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Three Options to Have the Best Holiday of Your Life!


It usually begins around the end of September. School has started, the beach trip is over and the air has started to chill ever so slightly. You try to avoid the subject all together, but inevitably thoughts and conversations begin to turn toward… plans for the holidays.

Yes, some may very well have visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads, but your only visions are of potential escape routes out of Aunt Edna’s holiday house of horrors. All across the country, and possibly the world, people just like you are desperately seeking asylum from the antiquated traditions of days gone by. But fear not my weary reveler! Here are 3 options to help you:

Option # 1: Don’t Go! Yes, this option could lead to potential exile from the family, but if your situation is desperate enough, would this really be such a bad thing? Would one less conversation (or argument) you loathe, fruit cake you won’t eat and pointless gifts you can only hope to return be something you miss? It is okay to stand confident in the fact you have better things to do with your time and have other people in your life you want to spend your time with.  So plan something else to do that day and report, “I will be unable to make it this year due to another event,” and enjoy every moment of your positive choices!

Option # 2: Be Entertained! Let’s face it, the family circus can be far more entertaining than whatever collection of musically-challenged pop culture icons the networks choose to prop up with “holiday specials.” Does it really get any better than show and tell with the kid fresh from rehab or the story of the second cousin twice removed, who not only survived his fourth heart attack, but was miraculously saved by the aortic valve salvaged from a pig’s heart?  Go ahead, show up and enjoy the drama, while you stay grateful that you only see them once a year.

Option # 3: Start a New Tradition! Regardless of your family’s traditions, you are at a place in life where you can steer your own proverbial ship. There is no script that can’t be re-written. Commit to yourself and your closest loved ones to plan a holiday in which you can all relax, have fun, and be grateful. If the family traditions you have been practicing in the past don’t fit this definition, powerfully choose not to do it this year.

The holidays represent a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your deepest relationships. Duty and obligation are commendable attributes, but not at the expense of your sanity and happiness. With a little confidence, planning and creativity, you really can make this your most memorable holiday season ever.

Holiday Help


It is all too common to experience bouts of inadequacy during the holidays. Most of us have experienced plenty of days when everything seems a bit difficult and no one seems to notice, or care, that we are struggling. Worse yet, we allow these feelings to be magnified this time of year when we believe others are celebrating joyful relationships with family and friends, while we struggle alone.

Here is a practical guide to avoiding potential holiday despondency:

  • Own your situation and surroundings. During the holidays, or any other time for that matter, be where you are because you want to be there. If you are in a position of having to honor an obligation, remember why you chose to see it as an obligation and how it is important to you.  It’s easier to find gratitude when we take responsibility for our own choices.
  • Acknowledge those around you. The quickest remedy to feeling unappreciated is to express appreciation for someone else. You will quickly forget how badly you feel about yourself by brightening someone else’s day.
  • Plan ahead to connect with those you love. Schedule in 2 or more events where you will have meaningful connections with people who are special to you. Whether it’s through a conversation, a party, or a simply sharing a laugh over a movie, knowing you have plans to celebrate your connection with others will brighten your winter days and keep the negative talk at bay.

Remember, you are loved! Sometimes, it takes a little extra effort to feel whole.  So why not take that extra effort for yourself today?  You are worth it!

Gratitude Post #2

As a reminder to all of you, I am continuing a tradition I learned about last year from Tia Graham. The tradition is posting a five item gratitude list every Wednesday up toThanksgiving. So far there are several others joining in, so enjoy reading, and hopefully participating, in the spread of gratitude. Here’s my list for the week:
  1. I am grateful to have seen Neuschwanstein in the Alps shrouded in fog
  2. I am grateful to be learning to scuba dive
  3. I am grateful I live in beautiful North Georgia
  4. I am grateful to have seen Bayern München in person
  5. I am grateful for the wonderful unschooling community (thank you for the support and inspiration)

I look forward to reading what you have to share!

Share the Gratitude


Last year I got the idea to write a weekly gratitude post on my blog leading up to Thanksgiving. I read about it on another blog and loved the idea. Sandra Dodd joined me, and this year I would love as many people to participate as possible. Let’s link up our blogs and share the gratitude.

Do whatever feels good to you, what I am going to do is post 5 things I am grateful for every Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s a fun tradition I hope you will share with me! So here I go:

  1. I am grateful for my wonderful family
  2. I am grateful I get to participate in so many groups
  3. I am grateful I have so much support from friends
  4. I am grateful I live in Georgia and get to experience these beautiful fall days
  5. I am grateful I get so many opportunities for adventure

It is a joy to share my gratitude with as many people as possible. I look forward to reading everything you share!

Tough Times/Hopeful Times

Every week I write an e-mail/newsletter called “Weekly Perspectives.” If you would like, you can sign up for it by following the link. I normally don’t use this as a blog post but I decided to today because this week’s e-mail is one I believe will resonate with many people. If you already receive the Weekly Perspective I apologize for the redundancy. If not feel free to sign up for it and enjoy this post!

Times are a little tough for many people right now. There is a constant barrage of fearful news and every time things seem to improve someone else pops up with another message of doom and gloom. Couple that with the propensity for depression this time of year and it could be a recipe for disastrous conditions.

Yet there are many people who are excited and filled with hope. What is the difference? What separates those for whom thoughts of panic and despair overshadow optimism and those who are able to transcend the dark and depressed fray?

Those who maintain a positive and hopeful outlook are people who give themselves things to look forward to. They maintain an attitude of gratitude and actively seek solutions. They remove themselves from the blame, shame, and justify mentality and take responsibility for their happiness.  This is easier than it seems.

·      Focus on gratitude daily, whether by writing a list or simply being aware

·      Any time you find yourself complaining, write down a solution to whatever it is you are complaining about

·      Verbally express your love for the people in your life

You can make the world a better place. All it takes is a shift in attitude.