How Spiritually Mature People Spend Holidays

by Tess



You can have a good time over the holidays in spite of the people around you. Nobody can take away your peace of mind unless you give it to them.

Remember we determine how we see ourselves, other people and all events. We have the power to shift our perception. We have the power to give others the benefit of the doubt. We have the power to let old stories go. We have the power to love others for who they are and where they are, today.

You only need a little willingness.

What to do at parties, gatherings and other events:

Forgive your past and everyone in it. Begin doing forgiveness work today. If you have a problem with someone your goal is to be at peace with them before the family event. Each night before falling asleep wish this person well. See them with a smile on their face. Silently offer them peace. Fill a helium balloon with the problem. Let it drift away.

Feel the love.  Exercise and get enough sleep. Read a great book. Spend time in prayer. Fill your love tank prior to arriving to a dinner or a party.

Be prepared. Spend time in silence before the family gathering. Put a few affirmation cards in your purse or pocket. If you catch yourself feeling anything but loving, excuse yourself. Recenter yourself. 

Fill a home or restaurant with love prior to arriving. Send love in advance. Visualize everyone having a good time. Make your intention to be loving and choose to feel loved.

Be genuinely interested in others. Talk about what interests your friends and relatives. Note what another person is interested in. Inquire further. Speak less and listen more with your heart open. Ask about a garden, a hobby or other neutral topics. Remember, nobody has to change to make you happy. Give the love you want to receive.

Share. Bring a favorite childhood dish. Share kind words, a smile, a genuine compliment or praise. Simple gifts are often the best and long remembered. 

Treat others like they are royalty. Everyone wants to feel important. Everyone is doing the best they know how with what they have at this time. When we know better, we do better. Love others for being themselves. Become one with the people you're with.

Keep your ego in check. Become aware of the temptation of thinking you're better than others. Become aware of the ways that we are alike. We all need to be validated, loved and appreciated. 

Give yourself permission to shine. Don't dim your light for anyone. On the other hand don't brag. If someone lost their job don't blurt out how well your job is going. If there is conflict, go above the battlefield and remain calm. Don't get involved. Hold everyone is a place of love.

Take a time out. Don't join in negative conversation about the past. Excuse yourself from that conversation. Change the subject. Find something to do in the kitchen. If you don't feel safe, leave the room or go for a walk.

Bless everyone. Take a moment while sitting at the table and silently look at each person and be sincerely grateful. These people are in your life for a reason. They will teach you how to love unconditionally. They will mirror the positive and negative traits you may otherwise not see in yourself. Silently thank them.

Play. Bring something fun to do. Bring a board game, a simple craft, play cards or read to the children. Laugh. Lighten up. Be the fun you wish to have at the party.

Be on your best behavior. Practice what you preach. Be your spiritually mature self. Leave your feelings of being unfairly treated, resentment or envy, in your journal. This leaves room for calm, peace and contentment.

Enjoy the moment. Breathe in six counts and pause. Breathe out. Practice this anytime you feel anxious. You have the power to bring joy with you to any situation. A Course In Miracles states that the only thing lacking from any situation is what you're withholding.

You will receive what you give to others over the holidays. You will get what you expect. Spread joy. Expect love. Have fun.

Please share on Facebook and Twitter below. Spread the love!
photo credit: SpecialKRB


{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Lance November 30, 2009 at 3:58 am

What a great message – not only for the upcoming holiday season…really for our life and interactions with others. If we lived with these principles every day, what a great spirit of community and connection we would build. And that’s having compassion for our fellow family members and trusted friends. And beyond that…compassion for our world…
.-= Lance´s last post…Sunday Thought For The Day =-.


Jill November 30, 2009 at 6:15 am

So many pearls of wisdom here to take with me this holiday season. I know I’ve said this before, but I love your lists. My favorite item on this list is “give yourself permission to shine.” I am so doing that this year. Thank you for sharing this here.
.-= Jill´s last post…Who are you, and what have you done with Jill? =-.


