20 Tips For Holidays That Rock

Saboten-Con Saturday Portraits - Queen of Hearts, detail
Creative Commons License photo credit: kevindooley

As you plan your holiday season decide what you want to experience, take action and enjoy!
Holidays are what we make them. Please join me in creating joyful and peaceful memories.

1. Plan time for silence. Become grateful for all you have. Include the difficult  people and difficult times in your life. We have so much more than we know.

2. Do less. Plan ahead. Make a "to do" list beginning with the most important item. Delegate.

3. Buy less. Make a grocery list and plan enough time to shop. Be patient. Prepare for long lines and traffic.

4. Eat slowly and eat less. Resist the temptation to put too much on your plate. Wait at least 10 minutes before taking a second helping. Relax, breathe and smile.

5. Offer to help. Look for ways to lighten someone's load. At the very least offer to clear the table when everyone is finished eating.

6. Be kind. Compliment somebody. Take genuine interest in what is going on with others.

7. Don't bring up old grievances. If someone else does, change the topic.

8. Forgive everyone. Examine your heart and sweep out any old hurts, resentments or anger. 

9. Exercise for at least 20 minutes. Get your "good mood" going. Play outside. Go hiking, biking or walking. It will make the day more pleasant for everyone. 

10. Share good times. Ask everyone to share a happy memory as you gather around the table. Share your laughter and your blessings.

11. Do good.Visit a nursing home, an elderly neighbor, or a homeless shelter. 

12. Give the gift of yourself. Play board games or go for a walk together. Limit screen time…television, computer, computer games, video games, iPods, etc. 

13. Embrace your family and friends. Tell them how much they mean to you. Say "I appreciate you" at least 5 times today.

14. Limit your time commitments.Schedule down time. Be good to yourself.

15. Lower your expectations of others. You won't be disappointed. Remember everyone is doing the best they know how to do. Keep your focus on yourself.

16. Be there for others. Listen. Listen. Listen. Don't add your problems to the conversation. Leave your preferences and opinions at home. Make it about "them."

17. Share your love. Genuinely look into the eyes of others and silently bless them.

18. Shine. Be the fun you wish to have!   

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ideas With A Kick November 22, 2009, 12:47 pm

    Aaa… the holidays. You got me thinking about them. 🙂

    As I read through your tips, I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be great if we would apply them all the times, not just on holidays?” Sort of, make every day a holiday…

    Eduard
    .-= Ideas With A Kick´s last post…Forget achieving life balance and try this instead =-.

  • Lori | JaneBeNimble November 22, 2009, 1:30 pm

    You have me pegged, Tess. I dread the holidays every year. I swear I’m not a “bah humbug” type. It’s just, well…a long story.
    Your tips inspire me and really go a long way to get me into the season this year on the right foot.
    You must have read my mind, just last night it hit me that we’re coming upon The Seasons – your post was perfect timing! Thank you.
    ~x0
    .-= Lori | JaneBeNimble´s last post…Front Porch: Pearl’s Wisdom =-.

  • Wilma Ham November 22, 2009, 2:16 pm

    Hi Tess.

    This is about dressing up life, lets make it fun and beautiful and the photo so says it for me! Get rid off the dreariness of life and make it rock.
    Be self expressed and bold and outrageous.
    I am with our friend Eduard on this one and then Lori will never have to dread the holidays ever again.

    Good move Tess, lets do it forever. Love Wilma

    BTW for eating less we have to make a different regime around our men who do need to eat more frequent than us. Hmm.
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…Community is dead, long live community =-.

  • Tess The Bold Life November 22, 2009, 5:34 pm

    Eduard,

    You’re exactly correct. It would be good to live these tips everyday. Thanks for putting that out there.

    Jane,
    I never went a long with any “have-to’s” for the holidays and therefore never really got caught up too much in the drama. I’m not real traditional and the minute my children went to college I stopped putting up a Christmas tree.

