Having horrible holiday after horrible holiday? Take these five keys to have a more beautiful, maybe even perfect Thanksgiving (or any holiday):
(1) Get into action about something meaningful and specific that will make you feel good about your holiday experience. I got into action on the “cook gluten-free things Maryam can eat this Thanksgiving” mode and posting the step-by-step pictures on my Arcane Foodie photo album on Facebook. This was so successful, I maxed out the album, and had to open “The Arcane Foodie – II” photo album. w00t! Visitors who’ve liked the first album have given me the idea this is such a value-add, that I’ll be adding an Arcane Foodie section to my new improved website, out in January. Pretty good outcome and the day’s not even here yet. What piece of delicious will you choose to self-nurture with, and what amazing and wonderful outcomes will you generate this holiday? The choice, is yours.
(2) Communication is the key to happiness. Discuss holiday plans with family, don’t leave the whole thing to chance. Discussing plans for kitchen-traffic flow on Thanksgiving with my partner made the day proceed smooth as butter melting down a mound of perfectly mashed potato. Where arguments once prevailed over use of sink, stove or power tools, a peaceful morning, afternoon and evening manifested. What do you really need to discuss with your tribe? If you have people bringing different dishes for special diets, they need to plan not to dupe each other’s efforts. If you run your kitchen like an autobahn, people need a sense of timing to know when they can put their turkey in the oven and not run over someone else’s prior planning. Making a list and checking it twice applies to every get together where there are literally, too many cooks, old grudges, people who never got the memo to grow up already, or to coordinate the gentle conspiracy that will seat Uncle Fester and Auntie Harriet far apart for maximum sanity.
(3) Plan in Down Time. Planning Friday as a “veg-out” day works well for our family. We spend the day as we please, no pressure anywhere and everybody got their cookie, so to speak. When family members whose energy is close to spent are forced into contact with more rambunctious members, it can cause a crash and burn or for the tired (and often emotional) person to cause a scene, or leave the fun early. Remember to plan not for the vigorous guests only – make a bedroom available for people to crash out in in case of a party. For a family, plan a day with no structure during a hectic holiday week. Even the Energizer Bunny plugs into the recharger sometimes. What structure do you and your family or tribe need to allow adequate rest, recharge and processing time?
(4) Planning non-outsourceable admin tasks or other busy items for the weekend prevents overspending. I donate to charities rather than do the whole Black Friday thing, and Saturday is for hair, nails and ’round the town errands such as dry cleaning pickup and lunch with a friend I see rarely. Going into December I have increasingly little time to get such things done, so I pre-admin the whole month Thanksgiving weekend. What do you need to pre-plan that usually goes by the wayside during the busiest month of the year? Spiritually? Emotionally? Health-wise? Fiscally? Family or tribe management-wise?
(5) Ease back into work. Sunday is a rest and recharge day where admin work may continue lightly during the first half, and a gentle austerity prevails in terms of diet, exercise and entertainment. Only things that enrich and pleasure me, to prepare for the week ahead. What does your perfect-holiday pre-December Sunday look like? Feel like? What must you put into place so that this will be so? Do it.