Amidst all the parties, shopping trips, and planning this holiday season, remember what this is really about: celebration. No matter what holiday you celebrate, whether it’s Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, and beyond, this is a time to enjoy yourself, your family, your friends, and the time that you have together. A holiday is not about the past, and it’s not about the future. The day of Christmas, for me, is about right now and treasuring the moment. On Christmas Day, or whatever holiday you celebrate, live inside the moment.
This means letting your worries drop. Take a good look at the people around you; notice the love and warmth in the room. Admire the smiles of your children and grandchildren. This is what the holidays are really about. Living inside the moment means being thankful and grateful for the life that has brought you to this day, but prizing the 24 hours within the holiday like a precious jewel.
Sharing laughter, joy, dinner, and the day together is what it’s all about. Becoming overwhelmed by stress is not the intention of the holiday, so no matter how much you want to let yourself feel stressed by all you have to, don’t. You have the choice to feel stressed just as much as you have the choice to feel joyful and thankful on such a precious holiday. All year, we look forward to this time. Spend that time wisely, and take full advantage of those hours with your loved ones.
Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” My holiday interpretation of that quote is that people won’t remember the wrapping paper on a present, and they may not remember the present itself. But what they will remember is how they felt on that day, and YOU will remember how the people around you made you feel. The way to create lasting memories from a holiday is simple: be in a good mood. And you can get there by not letting yourself stress out and focusing on all the good that surrounds you—namely, your family.
View the holiday season as it’s truly meant to be: a time to rejoice, a time to celebrate, and a time to share the joy and love with those closest to you. I wish you a very happy holiday season.