    I enjoy the music, cookies, the idea of sharing love and joy. But I love keeping it simple.

    Knowing you I’m sure you’ll figure out how to have a joyful time.

    Wilma,
    Yeah, when you get the food/husband thing figured out let me know! Meanwhile…let’s rock!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…20 Tips For Holidays That Rock =-.

  • jenn November 22, 2009, 5:40 pm

    I totally love this!!!! So true so true! You know I’m a bit of an organized christmas freak eh? LOL I’m ready, decorated almost all gifts bought, they will be wrapped soon, everything. That way from dec 1 on ward I can just enjoy…or at least thats the plan. I’m in rinks alot this time of year too. Boys hockey!!! hehe

    thanks friend!
    j
    .-= jenn´s last post…busy and sick…. =-.

  • joyce at I TAKE OFF THE MASK November 22, 2009, 5:40 pm

    Hi Tess? Thanks for this list! I believe I can use it not only for the holidays but for my daily life 🙂 Maybe we could also add ‘PRACTICE GRATITUDE’ for all these wonderful things we’re receiving. Thank God indeed for life and joyful holidays!
    .-= joyce at I TAKE OFF THE MASK´s last post…Is Retirement Your Life’s Goal? =-.

  • Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 22, 2009, 6:59 pm

    Limit your time commitments is a great idea. We are visiting my home state with lots of friends and family I haven’t seen in a while. There are some days I try to do too much. I have to pace myself to maximize my fun.

    I just need to figure out how to remind myself to follow this idea.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…Hard, Fun and Beautiful – Red Skin Edition =-.

  • Davina November 22, 2009, 7:00 pm

    Proactive Christmas thinking — I like it! “Lower your expectation of others” stands out for me. This was a very timely post… I just bought Christmas cards this afternoon and that’s early for me.
    .-= Davina´s last post…A Yogi Twists A Business Pitch =-.

  • Jill November 22, 2009, 8:00 pm

    I love this list, Tess. I have struggled with Scroogitis all my adult life. When I became a parent I never showed my dislike to the Littles, but made if very clear to Mr. Man that I did not enjoy it. I have gotten better over the last few years and have been trying to celebrate the holidays in a way that I could tolerate. This list is going to be very helpful for me this year. You always have the best lists.
    .-= Jill´s last post…Tantrums aren’t just for kids anymore =-.

  • Walter November 22, 2009, 8:54 pm

    I’m very excited about holiday season. For me it’s a time for giving and sharing, most of all it’s a time to extend myself to others like some of what you have listed above. 🙂

  • suzen November 22, 2009, 9:37 pm

    Hi Tess! I used to hate the holidays, like Lori mentioned the dread! Ugly memories. I worked hard to establish new traditions once I had kids and we always made the holiday season a time to give to others. Many a year the 4 of us served dinner at the homeless shelter, and we collected toys for tots and made quilts for the shelter. Now that they are grown, we take turns picking which charity to focus on for the year.

    I love your list! And as some have already suggested, why not have this list for ALL days? It has wonderful balance, your list! And boy don’t we all need that!
    .-= suzen´s last post…Imagination Breaks A Sweat =-.

  • Lance November 23, 2009, 4:02 am

    Hi Tess,
    Ah, the holiday season…it’s pretty much upon us now! Sometimes this time of year feels like it is so structured and planned. Like it can be – drive, eat, repeat. So – as we go forth this week, I’ll remember these – especially the ideas of embracing love and giving that back to loved ones. Maybe with a bit more internal focus on love, and less on “I have to do this”, it will all feel more real and sweet. (thank you Tess!!)
    .-= Lance´s last post…Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

  • Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 23, 2009, 6:30 am

    Hey Tess,
    Your list is so perfect…so many things in this list are the perfect example of enjoying your life. I suppose this list should be an all year thing rather than just a holiday thing 🙂
    SHINE is my all time favorite…..And you my dear are a shining example of the beauty of LIFE itself.
    With Love.
    p.s. am still dreading my mommys visit…but will keep shining and loving…:)
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Being Alive{Inspirational Quote} =-.

