Happy Holidays!  They are getting closer and closer.  I am getting my shopping done.  I love internet shopping.  Everything I buy has to go somewhere else anyway so the convenience of having it shipped direct is the best as far as I am concerned.   Besides, I am just not  a mall shopper.  Some people love that.  I do not.  I am a path of least resistance shopper and that path leads me to my computer.

I think my dislike for shopping started very early.  When I was a kid I remember what a chore it was to have to go shopping with my Mom and Gram.  It seemed like they went once a week.  I don’t think that was true but that was my perception.  My brother and I were bored to tears tromping through Montgomery Wards at Lakeside shopping center.

As an adult before internet shopping I would get my shopping done as early as possible to avoid the holiday crowds.  God bless people who enjoy it and the people who do black Friday shopping or shop on Christmas eve or the day after Christmas for the deals.  It makes me anxious just thinking about it.  The computer is far easier.

During the holidays I think we have a tendency to put pressure on ourselves to do things we normally wouldn’t do, to live up to certain standards of perfection.  I think competition can arise during the holidays and I think it shows itself in different ways; the gifts we buy, the entertaining we do, the traditions we have.  Are we doing the things we do because we enjoy them or because we are supposed to do them?  Did you buy that gift for your mother because you really loved it or because you were keeping up with your siblings?  Are you going to the party because you want to or because you feel obligated?

There are a certain number of obligations that we have, and that is just the truth of it.  We have to do some things we would rather not but if there are more than a few things like that maybe it is time to take a look at being true to your self and saying no.  We can get so caught up in outside demands and perceived obligations that we go through the whole holiday season and we, the real us, our heart and soul and joy, gets overlooked. I am talking from experience here.  For the past three Christmases we have gone back home to Denver and each time we had about 5 days and they were jam packed trying to see everyone because that was our annual trip home.  It was wonderful to see everyone but it was stressful.  If you are traveling for the holidays you know what I mean.  But even if travel isn’t in the picture it can still be a stressful time.

So how can you make it better? Be conscious of what you want to do and what you don’t and really think about  saying no to some things.  Self awareness and self care are crucial during this busy time. You are the most important person in your life.  If you are enjoying yourself you are spreading that joy to everyone around you.  We never do anything that is just for us and feeling as good as we can possibly feel is our greatest gift to everyone.