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  • Solving the Out of Control Holiday Frenzy

    Solving the Out of Control Holiday Frenzy

    A few years ago I realized that my holidays were out of control. Like off the rails, crash and burn, out of control.

    I’m sure none of you can identify.

    Packed schedules, crazy expectations, travel here and there, and over-the-top social plans had left me exhausted and crawling into the new year. I never set out to plan chaos; it’s more like I didn’t plan peace. Rather than letting my values about the season dictate my time, plans, and spending, I just jumped on board the holiday hustle and away I went. Host a Christmas Party? Sure! Find the perfect gift for all the people I knew? Absolutely. Fly to see family all over the country? Definitely! Decorate every nook and cranny of the house? You know it!

    After several years of this, I realized one mid-November evening that I was actually dreading the end of the year. With this realization came a sense of failure as this was the “Happiest Season of All.” Happy eh? Not so much. Full, hectic, busy, chaotic, fast-paced – yes. Happy – not really.

    Finding Happiness and Realigning Values

    So I started to reflect on what makes me happy. Have you ever done that? I think most of us would admit that we go along with what we think should make us happy, but I’m willing to guess that few of us have actually stepped back to evaluate whether or not those things actually do make us happy.

    Happiness can feel elusive, but there is a way to get to the heart of the matter. Think for a minute about what really makes you happy. What are the top three memories you have of feeling true joy? Were they in a specific location? With people you love? Doing something that made you feel alive?  It might not be intuitive, but happiness is highly correlated with values.

    Do you know what your core values are? Here are a few that often on the top values list for people: relationships, generosity, peace, creativity, productivity, harmony, health, activity, responsibility, love, service, and honesty. The more closely our lives are aligned with the things we value the more likely we are to experience greater life satisfaction. So the big question is – does your holiday hustle align with your values? 

    Tips to Avoid Out-of-Control Holidays

    When I did the great holiday evaluation of 2010, I realized that some of the activities on my list needed to stay and some needed to be taken off the list. Here are the tips I found can help you intentionally align your holidays with your values:

    • Cut back
      What can you cut out of the holidays that won’t be missed? Only put up one tree? Decorate less? Shop online? Give fewer gifts? Do it!
    • Shift the Priorities
      What things really matter during your celebrations? Put those first.
    • Hold onto the Positive
      Especially when you are around family, it can be easy to focus on the negative. This season, make it a goal to focus on the good and let everything else go.
    • Define Normal
      It’s easy to get caught up in what the holidays are “supposed to be like.” Decide what your “supposed to” looks like, rather than allow others to define that for you.
    • Laugh more. Sing out loud. Take a Nap. Breathe often.


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    Everyone’s situation is different; what it takes for you to be financially independent is unique to you. If you’d like to discuss any questions or concerns you have your financial life, please contact us for a no obligation consultation to see how we can help.



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    Solving the Out of Control Holiday Frenzy

    by Wendy Dickinson time to read: 3 min