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 30, 2009 at 7:54 am

What a fabulous list, and one I needed to read – for my everyday interactions and not just holiday ones. I loved your advice to fill a room with love, and set the intention that everyone feels love and has fun. Starting many years ago, I began using the white light exercise where I mentally surrounded everyone I saw or interacted with in bright white light. What a difference it seemed to make – if only in my ability to connect with everyone from a spiritual, rather than egoic, place.
I also loved your advice to talk to people about the things THEY love talking about. What easier way to give or be generous than that?
Many blessings to you, Tess!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…In Favor of Friendlier Foods =-.


suzen November 30, 2009 at 8:32 am

Hi Tess!
Wonderful list! I couldn’t help but think of my son as I was reading this. He showed up at Thanksgiving (it was just us, the 2 “kids” and my daughters boyfriend) and he was surprised by some of the things we were talking about – he didn’t know this, and we never told about that, and when did this happen? that sort of thing. He never calls us, never asks what’s new, what we (the old parents) have been doing, which is exactly why he feels “left out” – but he has created that for himself, hasn’t he? My daughter calls several times a week – huge difference – and of course she knows what is happening in the old folks life. She asks!

Any suggestions as to how I might handle this? I suggested he call more often but that’s not gonna happen. I’m thinking ahead to Christmas dinner.
.-= suzen´s last post…Millie Wisdom – Fa-la-la Let’s Shop! =-.


Tess November 30, 2009 at 9:48 am

Yes only when we can have compassion for ourselves, family and friends can we spread to having compassion for our world. It’s a life time of loving and forgiving that allows it to happen.

Shine on my blogging friend!

The white light exercise I used when I worked in the prison with addicts. I think it made me feel peaceful and safe. My ego would rather have me talk about what’s important to me always. I learned 10 years ago to speak last after listening to everyone else. I wish I would have learned that when I was five years old. Especially a talkative person like me!

About your son…is he open to you calling him and just talking about what’s going on? Is he open to you dropping him notes/emails/texting? If the answer is yes do those things without expecting any information in return. I don’t have any sons but I can see this with my sons-in-laws and their families.

Instead of asking him to call more, take action and include him. Again expect nothing in return…not even his interest. Blessings and hugs!


Davina November 30, 2009 at 10:44 am

I’m printing this out and putting it on my fridge! Everything here resonated with me. Thanks Tess. Great post — and I’m NOT just saying that :-) Needed to read this today. Brilliant reminders.
.-= Davina´s last post…Where Did that Crummy Paddle Go? =-.


Joy November 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I love love love this post! I think you should have titled it “How Spiritually Mature People Spend Every Day”–because this is awesome advice in how to live. You have described to us what true holiday–and every day really– is all about! Savoring the moments you are in, enjoying the people presented to you because they are absolutely there for a reason, opening your heart to surprise, play, shine, relax, share, love….I love the holidays because they present opportunites to relate that sometimes are not in “regular days” but I do fully believe every day should be lived like a holiday. Perfect absolutely perfect:)


Sara B. Healy November 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Tess — I loved all these ideas. I just went through an interesting Thanksgiving dinner held by my ex-husband. He had his girlfriend, I had my boyfriend, his mom, our youngest daughter and a few of his friends.

You might think this could have been a disaster. At first it was a bit awkward, but after we all got to talking (and discovered we all loved animals), it was so easy and I totally forgot about it being awkward and just had a good time. Reading your suggestions, I can see how we used many of them:~)

p.s. As we’re hosting the Christmas dinner, like Davina, I am copying this list to remind me to enjoy the dinner and the people. Thanks, Tess:~)
.-= Sara B. Healy´s last post…Picture Story: Picture Quotes =-.


Hilary November 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Hi Tess .. I love the idea of bringing your own play things .. things that everyone can enjoy participating in .. we often bring a present for the host, but not something unusual for other members of the party.

Also your idea of letting all the hurt of days gone by float away in a helium balloon is a wonderful thought – so at least we can start the season free of unfriendliness or emnity amongst our near and dear.

Bring peace and harmony to all at this time .. – a really helpful set of ideas ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 30, 2009 at 3:32 pm

I love the idea of individually blessing each person. I don’t take the time to do this often enough.

You are right. We are sitting with each other for a reason. Each person can teach you something, so appreciate them and start learning.

I love the phrase spiritually mature. I’m going to start using it.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…What Hidden Emotional Anchors are Holding You Back? =-.


Hayden Tompkins November 30, 2009 at 3:42 pm

“Give yourself permission to shine.”

I am so busted! I usually spend my holidays encouraging others to talk about themselves.
.-= Hayden Tompkins´s last post…Defender =-.


