Joy’s Tips for Holiday Ease

Dec 17, 2021

(Originally posted 16 December 2008.)

Be Present

The best gift we can give loved ones.

I had a dream last week of having a conversation with the Dali Llama. At one point he asked me, “what is the most important work you can do?” My first response was “I don’t know.” That made me nervous, and I thought I’d better come up with another answer. So I used the inclusive “and”. I started listing several ways I can serve humankind. I can do “this” and “this” and “this”…etc. He looked at me and said, “You’re thinking too much. Be Present.” At first I thought he meant I was thinking too much and needed to be present to find my answer, then as he was looking at me earnestly, I realized he meant the most important work I can do is to BE PRESENT.  How easily we forget. When I woke up, I remembered the e-mail I sent out last year with my holiday tips and figured the “Be present” reminder is useful for all of us wanting to be mindful.

Joy's Holiday Tips

Choose pleasure over perfection.

When guests come over and we fret over having the table set just right or worry that they will see the cobweb we missed while cleaning, we remove ourselves from genuine connection. Give yourself permission to be imperfect, laugh at yourself, and know what your loved ones truly want is your attention.

Receiving with openness is as important as giving.

When an unexpected gift comes our way from a coworker or acquaintance, we don’t need to fall into guilt for not having a gift for them. Instead, choose presence as your gift in return and let yourself accept their thoughtfulness for you and open to the gratitude of being seen and appreciated. Accepting the gift offers connection and true celebration.

Keep it simple.

Gracious warmth shows through when we make eye contact and smile.

Stay nourished.

Stabilize mood swings with ample protein, additional acidophilus, and your Vitamin B’s. Remember the airplane drill: put your oxygen mask on first before tending to others. In the same way, especially during the holidays, tend to and nourish yourself on all levels.

Be present.

Your full presence is more appreciated than you realize. It is a wonderful gift to offer loved ones