By Kate Miller

Ho Ho Ho!!

Too soon to extend holiday wishes?

Let’s settle into a few words from life coach, Kate, that’s me. I have been a coach for about five years and have worked with people ranging from federal workers, dog walkers, to lobbyists, and a few other occupations in between. When talking about life regardless of what people do for a living or how much money they make, each person is trying to LIVE a life they love and enjoy. It is in that space of trying to live well it becomes clear how people are more similar than not.

Would you like to know one of the great equalizers of humanity no matter the job, amount of money, where one lives, or family size—if you said “The Holidays” you’re right! 

The Holidays are one of the great equalizers of human emotion. Holidays are stressful, full of worry, brimming with anxiety, unspoken anger, private tears, tables full of laughter, seething hatred, booming joy and an abundance of love, or lack there-of. All the great basic human emotions that every human being on the planet can experience. 

It’s November and two of the biggest holidays are barreling down on us again along with those emotions. 

In holiday centric conversations with clients, I ask three key questions:

One of the questions that make people pause is “Who is really in charge?” 

If you are an adult, living here in DC, making a living, and you tell me “your parents, and it’s just what we do” — um, we might need to talk. On your own, but not really on your own? Why this partial ownership — it’s ok to like holiday traditions and go home, or is fear of bucking holiday traditions the issue? 

If you have your own family unit, it’s great to spend time with grandparents and extended family, but do not rule out your own family. Your family needs space to create special and unique memories as well.

  • Think about this — each time an extended family does not gather it’s an opportunity to learn something new, sharing with the greater family at next years’ holiday gathering. This is not about replacing tradition but adding to the holiday experience.
  • Create a schedule or rotation of holiday visits — this allows time to charge up and maybe keep the holiday spirit something to look forward to instead of loathe. The oft heard adage: absence makes the heart fonder, applies here.
  • One of the toughest transitions is passing the baton between hosting generations. It can be tough to tell the retired or incoming decision makers your stance on the holidays, but it’s your life regardless of who hosts the holidays.  
  • Who is in charge? If it’s not you. When will you decide to make holiday decisions for just you or your family?

Many people like traditions and many do not, and of course, both those preferences are always found inside a family. No family will have one idea over the other around the holidays, there is always an array of opinions about the holidays. And so, another question to ponder is “Why is this important”? 

If you are moving through the holidays asking why this is important? Then why are you going without giving yourself time to find that answer? If you love the tradition of the holidays — great, enjoy! If you do not, spend some time asking yourself what makes the holiday season important to you.  

And, a final question is “Where is this growing”?

Truly, if it’s about tradition that is fine. If the holidays are stymied what can you do to change things up? How can the holidays make sense and be a fun time of year? 

The Holidays are a joyful and wonderful time of year, but it is also the time of year where many find their individual style is challenged and may have changed. Pain is exposed. Fear is ruling their emotions, and joy is a far-fetched idea and nothing but a song on the radio. 

I challenge you to really process what the holidays mean to you, and let this year find you bringing more of yourself, your family, and your children more authentically to the season! 

Have a special 2019 Holiday Season! 

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