Wilma Ham November 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Hey Tess.
THIS is what the school curriculum wants to be the first 10 years.
Learning how to be amongst people in a way that everybody can shine, yourself included.
THEN once we know this we could start on the other subjects, but only once we can all be together like this.
The world will rock in an unprecedented way and we will all fly.
AND we don’t have to feel guilty when one of our children feels left out, hey SuZen?
.-= Wilma Ham´s last post…A whole new world, a whole new community. =-.


Amanda Linehan November 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Hi Tess – I like this post. :) My favorite line is “Remember we are all doing the best we know how to do.” This is so true! I’m going to make sure I remember this the next time I’m getting frustrated with someone I’m with.
.-= Amanda Linehan´s last post…One Huge Step Towards Happiness =-.


Patricia November 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm

The best thing I ever did was take my own holiday for my family….once I had children – you had to come to me and mine and let me know. Then I planned what I wanted to happen – right down to the conversation at office parties and gatherings. At choir concerts and school celebrations, I made it a point to find out something fresh about 10 new people that I could write down in my journal and think about…

I am not good a playing so I went for being good and enjoying and discovering new conversations.

When folks got too “buzzed” for connecting – that was my cue to exit and maintain good thoughts and joy…

After working at the Sheriff’s Department and seeing my brother work the Police Department for 30 years….I know that many folks do not find the joy and truly need a plan….

Thank you for a good post….clear and solid….Here! Here! I salute your fine list and archives! Thank you
.-= Patricia´s last post…Believe! =-.


Jan November 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Tess, these are marvelous. I love how you referenced it as for “spiritually mature people,” because this does invite us to more. To walk our talk as you say. I’ve often appreciated the listening/talking conundrum. I like to remember that we have two ears and one mouth. Which might be best to predominate???!! Duh… I hope your family gatherings are as soulful as you are.


joyce at I TAKE OFF THE MASK November 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Thanks for the advice! I like the one saying ‘treat others like they are royalty’. Sometimes, when we are already familiar with people, specially our family and friends, we tend to take them for granted and not give them the treatment we would otherwise give ‘VIPs’. But aren’t these people the true VIPs in our lives? They surely deserve to be treated like royalties, especially this holiday season :)
.-= joyce at I TAKE OFF THE MASK´s last post…Are You Editing Yourself Too Much? =-.


Tess November 30, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Thanks for your kind words. My only intention is too help. I’m happy I was able too do that. You’re the best!

Thanks for sharing that my words resonate with you. I know you live your life like this from reading your blog. Shine on!

How wonderful you all had a great time together. What a wonderful day for you child and what an example of love. You’re a shining example of love can heal and be better because of it.

You’ll have to let me know what play things you bring along! Thanks for joining us in being the love and fun we wish to have.

Yeah I like those two words too and yeah for using them and passing them on.

Yes the world would be a great place and I know that we’re heading that way. Just look at all the love and fun we share in our blogging community.

It sure helps me to remember it. And when we know better we do better. All of us!

It’s good to hear from you. Yes royalty, you, me and everyone else. Don’t you love the idea?

You’re the best. Thanks for being part of my blogging community.


Julie December 1, 2009 at 3:11 am

Tess, I echo Lance, that these are wonderful points of reflection for every day.

It was hard to pick one standout, but I think this must be it for me: “Become aware of the ways we are the same.” When we focus on our similarities, actively seeking them, we’re effectively removing invisible barriers between us. I’ve also practiced Megan’s white light exercise, and am grateful to be reminded of it here. It really does work wonders and when combined with your advice, it’s one of the most potent forms of healing a rift that I know.

Tess, your life experiences, your formal training, and your heart filled with loving compassion is priceless. You’re a beautiful role model. Thank you! …for all you give here. You are a true blessing in my life.
.-= Julie´s last post…A Different Thanksgiving =-.


Tess December 1, 2009 at 6:04 am

Yes I had forgotten about the healing white light exercise as well. That was one of the first things I learned from my friend Kay after I began my spiritual journey. Thanks so much for your loving words. I do my best and when I fall down I get back up. That’s all a role model can do. Love and hugs back at you Julie!


suzen December 1, 2009 at 7:56 am

Thanks for the support, Tess. The key operative phrase for this situation? Expect nothing! Sticky wicket – I’m damned if I call/text etc (he says I’m stalking!) and damned if I don’t (he feels left out). Hubs and I have been in the “expect nothing” mode for years! Guess that’s just how it is. I appreciate you responding!
.-= suzen´s last post…Millie Wisdom – Fa-la-la Let’s Shop! =-.


