MY 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…AKA…THE 12 KEYS TO A JOYOUS HOLIDAY!

12 Keys to a Joyous Holiday
We have all heard the song “12 Days of Christmas”…(just hear in your mind…’5 Golden Rings’)!
And the number 12 has significance (just Google it…wowza!) and here is one interpretation I found: “The number 12 has significance, as it represents authority, appointment and completeness. 12 is believed to signify God and heaven. The number 12 is also associated with the government of the cosmos.”
So, here are my 12 keys to living and experiencing a joyous Holiday season this year!
  1. Don’t take anything personally. Your aunt really does think your blue jeans with the rips and tears are stylish. And while your Mom is still trying to feed you ham even though you have been Vegan for 5 years; it’s just her way of saying “I love you.”
  2. Don’t be contrarian. You may and probably are right about your point of view. You even have the facts to back it up. You may find all the materialism bourgeois (had to look up how to spell that)…AND, they are doing the best they can given what they know. Save it for deep conversation over craft beer.
  3. Sing Christmas songs. Even if you are Jewish; a bunch of those songs were written by Jews. Singing Christmas songs and a very small number of Hanukkah songs lifts your spirits and puts you in a better mood. My house is full of songs and humming and Christmas candles…hard to be grumpy with all that Christmas spice.
  4. Give. I am not talking about presents here. I am talking about generosity of your spirit, energy and love. Appreciate your local mall employee, postman or woman. Give to the homeless on the street. Send a check to one of those direct mail solicitations for a charity you trust. Bake some cookies for your neighbors; give your employees extra time off. You get the picture.
  5. FIVE APPRECIATIONS PER DAY! (Please either sing that or at least sing it in your head:) Ok, here is your stretch challenge: Appreciate 5 different people per day until Christmas. Acknowledgment and appreciation both empowers and fills up the other person, it also enhances your mood, and bolsters your immune system. Move over Vitamin C!
  6. Maintain your exercise routine. Ok, sounds a little like your Personal Trainer, and we all know it can be a nutritional blood bath out there. Keep doing what you have been doing…yoga, running, cycling, boot camp, walking. By simply maintaining your routine, your mind and body stay sane.
  7. Do one project you have been putting off. We all have some time off and more space in our schedule during this time. If we are not present, the two weeks go by and we are not quite sure what happened except eating and lounging. Pick ONE project you have been putting off and complete it during this time. Create support from your family and make it fun! You will feel SO good when it is complete!
  8. Buy yourself one small indulgence gift. Even if you are financially strapped, buying yourself one indulgence gift has you feel special and important. Make sure you spend appropriately to your current conditions, and remember: the act of living and being abundant draws abundance to you.
  9. Appreciate the miracles. This is the season of miracles, no matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs.  Begin to look for and appreciate the miracles of the season.  Whether it is the parking place you score at the mall, or your son or daughter coming home for the holidays…let the miracles warm your heart and inspire your wonder.
  10. Say No. OR Yes. Check in with yourself before saying no or yes.  If you really are overwhelmed and need some space, say no.  If you want to and feel like you “shouldn’t” for no good reason, say yes.  Be present to what is really your higher self and does no harm to others.  Choose because you choose.
  11. Love the one your with.  Make sure and show up for the people that are most important to you.  Especially the ones that live with you or are your closest peeps.  It’s easy to put on the glitz for everyone else out there.  Connect with your intimate friends and family and celebrate them in a way they “get” it.  PS…’cuz they put up with you all year.
  12. Put cookies and milk out for Santa. For those of you with younger children, of course you will!  And if you are single, or your children are older or don’t “believe” anymore…do it anyway.  FOR YOU.  There is simply nothing like believing in magic to light up our lives.  And while I’m at it…watch at least one great Christmas/Holiday movie this season.  Crying is good medicine.
So there it is…My 12 Keys to A Joyous Holiday Season.
You may have your Top 12 that support you In the Holidays…if so go for it.
Most importantly, in a year where we have had horrific natural disasters, painful mass shootings, a turbulent political environment…this is the time for all of us to connect and express the love that is the core of us all. All You Need is Love.
May you and your loved ones experience a very happy and joyful Holiday!
Blessings, Lisa