Tips for Holiday Happiness

The holiday season should bring happiness. Unfortunately, as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas stress levels tend to rise due to the chaos of Black Friday sales, crowded parking lots and stores, packed schedules of holiday parties to attend, and the dreaded last-minute shopping trips. These circumstances can really lead to people being wound a bit too tight.

So, I thought I would help out with some tips on how to be less offended (or less defensive) this holiday season.

  1. Take a deep breath.

I believe so many heated exchanges could be avoided by simply taking a deep breath before reacting. Bring that racing heartbeat down and go from there.

  1. Don’t take everything personally.

Stressed out people tend to take their emotions out on others. And there are some people out there who are rude in general, to everyone, not just you. Unless YOU actually did something intentionally that caused their anger, don’t take it personally. When we take things too personally, we tend to get defensive, and that only makes things worse.

  1. Be patient.

Standing in line huffing and complaining isn’t going to make the situation more pleasant for you or anyone around you. Stand there quietly and think of things you are grateful for instead.

  1. Apologize.

Sometimes you make mistakes too. Instead of getting defensive when someone calls you out, apologize. Don’t yell back. Don’t give excuses. Just apologize.

  1. Smile.

You would be surprised how many altercations are avoided by simply smiling at someone instead of scowling. Smiles can temporarily calm some of the grumpiest people. I’ve seen it happen. Give it a try!

Bottom line, if you want a happier holiday season around the general public don’t make it all about you. Realize that people don’t always mean to take things out on others and don’t always realize what’s going on around them. If we all focused more on being less offended and more compassionate, we would be a lot happier.

And if you need some extra help, keep a calming essential oil with you. My go-to blend is Stress Away!

Happy Holidays!

Be brave!

Be kind!

Be blessed!

xo

Ash

Shopping on Holidays

Since we are getting closer to the major holidays, I thought holiday shopping would be a good topic right now.

So, here’s the question: Do you shop on holidays?

My goal is to not shop on holidays anymore.

Retailers have changed the meaning of holidays. They have turned them into sales: New Year’s Day sales, Valentine’s Day sales, Easter sales, Mother’s Day sales, Memorial Day sales, Father’s Day sales, Fourth of July sales, Labor Day sales, Thanksgiving sales (Black Friday), and Christmas sales. When I look at the meaning of each of these holidays, I don’t see “go out and buy something” as part of it. (And yes, I do realize that Christmas is a gift-giving holiday. So, we’ll let that one slide.) My point is that these holidays are not holidays merely so we can go out and buy things for companies to increase their bottom line.

Businesses used to be closed on holidays, especially small businesses.  Over the years, major retail chains began opening earlier and earlier and staying open later and later to compete with each other. Now there are small businesses open on holidays they used to be closed on because they feel the pressure to keep up too.

I remember when Black Friday sales used to begin at 8AM. Then they started opening earlier and earlier until they got down to midnight on Thanksgiving. Then some of them decided to go ahead and cross that line and open Thanksgiving evening. Is that really necessary?

Last year more companies decided to start their sales earlier and spread them throughout the week of the holidays, instead of just one massive Black Friday sale. I think this is a step in a better direction, but I still feel they need to scale back the extended holiday hours.

Our culture has really become one with a “must have it now” attitude. If I need batteries for the remote at 11:00PM, I should be able to go get some. By golly, if I want a cheeseburger at 1AM, I should be able to get one. We don’t always think about the fact that somebody else has to be at work during those times for us to have what we want.

There are other cultures where shops close in the early evening and don’t open again until mid-morning. When it comes to holidays in those cultures, many businesses will close several days before the holidays, or even the whole holiday week.

Could you imagine that happening here? People would lose their minds! They couldn’t possibly make it all night without something, right? And how in the world could you go a week with a business being closed?

I’m not saying we should do everything other countries do. I’m just asking that we bring back the importance of family time and enjoying holidays, not just for us, but for those who work behind the counters. I get that some people don’t mind working the holidays, but there are many that do.

Every time you walk into a store on a holiday, you are giving that business a reason to stay open on that holiday, keeping some, if not all, of those employees from spending time with their loved ones. So, I encourage you to think about this next time you are ready to buy something on a holiday. Start planning ahead. Get what you need before the holiday. Give business owners reason to let their employees be with families on the holidays again.

Be brave! Break the cycle. Make a difference.

xoxo

Ash