Can Holidays Become a Key Moment?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Are you reading this blog?  If you celebrate Christmas, reading blogs this week might be a stretch.  So, thanks, first of all, for taking the time.   Too many people are swept through this month in a tsunami of sparkling lights, gift deadlines and traffic jams.   Is this what we want Christmas to be like?  Do we really even have a choice?

Let’s take a look at the Christmas cards you’ve gotten this year.  The greeting cards companies spend a lot of time and resources figuring out exactly what will attract people to buy.  And what have they learned to sell?  Pictures of little families snuggled together, listening to a reading of T’was the Night Before Christmas. A single, snow-blanketed tree in a quiet woods.  A gold embossed ribbon around a simple verse on cream card-stock.  Simplicity.  Peace.   This is what we envision when we dream of Christmas.

Now look around at your life.  Does your Christmas reflect your dream?  Is your Christmas all about Deck the Halls and Silent Night?  Or is it more like Bob Rivers Twelve Pains of Christmas?

At the Human Development Institute, we’re all about empowering you by giving you practical tools and strategies to elevate your life and your relationships to a whole new level.  And, yes!  This applies to being empowered through the holidays as well.  Where do we start?

  • If you decide to cut back on the scale of your giving, entertaining, or decorating, expect to feel some internal resistance.    Look past the “should” and ask yourself, “what am I really trying to accomplish here?”

If your true goal is to connect with family, you can cut back on entertaining and meet loved ones for an ice skating party at the community rink.  If your true goal is to keep the magic of Christmas alive for the little ones, think about incorporating more traditions – caroling, storytimes, baking parties, build a snowman – and fewer gifts.  If your true goal is to impress your neighbors . . . Well, consider revising that goal to “reaching out to the neighbors” instead.    Hang a strand of lights across the front of your house, then go around delivering goodies, hot chocolate and some friendly company.

  • Delegate.  One woman I know makes a customized photo calendar every year for all the relatives.   It’s time consuming to sort through all the photos and make sure every page is perfect.  She finally delegated the task to her middle-school daughter.  It wasn’t exactly what she would have chosen – it was what her child would have chosen.  And that was part of the charm.
  • Talk it out.  Are you terrified that people will be disappointed by your Christmas giving?  Even kids can understand if you explain that Christmas is about more than gifts.  Help them – and let them help you – shift the focus to family time, traditions and the reason for the season.  As for the grown-ups, many will be relieved to cut back on mutual gift-giving.  And those who don’t understand will adjust and hopefully develop a more positive attitude themselves.

You do have the choice to turn the chaos of Christmas into a key moment of LIVING BIG – taking control of what seemed like an uncontrollable external force.  You have choices.  If you are overwhelmed by the holidays, acknowledge that you have chosen to allow that.  And then, change it.  So that you can finally truly celebrate the warmth, simplicity and peace of the day.

Roger K. Allen, Ph.D. is an expert in personal transformation, leadership, and teams. His tools and methods have helped hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of people transform the ways they work and live. To learn more, visit

About Roger K. Allen
Roger K. Allen, Ph.D. is an expert in personal transformation and family development. His tools and methods have helped tens of thousands of people live happier and more effective lives. To learn more, visit>.

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