Holiday Happiness (Part 2)

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It's late November and so the “holiday season” is now "officially" in full swing. And for many people, the holidays can be very stressful.

Part of that stress relates to the "intensity" and "craziness" of the holidays and part of it relates to the financial (commercial) side of the season.

Regardless of your financial situation, though, the holidays can be very difficult and stressful. There are many expectations and obligations to meet, parties to attend, and gifts to buy. Then there’s all the eating and drinking, and for some, the holidays means traveling as well.

This Holiday Happiness "series" is intended to make this time of year a bit less stressed, and get us all through the season easier and happier.

The objective of this part of the series is to look at the big picture and put things in the proper perspective; which are essential components of the process since the details of the season can be “overwhelming” - if overwhelm is part of your vocabulary (see transformational vocabulary for a great way to reduce stress and anxiety during the holidays - and anytime of the year).

It’s important to assess our individual needs, desires, and influences as related to creating the best holiday season possible. To do that, we’ll start with two basic questions everyone should answer at this time of year:

  1. What makes the holidays stressful, difficult, and/or “unhappy”?
  2. What do I – or could I – love about the holidays?

If you answer these two questions honestly for yourself, you will have a great start to making this holiday season very happy and joyous. That’s because, with the answers to these two questions, we can better understand the specific issues which represent pain and pleasure for us during the holiday season and then more easily create a plan to address them (which will be addressed in other parts of this Holiday Happiness series).

So, spend a few minutes right now answering those two questions. Take whatever time you need. Be specific. Then come back and finish this article with the answers in hand.

OK, you’ve answered the questions, right? If not, don’t go on until you do.

The most common answers I’ve gotten to those two questions are:

Question #1 (What makes the holidays stressful, difficult, and/or “unhappy”?):

  • Too many expectations and obligations
  • It’s gotten too commercial
  • The true meaning has been lost
  • It's too expensive
  • There are too many people to please
  • The shopping malls and stores get too crazy
  • There are too many parties to attend
  • I eat too much
  • I gain weight
  • I drink too much
  • I’m alone
  • I work during the holidays
  • My [family member, friend, spouse] is gone and I miss them even more

Question #2 (What do I – or could I – love about the holidays?):

  • The opportunity to connect with friends and family
  • The chance to brighten people’s life by giving
  • Remembering the meaning of the season
  • Connection with family and friends
  • Great memories from childhood
  • The food (turkey and stuffing, pies, etc.)
  • The shopping
  • The parties
  • Getting some great gifts
  • Going to church, the synagogue, etc.
  • Christmas carols
  • Time off from work
  • The weather at this time of year
  • The chance to reflect on what life is all about
  • The holiday lights

Did you come up with some others?

Was your “negative” list (the answers to the first question) longer than the “positive” list (the answers to the second question)? Or was the positive list longer?

Whichever it is, over the next few weeks it’s important to think about the answers to these questions – and use them to create a “Holiday Happiness Plan” for yourself (see below) which expands the positives and minimizes the negatives.

For now, just notice some of the feelings and emotions you experience as we get closer to the end of the year.

When you notice how you feel in response to the various issues you wrote down as answers to those two questions, it may even make you realize how your negative emotional responses to the crowds, the parties, and all the other “frustrations” associated with the holidays may be overblown. If you're guilty of this, again, make sure to use transformational vocabulary as one of your Holiday Happiness tools.

Also, one of the common issues for just about everyone during the holidays is getting everything done and dealing with all the expectations.

So, over the next 24 hours, start creating your “Holiday Happiness Plan”. I’ve designed a “Holiday Happiness Planner” – a template, if you will – to help you with that plan and guide you through the next few weeks more smoothly. Also, this week's "Product of the Week" can be a great help.

We’ll focus on this plan in subsequent parts of this series throughout the next month in other blog posts, and will start implementing the details addressed in your plan to get a bit more specific about what to do to ease the stress of the holidays – emotionally, financially, and healthfully.

Click here to open up a copy of my “Holiday Happiness Planner” template to get started with the process. It’s pretty much self-explanatory to get started, so start building the plan using the template – and begin implementing any of the issues which arise within the next week (like shopping, party, eating, and exercise plans). In the coming weeks we’ll begin to address some of specific issues associated with your plan.

So, for those of you in the U.S., I hope you had an awesome start to the holiday season with a great Thanksgiving (and for all my friends in Canada also, back in October with Canadian Thanksgiving). It’s surely a wonderful holiday!


Partly because it focuses on a huge component of happiness.

Yes, to BeHappy! we MUST be thankful (in other words, grateful and appreciative) for all we really have in our lives. We must "give thanks" for all the things we sometimes take for granted ... like food, shelter, our friends and families, and so much more.

Sometimes, however, it’s hard to feel the gratitude when there’s significant pain in our lives.

So make sure to download my “Holiday Happiness Planner” (free) and start using it to design the next few weeks for yourself. Also, check out the product of the week below to really organize your holiday plans. Then, come back here over the next few weeks to get more Holiday Happiness tips as we go through the season and enter a New Year!

BeHappy! my friends

Happiness Product of the Week

While this is called the “Christmas” Holiday Planner, it can really be used for any holiday planning to make your holiday season the best planned, most relaxed, most enjoyable ever! It’s packed with over 80 pages of easy to use tools that cover holiday planning, shopping, gift selection, decorating, invitations, meal planning, and much more!

Click here to check it out.


If the information on this site helps you and you'd like to make a donation to (to help make others happy), please click on the button below to make a contribution. The amount you donate is entirely up to you. A portion will used to contribute to the happiness of others and is greatly appreciated.


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