Finding Joy this Holiday Season

The first day of December has arrived, which means the end of 2016 is right around the corner.

Have you accomplished everything you wanted to this year?

Do you find yourself trying to squeeze it all in before the end of the year?  

Has your “to do” list run off the page? Is it filled with things like finishing up assorted projects and preparing house and home for Christmas, not to mention the mundane tasks of daily life? Do you find yourself frantically running from one place to another in an attempt to make everything perfect and get everything done in time?

The transition from one year to the next can sometimes feel like a looming deadline, especially for those of us who think we need to check everything off our lists, before we can relax and enjoy ourselves.  

As I look at my list for December (see below) I couldn't help but feel like something was missing.

  • Finish eBook (which has only been drafted)

  • Stay active (so I have the energy to get all this stuff done)

  • Create a new website (for a work project)

  • Prep for family visitors (who will be here for a week)

  • Shop for gifts (which stresses me out)

  • Decorate for the holidays (which sounds simple, but as you know never is)

 It keeps going and going on and on...

Our lists just get longer and longer, and yet we're not given any additional time to get it all done. It can feel overwhelming.  Indeed, my shoulders feel a little heavier while writing those words. I struggle with the desire to get it all done so I can go into the holidays and into the new year with a “clean slate.” Clean slate… haha… What the heck does that even mean? Is there ever really such a time where we can shut down and walk away leaving nothing left to be done? If so, what do we have to sacrifice between now and then in order to get it all done?

I’m reminded that there will always be more work to be done, more tasks to be completed. 

The question we have to ask ourselves is, "What matters most to me?"

So what's missing from my list above. It's quality time with with myself and others. My greatest wish for this holiday season is to find joy in my interactions with others. If this is my priority, some tasks will not get done, some projects won’t get finished when planned, and, you know what, that’s ok. Life isn’t a linear evolution from one year to the next. Some years we progress, and some years we relish in the progress.  Some years we have set backs while others we move forward at the speed of light. 

This month is a time to relish in the deep beauty of this life. So here's my new list:

  • Find presence in as many moments as I can

  • Forget about my "to do" list whenever I'm speaking to someone else

  • Listen with a whole heart

  • Share kindness

  • Relish in the joy of this season

Everything else will get done exactly when it's supposed to get done and you'll enjoy doing it when you first focus on what matters most. What matters most to you this holiday season? What brings you the greatest joy during the holidays? What will you prioritize this season?  

Share with us in the comments below. 

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