  • Evita November 23, 2009, 7:52 am

    Hi Tess

    These tips are AMAZING…you had me at the first 5….yes less is definitely more.

    I see so many people running around like crazy, stressed and complaining when the holidays get near…but doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose??? Holidays are meant to be fun and relaxing, but we have gone a long, long way from that for many people.

    We need to bring back the simplicity that really brings us true peace and happiness and your list is an amazing reminder and place to start! Thank YOU!
    .-= Evita´s last post…Essential Energy with Cyndi Dale: Beyond the Golden Rule =-.

  • Carolynn November 23, 2009, 9:09 am

    Wise Words. I missed commenting on your last couple of posts because I messed up #2 on the list…..*sigh*
    .-= Carolynn´s last post…Silent Sunday – The Woman I Want to Become =-.

  • Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 23, 2009, 9:55 am

    These are great tips to remember and as some others said, not just at the holidays. I find I have difficulty being around my family sometimes… But need to remember to let them be exactly who they are, so that I, too, can be exactly who I am.
    I think that’s why I tense up around my family: they push very old, deeply buried buttons within me that I can easily hide or ignore when I’m not in their presence.
    I do, indeed, hope these holidays ROCK! For you, your readers, and everyone celebrating any sort of special occasion around the world.
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…Read. LAUGH! Repeat. =-.

  • Hilary November 23, 2009, 9:58 am

    Hi Tess – great list and great comments .. I don’t do much about Christmas as I’m with the family and it’s all done!! However as you rightly say share, give, offer yourself to be with others and entertain them. Be more relaxed make time for others ..

    19 – smile and don’t worry – it will be wonderful if you follow Tess’ list – start now, while there’s still time .. buy cheap and small (quality thinking)

    and number 20 should be per Lance and Patricia – Give to a charity .. mine will be St Wilfrids Hospice seeing what care they gave my uncle recently ..

    It’s a time for remembering, but having fun with family and friends ..
    Enjoy – Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last post…What is a Persian Palette…? Turquoise, Seagreen, Magenta … =-.

  • Stacey Shipman November 23, 2009, 10:03 am

    I love the holidays! Even though I’m more a fan of summer, I love the next few weeks and what they mean. That said, I’d add “lower your expectations of yourself.” too. 🙂 and volunteer your time. There are so many amazing opportunities available to give to others. Forget the gifts, give your time to a charity in need and that you believe in.

    Happy Holidays to you and enjoy your week with family and friends!
    .-= Stacey Shipman´s last post…Exercise and Yoga: You’re Never Too Old to Start =-.

  • Patricia November 23, 2009, 10:08 am

    Tess,
    Truly a great list to celebrate. I think planning is so crucial and preparing so that there truly are elements of relaxation and joy – more fun if everyone helps and it is not just one person’s task and responsibility. Thanks
    .-= Patricia´s last post…Harvest Potluck UNICEF Fundraiser =-.

  • Keith November 23, 2009, 11:11 am

    Hello Tess,

    This is a great list! I am really drawn to #6 and #8. If we can all just practice those two things we will create a Loving-Kindness Revolution!

    I appreciate what you do here Tess. Keep it going!

    Hey, how’s the new book project going?
    .-= Keith´s last post…Choose Your Path! =-.

  • Tess November 23, 2009, 11:21 am

    Jenn,
    With all of your family activities it’s wise to get ready and Enjoy! I wish you all the happiness and peace you bring to others.

    Jocelyn,
    I’m with you all the way grateful and appreciative of my blessed life.

    Karl,
    Oh yes, yes let’s maximize FUN;)

    Davina,
    I bought mine last year. I find joy in sending cards. Merry to you!