Tess December 1, 2009 at 8:37 am


I think we’ll go to just loving him. Simple but not easy when our egos are involved. I understand more than you’ll ever know!


Erin December 1, 2009 at 9:55 am

Love your ideas. I will print and keep them as a reminder. Thanks
.-= Erin´s last post…Advent =-.


Evita December 1, 2009 at 10:42 am

Feel the love…that definitely sums it all up Tess.

The holidays are supposed to be about love, kindness, gratitude, joy and peace. In my mind I hope they are that for everyone. If they are not, I think this is the time to really reflect on why we do the things we do. Let us turn over a new page this year and make these indeed the best holidays ever :)
.-= Evita´s last post…Evolving Being In Action: Tess Marshall =-.


Jannie Funster December 1, 2009 at 11:35 am

Do I HAAAVE to be on my best behavior?? You know how I get after one beer….. :)

Tess, I love you! You always bring tears to my eyes with your shining posts, straight from your heart of love and light.

I love the idea of blessing every one silently. And out loud might be great too, except if there are a LOT of people and it’s right at blessing time, folks might get too hungry, especially the kids. So scratch that last thought from your blog.

But don’t scratch the one about I love you!! And YOU shine.

.-= Jannie Funster´s last post…Getting To Know Him… Getting To Know All About A Wonderful Blogger. =-.


Jannie Funster December 1, 2009 at 11:38 am

P.S. I have just wrote a review and Stumble this, Tess.

.-= Jannie Funster´s last post…Getting To Know Him… Getting To Know All About A Wonderful Blogger. =-.


Tess December 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Thanks for your support. I appreciate it very much.

You are so on. I think the world is giving us an opportunity to do just that.
You put it so well in a few simple lines.

You’re awesome and I won’t let your compliments go to my head. Enjoyed your interview with Lanster today. How do you like that name or should it be Lunster? shhh…don’t tell him.


Greta December 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm


Wonderful tips, thanks for sharing.

.-= Greta´s last post…Something to Remember =-.


Tess December 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

Thanks and I love your name! Tess


Rohit Prakash December 3, 2009 at 4:57 am

I liked the point: “Bless Everyone”. It reminds us the importance of now. This moment, when those who love us unconditionally are with us and that is making this life significant for us.
.-= Rohit Prakash´s last post…7 things I learnt lately =-.


Daphne @ Joyful Days December 4, 2009 at 6:49 pm


I’ve been so busy that I’ve not comment on many blogs recently, but I simply had to read and say something here. Those are lovely gift suggestions and I will certainly remember them as Christmas draws near. Thanks for the message of love!
.-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last post…Can You Pack Your Life Into Two Suitcases? =-.


simply stephen December 6, 2009 at 9:38 am

Tess…I keep coming back, coz just implementing 10% of what you share has made a dramatic difference in my life.

The relationship with my family is cordial at best, though I am grateful that I have one. I will make a conscious effort to follow several tidbits of advice for the short time spent with them over Christmas…after all the time is precious.

I love the fact that you can apply all these things year round…just like the humane society says “a puppy is not just for Christmas” so….

bless you
.-= simply stephen´s last post…impact of disposable paper products on the environment =-.


Ollie_B January 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I appreciate this list and realize I was not mature spiritually this holiday season — I made excuses and avoided my family entirely. When we are all together, someone always wants to drag up the past, and I feel too emotionally fragile right now to go through the usual. I will begin thinking words and thoughts of love before future family gatherings. Thank you


Tess January 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Sometimes you need to do what you gotta do. I think if you thought you had to protect yourself you did the right thing. You can always love them from a distance!


Vivian Gale December 24, 2013 at 1:35 am

Love it will use it! Thanks so much~


Martine Joseph December 24, 2013 at 10:36 am

Such great points Tess! At the holidays, whenever complaining starts, I go do the holiday dishes! I’m always joined by one or two relatives that want to be in a positive, happy place! Works every time ~
Martine Joseph´s last post…Heal Now: Christmas as the End of Sacrifice


Tess December 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Thanks for sharing. I only wish I was this wise when I was younger. When I know better, I do better!


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge