We’re rapidly approaching one of the most difficult times of the year… the holidays. It’s a time of joy and also a time of incredible stress.When I was a kid, it was my most favorite time of the year. The parties, the beautiful decorations, and the great fun with the family.For me, who grew up in a small town in upstate New York, there was a lot of expectation around the Christmas holiday. Because, other than my birthday, it was the only time of the year when I got extra gifts and I was thankful I got them.Today is a lot different. When I shop, I often see children getting toys and extra gifts all through the year… for no apparent reason. For most kids nowadays, Christmas has become the mega load.In fact, even my nieces, at 8- and 13-years-old are getting laptops! And my daughter, who is 18, just e-mailed me her Christmas gift list. After reading it, I e-mailed her back this response, “Ha, ha!”So how do you get through the holidays with joy in your heart, and without all of the stress that comes with trying to create the perfect holiday experience, both for you and your family?
Here are six tips to help you get through the holidays unscathed:1. Lower Your ExpectationsThere are many expectations put on us by our friends and family, not to mention the ones we create all by ourselves.You’re expected to travel hundreds of miles to be with your family over the holidays. You’re expected to buy lots of gifts for your kids. You’re expected to participate in neighborhood parties. You’re expected to help at your church and to provide gifts for the poor. And while all of this is good, it’s overwhelming and exhausting.That’s why it’s a good idea to lower your expectations. You can’t do it all and still work and run a business. Otherwise, you’ll be completely crazy, which is how I have felt many holiday seasons. For some reason, even with our children at the ages of 18 and 23, I still feel compelled to create for them the holiday experience I enjoyed as a child.2. Set LimitsThat’s why it’s important to set limits with your friends and family. It may be necessary this year to stay at home because traveling is too costly and it’s just going to take too much out of you.Set limits on what you’re going to spend on your children and on your family, and stick to it. Get your children involved in making gifts for friends and family, ones that are truly special. Or rather than a gift, do something special that’s out of the ordinary. Help your children understand that particularly during these tough times, everyone has to cut back.3. Relish the RelationshipsThe holidays are more than just gifts. They’re about enjoying the company of family and friends. About getting together to socialize and have fun with people you care about. They’re about being thankful for all of your blessings throughout the year.4. Simply SimplifyThis year, more than ever, is the perfect time to simplify. It’s not necessary to make the complete holiday dinner with all the specialities you’ve been making for years. It’s time to simplify and choose the what’s most important. No need for 6 different kinds of cookies when 2 will do. And get everyone to participate in the making.
Maybe this year you decide to send out your holiday cards in January instead of December. Or eliminate them altogether. Who made the tradition to send cards at Christmas anyway… Hallmark?5. Get Everyone InvolvedJust as in business, there’s a time to delegate. And that’s exactly what to do at the holidays. Assign tasks or better yet, have a family meeting and negotiate who does what. Get everyone involved in wrapping the gifts, putting up the decorations, and cooking dinner.6. Visualize the ExperienceRight now, before you get sucked into the holiday vortex, take a few minutes in a quiet place with no distractions, close your eyes, and visualize your holiday experience. What does it look like? Who are you spending it with? What do you need to do to get there? How are you feeling during it?Visualize the holiday experience you want this year and use these six tips to help make it happen!
Ron Rosenberg is a nationally recognized expert on marketing and customer service, business coach, and public speaker. Maximize your marketing efforts and generate more revenue in less time with his Business Self-Defense 90-Day Success Program and Business Owner Survival Kit. Get free marketing tools, tips, and tactics at web: RonsBusinessCoaching .com or for details on our speaking and coaching programs contact us at 800-260-0662 or info@qualitytalk .com.