Glimmers of Joy from Outagamie County Extension (posted monthly)

From Karen Dickerell:

Welcome to Glimmers of Joy!​ Glimmers of Joy: Strength during the holidays -- not Stress!  The holiday movies started before Halloween, the stores were bursting with holiday decorations before the candy and costumes were sold out!  It truly is a matter of priorities and how we give those glimmers of joy an opportunity to shine through.
With the holidays, there is the opportunity for decorating, shopping, parties, family gatherings, presents, greeting cards and your list probably goes on and on.  Many people look forward to this season, but we also have family and friends that see the holidays as time of stress, chaos, sadness, and memories of what used to be.
How do you see the weeks ahead?  Are they fun and enjoyment or are they burden and stress?  How can you move forward to see the positive side and maybe not eat the whole pie-- but enjoy and savor the moments of the events that will follow. One way to look forward to the holidays is to adjust your expectations.  Do you really need to make fifteen different kinds of cookies and set up six Christmas trees?  Maybe you do, and it brings you joy.  Maybe you could scale back a bit and only do what truly brings you joy.  That is yours for the decision!
If the holidays seem overwhelming, consider asking for help from family members, friends, neighbors and perhaps your church.  Many people enjoy giving more than receiving, so asking if someone can assist you with something will give them a glimmer of joy as well.
If you are planning some major changes, prepare your family and friends of the change.  The holidays are not the best time for big surprises.  Perhaps you have decided this is your last year to mail Christmas cards and the annual family letter -- mention that and perhaps give your email address if people want to continue to stay in touch!  My tradition is to do a Dickrell Quiz...writing like an old fashioned test, to see how much people know about what has been happening in my life.  It is fun and a way to tap my creative juices every year.  I have kept the quiz each year so I now have a binder of all the memories of the years gone by and it is a fun activity to go back and read the adventures.
Buying gifts for others is often a challenge.  Do you want to continue buying gifts for everyone?  Perhaps you decide that you will only buy for the children, or buy a family gift.  Think of what you enjoy the most and go forward with that plan.  It is also helpful to provide others with ideas of what you would appreciate for gifts -- maybe no gifts, or a gift in your name to a charity.  Gift certificates for dining, laundry or cleaning services are also a fun idea!
Finally, be good to yourself!  Make it a priority to take care of yourself and your comfort level.  Don't overbook yourself.  Find time to do the things you enjoy doing.  Perhaps going to a concert, finding time to read a book, take a bubble bath!  Find ways to recharge your energy to find those glimmers of joy. Wishing you all the best this holiday season!


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