Spend your holidays wisely
I know you are in a holiday mood and reading serious stuff is the
least focus. Let me be brief this week and deliver a relevant and
meaningful single message.
Life is short. We won't get to celebrate too many annual holidays.
How can we make the next holiday season a more fruitful one? How
meaningfully can we spend the holiday season to make our lives better
and help others to achieve the same for the long term?
A significant feature in Christmas celebrations is 'giving'. The
moment you think of giving or receiving what comes to mind is material
gifts you can touch and feel.
While it's a nice thing to do, giving intangibles make more sense and
helps people beyond instant happiness you get when you receive or give a
material gift. Life doesn't end with a day's celebrations.
We need new perspectives, insights, ideas, energy, motivation, time
and lots of other intangible things that can't be bought off the shelf.
Happiness is not under the Christmas tree but in the hearts and minds of
It shouldn't limit itself to traditional holidays or statutory
holidays. It can sometimes be found on the most ordinary of Mondays.
Sometimes it just blows in like a swallow in December. Sometimes when
you want it most you can't have it. And sometimes you're up to your
The holidays do not have to remain rigidly the same, year after year.
By opening yourself to change and letting go of traditions that have
become too difficult or expensive, you afford yourself an opportunity to
shape your holiday experience to reflect your lifestyle and personality
and learn something for the future.
It's what holidays are really about - the chance to properly renew
friendships and spend long-overdue time finding out what's going on in
everyone else's life. So a gathering of friends is always a nice
surprise to spring on someone.
A good rule of thumb during the holiday season is to spend half the
usual amount of money but twice the usual amount of time with your
Make people, not things, your priority. Focus on activities that
bring your family together and that draw children's attention to the
needs of others. These efforts will help reduce the madness and enhance
the memories and meanings of the holidays. The holiday season is
typically a time when extended family members spend more time together.
Leaving normal routines, hectic travel and decreased personal space
can all lead to conflict with family members you ironically, want to
Offer and receive feedback - exchange ideas - mentor others or be
mentored by someone who has something to offer you. There is no better
opportunity than the holiday season to interact with people with an open
mind. Enjoy doing what you like to do but also find time to try what I
have advocated. You will discover new ways of improving your life while
helping others with your new insights. This would offer sustainable
happiness compared to a gift which offers instant happiness. A good
balance between the two may be a good start. Happy holidays - enjoy and