Happy Holidays” for One and All. If you’ve struggled with saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays during the season, here’s another way to look at it that includes everyone.
- Is Hygge the Key To A Happy Holiday And A Path To Living and Aging Well? Ever heard of hygge? This Danish tradition just might be something your holiday needs to be the best ever.
- A Christmas Wish For Peace. If you, like many others, would love to receive ‘world peace” for Christmas this year, then be sure and read this special poem by a young man named Mattie Stepanek.
I hope that these ten articles help you to remember what you enjoy most about the holidays and the courage to do it your way. And don’t forget the one I wrote a couple of weeks ago either. Ten Ways To Rightsize Your Christmas And Have The Best Holiday Ever. While some of the thoughts behind these posts might not be new to you or the way you celebrate, if you are anything like me you can use them to remember that we always have a choice. Like usual, the SMART approach is to focus on the best and let go of the rest.
Okay, your turn! What is one thing that always helps you remember why you celebrate the holiday in the first place? Please share in the comments below.