Important to and important for this Holiday Season

26 February 2015

Important to and important for this Holiday Season

It seems that these last few weeks, people are getting busy with Holiday Season preparations.  Many people hold family traditions close to their hearts.  This can bring out the best in people and the worse in people.  People don’t always agree with their loved ones about traditions including religious practices, decorations, baking, gift exchanges, parties, visiting schedules and getting everything ready.

When people agree about Holiday Season events and customs, it is most likely because they have similarities in terms of what is important to them.  The other explanation is that their priority in terms of what is important to themis their relationships and getting along.

This year November has been and December will be an especially busy time for me, and what isimportant for me is not to overdo it and burn myself out with the baking, decorating, shopping and visiting.  Listening to my ownimportant for my health priorities has also made me re-examine my own list of what isimportant to me for the holidays. Instead of making 3 to 4 dozen each of our 8-10 favorite cookie and squares recipes, I will be making only three recipes, one for each of my children and one recipe for my husband.  This year, I will enjoy tourtière (meat pie) at other people’s homes and not make my own. I also asked my husband for help with shopping and we’ve simplified gift exchanges with our extended families.  Decorating my tree with loads of lights and hundreds of ornaments that I have collected over the last 25 years was also always very important to me.  This year, I asked my children to make decisions about where to place the tree and how to decorate it.

The differences this year are that we will have our favourite baking, but not loads so this will definitely be better for our health and waistlines.  My husband was glad to do some of the shopping and we feel like a team this year and we are only exchanging gifts between my children and my brother’s children and eliminating the exchange between the adults.

The most valuable lesson I learned is that it isimportant for me to better listen to others, even when my own priorities are extremely important to me.  In letting go and relaxing about the holidays, my children had more fun decorating the tree and told me that in the past there had always been too many decorations.  The tree is a bit different but just as beautiful.  In talking with my brother and listening more closely to his own priorities for a gift exchange, I have understood better.  He is happier about us focusing on the children and not exchanging between adults.  And I am truly okay with this.  I resisted in the past because I only heard his words (why do we need to do an exchange anyway?) and not the message behind it (children okay, adults not so much).

The Holiday Season will still come whether or not we do things the same way every year and it has been a blessing to do what is important for me instead ofwhat is important to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to listen more deeply and learn more about others.  Season’s Greetings everyone!

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