If there’s one thing kids do better than adults, it’s celebrate. Kids are ready at the drop of a hat to celebrate something, anything. Everyone laughs when toddlers play with wrapping paper and boxes instead of the toys inside, but in the moment, the wrapping paper is the best toy! And when was the last time a kid was grumpy through her birthday because her teacher corrected her at school two days earlier?
I understand that life gets complicated. I know that as adults, we know more than kids and we shoulder far more responsibility. I’m not saying that you can just throw off the worries of life in an instant. I’m not even saying you should! But as we approach the holiday season, let’s make a promise to one another. Let’s promise to live in the moment of each holiday, rather than the future or the past.
Living in the moment is the goal of all wisdom traditions, and it is not the work of a day. That’s one reason why we do struggle to enjoy life as it happens: we’ve lost the ability that our kids have. We’ve learned to remember, ruminate, and worry. Long term, it’s best to develop a meditation practice to learn how to release regrets and worries for a more peace filled life. But short term, I have a trick for you. Utilize this trick, and you’ll have a touchstone for enjoying each moment of the coming holidays.
That’s it. Pick one word or value for each holiday approaching, and then structure your entire holiday around that word.
Think about your kids again. How much do you want to bet that their value for Halloween is CANDY! It’s all about the candy. How much? How many pieces? Which ones can we trade? How long can we make it last? How can I keep it hidden from Mom and Dad? Sure, costumes are important, trick or treating is fun, but at the end of the day, success or failure is measured by the amount of high fructose corn syrup in their basket.
So do that. Find that single purpose for each holiday and use it as your yardstick to maintain your presence in the moment. When something bad happens, ask yourself: “How does this impact ____?” If it doesn’t harm your purpose, let it go and move forward.
Want some help? Come to my Autumn Oasis and learn how to Create Holiday Calm. We’ll start the day with this very exercise and you’ll get clarity about what you’ll be celebrating for the next 3 months!