What Have I Learned From The Holidays

It’s been a busy holiday season for me.    On Tuesday night, I hosted the Hanukkah Hush Hush (our version of Secret Santa) for the family.   In the past, we did this gathering at the end of January or beginning of February, but this year four members of the family are further away and are now home for the holidays.  My daughter and husband are in North Carolina and my niece and husband are living in Ithaca, NY.   We now have a new member of our tribe…Valor, my niece’s son.

On Wednesday, I had my traditional Open House that opens at 1:00 pm and stays open until the last person gets tired and is ready to go home…which could be at midnight.   The evening is mostly filled with friends.   Some people see each other once a year at this party.    This year we closed the doors around 9:30 pm mainly because I served food earlier.   I’ve been doing an Open House for over 40 years and each year something new happens that makes the experience different or better.   This year the lasagna didn’t defrost in time so I put it in the oven earlier…that’s why we ate earlier.   It worked out perfectly as I was able to clean up after everyone left and the next day the house was tidy for Christmas Day.

Holidays are busy times for me and I yearn for leisure to indulge in deeper conversations with family and friends. What do I mean by deeper?   I want time to learn more about the people who are important in my life…what they want, how they are feeling, and listening to their stories.

Yet, the holidays are about partying and celebrating so conversations are generally light.  Even the quiet time that I had with my daughter and son, our conversations were casual.    I realize that I’m intense and am looking for more in my connections.   I judge the success of the holiday season by the types of conversations that I have with family and friends.    Though, this year it was different for me.

I realized that light conversations are just as important as more intense dialogues with family and friends.  I decided to be present with each person exactly as we were with no additional expectations.  At this time in my life, I’m honoring that what happens is just perfect.  I’ve decided I didn’t want to leave a holiday season dissatisfied because of unrealistic expectations.  Instead, I chose to cherish every moment with the important people in my life.

The gift I received this holiday season was to be in the company of great people, who I have journeyed with for many years.   I am grateful for each and everyone who is in my life today.    When I’m present with each person, the right conversation always occurs and I don’t have to create it.  Whether it’s light or intense, it’s all about sharing life together.

Your Thoughts

Do you have tons of expectations around the holidays?  Do you find yourself disappointed when they are done?   What would it be like to plan to enjoy each person who celebrates with, just the way they are, as well as being yourself?

Women’s Group Topics

Women normally are the keepers of the holidays.   We keep the traditions and try to perfect the holidays so it’s perfect.   A great timely topic before you enter into the height of the holidays.   You can work together to decide how to best enjoy your holidays without disappointments.

Be well,

“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.” (Pat Brill)


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