Next week, those of us who exchange gifts–or celebrate in general–on December 25th will be wrapping up the last minute presents, baking the last-minute pies and cookies, braising the meats, roasting the vegetables, cleaning the house, rounding up the kids, sending out cards, and the list goes on and on. I am right up there with everyone else who just feels pooped this time of year!

BUT, at least for me, there is still some magic left in this season. My task for you today and next week is to seek out that glimmer of magic still hiding in what’s become a stressful time of year for most of us.

Click the image for 10 Holiday Stress-Busting Tips

Over the course of December, our employee assistance program, MHN, offered a wonderful workshop: How to be Holiday Stress-Hardy. In that course, we talked about the potential stressors, ways to delegate tasks (and put the kids to work cleaning!), ways to deal with grief during this time of year, and especially learning to say “no” instead of becoming overwhelmed with obligations. One of my favorite morsels from this presentation was to find one task that you truly enjoy and make time to do that thing.

THAT’S where the magic is!

In Alameda, there’s a street that becomes “Christmas Tree Lane” every December. Every house on the street lights up with beautiful decorations — big ornaments in the trees, elves working in factories, and even a green dinosaur with a Santa hat, all made out of lights. It’s so much fun to wander up and down that one block with the trees lit up in the median and children selling hot chocolate and cider for $1 in front of their houses. Going to see that, enjoying it myself and also watching all the spectators — especially the children — enjoy it; that’s part of my magic.

Where’s your magic? Do you remember? What would it take for you to find your holiday magic again? Is it in a favorite holiday song? Is it in giving a gift to a stranger? Is it in watching your children or grandchildren open their gifts? A warm fireplace? A movie you watch every year on Christmas morning? Egg nog with no nutmeg (that’s another of mine!)?

Whatever it is, my holiday wish is that you find it and take time to nourish it, and that you give it some energy to nourish you back — and my other holiday wish is for a good night’s sleep!

Until next year!

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