Submitted by Kathy Haselmaier
When I think of the holidays, stress is the strongest feeling that washes over me. It shouldn't. At least not now. My kids are grown, and I have very little to worry about. But years and years of the real deal (i.e. stress) are hard to shake.
On Thanksgiving, I asked my kids (now 27 and 22) to list their top fun Christmas memories. Here's what they told me:
The scavenger hunt took place the year we were worried about money and gave them very little. It took them all morning and part of the afternoon to find those few gifts thanks to the never-ending trail of clues and the secret code that had to be deciphered.
These reflections have me thinking. Was my stress self-imposed? Was I trying to please my kids? Was I trying to please someone else? There is no doubt in my mind that a significant amount of my stress resulted from my desire to meet at least perceived expectations of others. And that leads me to wonder; what could each of us do to let others and ourselves off the hook this year?
There are some articles with good suggestions listed below. In the meantime, what are your thoughts?
Maybe one of the most valuable gifts we could give each other is the gift of lower expectations.