The holidays can absolutely suck the happiness out of you, which is sad considering they're supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Between the crowds, the annoyances and the stress, you may be anxiously counting down the days until the New Year just because it means the holidays are over. No one enjoys feeling this way and you don't have to. There are ways, despite the negatives that can sometimes come with the holidays, that you can still maintain your happiness right through the New Year.
Don't Christmas yourself out
I absolutely adore Christmas, but one thing I can't stand is that the best parts of the holiday are shoved down my throat. The music is all over the radio and TV music channels, Christmas movies are on almost every channel and everyone is talking about it on Facebook. It's one instance where it's way too much of a good thing. If you feel the same way, until after the New Year, slow down your Facebook usage, opt for playing your iPod, Pandora, or CDs, and look up TV listings to see what's on rather than flip through the TV channels.
Make decorating a group effort
Depending on how many decorations you're putting up, it can sometimes seem more of a hassle than a wonderful experience. Make decorating a group effort to prevent the stress of having the tree fall over on you, trying to untangle lights, figuring out if the tree is lopsided, and wondering if you have too many figurines in your Christmas village. Get your family together and start a tradition or gather a group of your friends and make it a mini party.
Do online shopping
I avoid shopping in stores as much a possible; I actually do most, if not all, of my shopping online. Friends who are shopping in stores have already been complaining for a week about how the crowds are miserable in the stores and they can't stand it. Help maintain your happiness through the holidays by skipping the crowds in favor of online shopping.
Focus on meaning than material
Some get so wrapped up in the material aspect of the holidays that they lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday along with the importance of family and friends during this time. You may want to make people happy with presents, but it really is the thought behind them. Besides, anyone who is worth being in your life is going to care more about spending time with you than what you can give them. Start the holiday off right by sending out Christmas cards, and instead of writing a generic message, write a note letting each family member and friend know how important they are to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Make plans for holiday fun
Don't forget to actually enjoy yourself during the holidays rather than just getting caught up in shopping, cleaning, decorating and everything else that can seem more like a responsibility. Live in the present and enjoy what you're doing at the time rather than worrying about the responsibilities you still have to do. Schedule time with family and friends to go to a tree-lighting, ice skating, volunteering, and a variety of other holiday activities that will put things in perspective.
Focus on what really matters and you'll be able to enjoy the holidays more than you ever thought possible. The holidays only come around once a year, so do whatever you have to in order to maintain your happiness during this time. You don't want them to pass and realize you didn't make the most of them.
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