Unless you have sought refuge in a cave, your awareness by now will have been tinselled into acceptance that the holiday season is upon us. And with it comes the onslaught of obligations such as festooning the home with more tinsel, attending end-of-year events, buying presents and preparing for family gatherings.

 

It’s loosely labelled as ‘getting into the festive spirit.’

 

But it’s not for everyone.

 

Some baulk at the very notion of festive, arguing that

  • obligation robs the time of any sincerity

  • undue pressure to be merry shrouds the time in fake frivolity

  • money-making is the true driver behind the festive engine with obligations of reciprocity plunging the credit card into shame.

For the naysayers it appears that obligation is the culprit responsible for their disenchantment.

 

So let’s put it on the stand and take a closer look.

 

Obligation does carry expectations and in turn pits predictability against spontaneity. And with that at play one is at risk of morphing into a robotic merry-maker from tinselling to sending out over-rehearsed wishes to the contact list on your mobile phone, many of whom have slipped into cranial nooks of amnesia.

 

And while one can glibly say, “Well, do not bow to obligation, just don’t do it,” whatever the ‘it’ may be, at the end of the year your energy reserves may not be charged enough to withstand ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous’ relatives who don’t appreciate your not towing the festive line.

 

So what can be done for our beleaguered naysayers?

 

While I would never advocate compromising yourself in favour of obligation, I would offer originality as an option worth exploring – in fact, not only for the naysayers but for everyone who favours a move away from the stereotypical or robotic festive mode.

Loosen up, oil the imaginative cogs, de-tinsel your mind and create a time that has your signature stamp on it, something that pleases you. Or gather input from each family member and weave together an eclectic mix of fun. Make stuff; instead of an end-of-year event that ends in a blur, go on a safari or nature outing or a spa morning; think of alternatives to presents.

 

As long as you are still breathing and have a mind, you have the power of choice and that includes of attitude.

 

Choose your merry!

 

P.S. And for those who are sticking with present giving, we can help you tick a few recipients off your list, with our very affordable online courses. Meaningful Retirement  www.udemy.com/meaningful-retirement  for anyone heading into the 3rd Tri-cycle of life; and MindScapes in ChildPlay  www.udemy.com/mindscapes-in-childplay  for anyone who spends time with young children (6 months to 6 years old).

Also look out for our latest course, Gain Self-Confidence by Defeating Self-Consciousness which will be out in time to slip into a Christmas stocking (aaargh did I just lapse into a tinsel phrase?!)

 

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