It’s Beginning

   Written by on November 10, 2017 at 11:00 am
Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

Have you noticed the all Christmas movie line-up on several TV channels?  Or, the growing displays of Christmas trees at the local stores?  Have you seen the magazine covers with the picture perfect turkey dinners?  Yes, it is holiday season.  Does the thought of the impending holidays cause the Jaws theme to play in your ear?

Would you like to change the song playing in your mind to “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?”  Depending on your focus, the holidays can be both happy and, yes, even relaxing.  The following are some points to remember when planning the upcoming holiday season, to help implement a theme of it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The main rule should be to keep it simple.  Ok, Pinterest does have some amazing decorations.  However, ask yourself, is making all those decorations helping you to enjoy your family and friends?  Or, are you going overboard and creating stress?  If something feels overwhelming, why are you doing it?  Not all things are possible nor can they be accomplished.  When creating your holiday calendar, you may have to eliminate events you have neither the time nor the energy to attend.

Remember to eat right.  Yes, Christmas cookies are great.  However, you can choose healthy recipes to bring to a party.  If you bring healthy, you know there will be an alternative to the unhealthy holiday treats that are sure to be in abundance.  Some simple options are a fruit platter, a mixture of nuts and dried fruits, or a raw vegetable plate with dip such as hummus.  This is not only healthy but also much easier than spending hours in the kitchen baking.

Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the sunny days.  Make it a point to let the sunlight in; keep your curtains open to let in as much sunshine as possible.  Go for a walk in the sunshine during the warmest part of the day whenever possible.  Sunshine is extremely important and can affect our overall outlook on life.

Be reasonable about gift giving.  Most people love giving gifts.  The problem is that gift giving can create an expectation of finding that “perfect gift.”  Find the perfect gift stress can take the joy out of giving.  Also, the quest for the perfect gift can create financial problems when the price of the gift exceeds our budget.  Financial struggles are major stressors during the holidays.  One way to limit the perfect gift stress in your family is to make the gift giving a gift exchange game.  Up North, we called it the Yankee Gift Exchange.  Everyone brings one gift, then each person, one at a time, chooses a gift, either an unopened gift or a gift previously opened.  This continues until everyone has opened or chosen a gift.  This game creates lots of interchanges and generally laughter.  The goal should be to focus on the heart of love behind the giving rather than the monetary value of the gift.  After all, isn’t that what is most important?

Don’t try to live up to others’ expectations, perceived or real.  Yes, the magazines are full of great multi-course meals.  However, it is so important to resist trying to meet perceived expectations.  Remember, magazines have a staff of people creating those perfect decorations.  Moreover, Photoshop can make any dish look great.

Slow down and enjoy those you love.  What are your fondest holiday memories?  If you look at movie themes, the fond memories are of times spent with family and friends.  What time do you have on the holiday calendar for laughing, talking, listening to Christmas music, or sipping hot chocolate by a fire with your family?

Remember the reason for the season! Presents, trees, parties, food, and decorations are ways to celebrate.  Ask yourself if you are spending so much time and energy on celebrating that you have lost the reason for the celebration.

Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6: 31, 33

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Call us with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions; our phone number is 434-808-2637.

About Cheryl & Dennis Gowin

Cheryl Gowin, Counselor and Dennis Gowin, Director of Discovery Counseling Center. Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues or questions at 434-808-2426 or dgowin@discoverycounseling.org.

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