Thursday, 19 December 2013

tree-is-UP, now put your feetUP

Ahh, Christ-mas. It seems we’ve waited a long time for it to come along.
For most of us it is a time to gear-down (before gearingUP again in January) after a year of expending energy.  Time to plug-in and recharge.  Time to unwind.  Rest. Recuperate. It is a time of the year that we look forward to…
Finally, we can slow down and have a bit of me-time. Or so we think…
With holidays come increased time with family members.  The lovely ones we see (or bear) once a year.  “And with that”, as a mother recently voiced to me, “I need to have the children around all day long! It’s only been a week or so, and I’ve already circled the school starting date on the calendar.” “Don’t get me wrong, I love the kids dearly, but having them (and their requests) around all the time takes getting used to.”
Yes, this holiday period is billed as a time of rest.  However, it's also comes with intense times of stress for some.
We all deserve a breather during this (often emotional) holiday period.  While you’re doing it, consider the following:
Grow closer: During this extended time with family, loved ones and friends, see this time together as a time of building experiences and sharing good times. Take photos of family laughing, kids opening presents, people swimming or enjoying a cool drink next to the pool.  These are the good times we look forward to – capture them (and only load them onto Facebook in January!)
Unplug: Most communication (estimations are as much as 90%) is non-verbal. Many parents restrict screen-time for the kids during the holidays (while increasing their own gadget-time) forcing them to “play outside like we did when we were children.” Here’s an idea for adults: why not join them? Put the phone (and other electronics) down and join the play! Not every holiday-experience have to be updated as a status.
Pick Your Battles and battle respectfully: Conflict comes when people spend time together.  We get on each other’s’ nerves.  It’s normal. But not every (little) thing has to get us into battle mode. Treat conflict in a respectful manner.  Remember, young people around us will learn from us in every situation. Parents, “holiday” doesn’t mean the ‘moulding of my child’ stops. If things are too much or too heated, get away from the situation for a bit and spend some time doing something you like.
Talk less, listen more:  A recent study found that children felt that parents only listen to them when they have time.  Another study showed that only 20% of adults feel they are listened to.  This is the perfect time to sit on the beach, lie next to the pool, stand by the fire, go for a coffee and listen.  Your ears might be the best investment you’ll make into the building of relationships during this time.

Consider others: Plainly said - be nice.  While many of us revel in the celebratory aspect of Christ-mas holidays, there are those for whom this is a time of sadness and emotional turmoil. Whether you’re at Carols by Candlelight, Christ-mas mass or a shopping centre… some people need a hug, smile or just eye contact that says ‘you matter’. Look out for them. have patience with one another; offer to take a photo of someone it their arms are too short for a decent 'selfie'; let someone else pull out of a parking area or walk through he door first... be nice.
Rest: An internet poll in January 2012 showed that 60% of people feel drained and have a sense of discontent following December holiday period.  If you are taking a break over this time, we challenge you to not be part of the stats.  We suggest that you consciously make an effort to, at some point in the day, take stock of where you are and ask yourself: Am I on holiday?  We hope your answer will be a resounding: *deep breath* Yes! I am.

As the song goes, we also wish that “your days be merry and bright”. We pray those who celebrate a Christ-mas without a loved one who has passed on, or someone spending their first Christ-mas alone, will be filled with good memories and caring people around them.
May the gifts under your tree never take a more valuable place than the gifts in your life. Celebrate those gifts! Selah.

No comments:

Post a Comment