Make The Holidays What You Want Them To Be! - Daily Love with Mastin Kipp

Make The Holidays What You Want Them To Be!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want the holidays to be. In my earlier years, the month of December became a month of all around tension in our household. I am one of eight children and the span of ages ranges 20 years. This combination (and a tiny house in the valley) made for many exciting holiday months. And I use the word ‘exciting’ quite literally.

After I grew up and had children of my own, however, I realized that I never wanted anxiety and December to exist in the same sentence. I never wanted me children to grow up wincing at the idea of the holidays because of their crazy family members. Even though I was unsuccessful at avoiding crazy family (because whose family isn’t a little nuts??), what I have learned is how important it is for everyone to be able to just be. Often this isn’t what our mothers want, our spouses or partners want, or our friends. Many people are really invested in what we do and how we do it. As such, call out a month where all the controlling personalities collide and I’ll show you December.

Unfortunately for many of us, the words “anxiety and December” often creep closer and closer to each other during this time of year like a bad Google search term. It is challenging to manage the personalities of parents and in-laws, bosses and colleagues, holiday bonuses (or lack thereof), family members and their new relationships, etc. For a majority of us, we would have to work doubly hard to ensure some serenity during the holidays.

But what if we went incredibly radical here and decided to skip the ‘managing’ of difficult situations and put on an apron of helpfulness? I often tell clients who come into my office and talk about being anxious in social situations that it is a whole lot easier to be interested than it is to be interesting. And being interested is a whole lot easier when we zip up our vulnerabilities when the dragons are out and we send out the clone. For example, when your insistent mother insists over and over again that you should really XY or Z, if you can put yourself in her position (or whoever is challenging you) and see them through the eyes of Love and helpfulness, you’ll realize that a) everybody is doing the best they can in every moment, and b) maybe the alternative perspective can inform your own life in a good way?

Being helpful doesn’t necessarily mean yielding to the will of others. It just means that you don’t take it personally when other people tell you your business. If you zip up your vulnerability and literally send out the part of you that is secure and full of graciousness, it’ll matter much less what the opinions of others are.

What do you want the holidays to be? You may not be able to skirt nutty family get-togethers, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to be helpful, kind and always come from Love.

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Trinka is a counselor and has run her private practice in Los Angeles for 20 years. She has been Mastin’s personal therapist for many years. Check out her website here.