Is this how you get through the holidays? If not, but you'd like it to be, what's standing in your way? What expectations do you have for the holidays? Where did those expectations come from? What will it mean to meet, or not meet, those expectations? What can you change, remove, or add to make the season more meaningful and calm? Try being curious about these thoughts, without shame and judgement towards yourself or others.
Buddhist meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche talked about shopping as a "search for security." Sometimes it feels really good to find the "perfect" gift for someone, which can give us the feeling that giving that thing to the person we love will secure the relationship. It might give us a sense of security about relationships if we give or receive things from others. Of course there's nothing wrong with feeling really good about finding a personal gift that holds a lot of meaning. But do you have the time and energy to do that for everyone on your list? After a while, how could we not begin to feel a sense of obligation? And how much stuff do we all need, really?
This holiday season has been especially low-stress for me because my friends and adults in my family have all decided this year that we aren't going to exchange gifts. (The kids will still get some fun stuff.) I felt a little disappointment at first that I wouldn't get to pick out things for the people who I love, but that was quickly replaced by a sigh of relief. I'm excited to just spend the time together.
This season, no matter what holiday you celebrate, consider asking the ones you love what makes the celebration special. See if you can reflect on what holds meaning in your traditions, and make that grow.