    Jill,
    Yes when you’re attitude changes all else will fall into place. I know you know that…we all need reminders in the areas we get stuck. Love your honesty. Give my best wishes to Mr. Little.

    suZen,
    So cool picking a charity to focus on. We’re going to volunteer in our area with our favorite as well. I want to share my joy along with you.

    Lance,
    I know you’ll bring sweetness and love where ever you go. My best to your mom and dad!

    Zeenat,
    This is where all we believe in get’s put into practice. I know you’ll do great. Love and peace to you!

    Evita,
    That’s the only way I want to participate. When I bring my love and leave my judgment behind all is well. Happy holidays!

    Carolynn,
    You’re funny. I’m glad you’re back and know you don’t have to comment or read every post. Take care of yourself and yes do Less!

    Megan,
    I’m not sure you hide or ignore them. Some are just great at getting what’s under the water. Think of an iceberg. What you are at peace with is conscious and above water. The unconcious is below water and when an old button is being pushed the other is just showing you there’s a little more under the water (we’re not aware of) to release.

    You’re the best and I’m sure it will show where ever you go these holidays.
    Blessed is the person who gets to be with you! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hillary,
    I agree. Ours is the Smile Train. I’m sending warm wishes your way. May you receive the love you give so generously to others.

    Hillary,

  • Giovanna Garcia November 23, 2009, 5:29 pm

    Hi Tess,

    This is a great list. I love it.
    For me #19 will be adopt a family for the holidays. # 20 do something unexpected.
    Thanks for sharing your list.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action
    .-= Giovanna Garcia´s last post…We can end hate and discrimination. =-.

  • Jodi at Joy Discovered November 23, 2009, 5:52 pm

    Hi Tess, these are great tips as we enter the holiday season. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to avoid all the stress and experience only the joy these days can bring? I like your idea to exercise for 20 minutes each morning. It’s a great way to clear one’s mind and start the day with a fresh perspective and open heart.
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last post…Forgiveness, Letting Go, and Freedom =-.

  • Hayden Tompkins November 23, 2009, 5:56 pm

    Shine! I love that you ended with this. 🙂
    .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last post…sensitive (adj.) deeply perceptive =-.

  • Angelia Sims November 23, 2009, 11:33 pm

    I, especially, needed to hear these. It really helps me get centered and focused on what the holiday is about. Brings me peace, and helps me be ready. I was anxious before I dropped by, but this list will be read and kept handy.

    Thanks for sharing, Tess.

    🙂
    .-= Angelia Sims´s last post…Healthy Reflection on Monday =-.

  • Tess November 24, 2009, 7:43 am

    Gio,
    I’m going to the PB&J gathering this Friday. I give you all the credit for sharing the org. on your blog!

    Jodi,
    Yes we’ve always taken long walks and I have pleasant memories of walking around Reeds Lake in EGR, MI with my family on Thanksgiving Day.

    Hayden,
    You do shine.

    Angelia,
    Silly don’t be anxious, enjoy!

  • Peggy November 24, 2009, 9:26 am

    These are fabulous and most excellent tips Tess! I love the last one – be the fun you wish to have!

    I wish you a bountiful and joyful Thanksgiving!

    xo
    Peggy
    .-= Peggy´s last post…Happy Thanksgiving! =-.

  • Katie West/The Levity Coach November 25, 2009, 9:50 pm

    Tess….great list! I really liked eat slowly as a reminder…with 2 little ones I forget that completely sometimes. Exercise…hmmm? any ideas for a broken leg?

    I have been practically giddy this year for the holidays…watching my kids light up is a priceless and favorite joy.

    Katie
    .-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s last post…The Upside of Gravity =-.

  • Meg at Demanding Joy November 29, 2009, 8:13 am

    Thanks so much for this thoughtful post! I hate, hate, hate the holidays. (So cold, so materialistic, so tacky, so much work, so full of relatives…) Each one of your steps speaks to me – I will definitely be using them all this year.
    .-= Meg at Demanding Joy´s last post…Gratitude Quick Links =-.

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