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Originally published on December 1, 2020. Updated on December 19, 2022.
Everyone starts off with a tremendous amount of holiday spirit. The mere idea of the holiday sparks joy. Knowing anything is possible during the season creates a sense of wonder and delight… right about the time the first pumpkin spice latte hits the coffee shop. Sadly, it doesn’t always take long for one…or more…of three thieves to rob your holiday spirit.
The three thieves of holiday spirit are
Any of these, or all of them for that matter, have a tendency to steal the joy you’ve mustered for the season. Sadly, what’s supposed to be a happy time can easily turn stressful when your money, your time, or your family are out of whack.
Finances have the potential to steal your holiday spirit
When people are strapped for cash during the holidays it can feel like a burden. From failing to plan to facing an unexpected financial hit, money problems tend to steal the holiday spirit. The expectations for spending during the holidays can cause a lot of stress. Décor costs, gifts, meals, and any extra activities can make a dent in your budget. It’s important to understand that everyone feels stress. You are not alone! There are things you can do to help the budget. You can switch up your holiday plans or forgo some of the typical spending to help keep your holiday finances under control.
Time has the potential to steal your holiday spirit
There are only so many hours in the day. Though you could sleep less, that’s not the best way to try to get everything done. The holidays typically come with a lot of time commitments. Extra shopping, holiday parties and activities, and time with family and friends usually have to be mixed with your typical everyday needs. This year is a little different.
Those three things may still be happening this year but in a different way (Zoom meetings or drive-by gatherings anyone?). You may also have to work in childcare and education along with your work time. Your schedule is probably more packed than usual. This can zap your energy and rob you of your spirit. What should be a fun activity can become an intrusion or cause for a headache. Taking control of your time during the holidays might be easier than you think. What’s more, there are things you can do in the months leading up to the holidays that can help you have more time when you need it most.
Family has the potential to steal your holiday spirit
Family is one of the main reasons to get excited about the holidays, yet family can also be a chief thief of your holiday spirit. Sadly, dysfunction doesn’t take a break from October through January. Sometimes the people you want to spend time with cause problems that make it hard to enjoy them and sometimes you’re forced into family time with people you’d really rather avoid. It’s possible to set limits and set boundaries that help you and your family have the best holiday possible. It might feel scary, but It’s possible to confront behaviors that keep families from feeling uncomfortable during the holidays.
If you’ve ever felt strapped for cash, strapped for time, or wanting to avoid certain family members during the holidays then you’ve experienced one or more of the thieves of the holiday spirit. It’s common for them to try to rob your joy, but you don’t have to allow them to put a damper on your holiday. Prepare for them, realize they want to rob your spirit and take precautions to make sure they don’t have a chance.
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