Day 2 | How are you surprised by this?

How are you surprised by this?

Did you not see the Jack-o’-lantern and the Christmas tree together a week before Thanksgiving at Walmart? How in the world can people be surprised, and yet, if you listen to people talk, they seemed alarmed and surprised that it “snuck up on me”.

In the past week, I’ve had several people say to me “I hate the holidays”, to which I reply, “really?” Then, almost every time, I get “Well, no, I hate my family.” To which I reply “Really??” That’s when the responses start to go a lot of different directions – a sister, a party, the finances and gifts, the travel.

Those are the things that seemed to leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed, panicked, and maybe sad.They leave us feeling this season is so difficult that we wish it would go away. If you’re feeling any of those, you’re in good company, it’s pretty common this time of year.

Let’s look at a few things that might help.

If you want these holidays to be different, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. What worked well for you during last year’s Christmas season? What felt good and fun and left you feeling recharged? What do you wish you would have done but didn’t?

What didn’t work well? What has you shaking your head, rolling your eyes and feeling drained by what happened last Christmas? What did you want to skip last year?

To borrow some wisdom from an old Englishman, Oswald Chambers, “Whenever we experience something difficult in our personal lives, we are tempted to blame God.” And if most of us were honest, the difficulty of the season may be user error – I agreed to do the party, I agreed to find that random gift everyone on the planet wants, I agreed to talk with my brother about how he acts at Christmas – and the list goes on.

Maybe it’s a good year to not do all those things. Maybe it’s a year to think about the role you play in this season being so hectic and over scheduled.

Do the stuff you enjoy! Minimize the stuff you don’t. And maybe, just maybe, you will get more by doing less.


–Dr. Kevin Gilliland, for the team at Innovation 360