Just as a puppy can be more of a challenge than a gift, so too can the holidays. John Clayton
With the Divali season around the corner, a sizeable section of the people in India are already in a holiday frenzy. Soon thereafter Christmas would be around the corner and practically three fourths of the rest of the world would be experiencing the same holiday frenzy. While everyone eagerly looks forward to the holidays, the overwhelming majority of people are confused, apprehensive and hesitant about how to make best use of the holidays. Worse still is the fact that most people are completely unprepared to welcome the holidays. As a result the holiday season can often be a stressful period unless one makes adequate preparations to make the best use of the gift of holidays.
For those wedded to customs, traditions and rituals, the initial part of the holidays are well laid out in as much as they follow the accepted customs and norms. The real challenge is thereafter. Travel is the most preferred option for many but the destination poses problems as much as the means of travel and the duration. Of course the biggest headache still remains the finances. What is not really noticed is that the real problem is ‘not paying attention to planning and preparing’ for the holidays. Any form of travel involves reasonable planning right from destination to dates and mode of travel and stay and how best to utilize the time at the chosen destination. If for whatever reason travel is ruled out then making the best use of holidays requires even more thought and deliberation for the options are rarely crystal clear mainly because we don’t pay much attention to it and prefer to work out on the spur of the moment. Net result is that we end the holidays with a sense of regret of having wasted it.
So the question that begs attention is ‘what else can one do with the holidays’? Here are some alternatives for reflection and perusal especially for those not traveling during the holidays.
- Catch up on reading / movies / hobbies/ some quirks that were left on the back burner (eg. Experimenting with or understanding alternate therapy’s, learning magic / card tricks, go bird watching with a professional)
- Reorganizing the house and bring about some much needed change including rummaging through piled up / hoarded knick knacks and disposing of the unwanted stuff.
- Entertaining people who you could not otherwise invite due to, either their preoccupation or your own hectic life style.
- Detailed planning, (especially if a surprise party is planned) for some important events coming up like the golden jubilee of your parents wedding anniversary or a milestone birthday of a close relative.
- You can indulge the spouse / children/ family members with some surprises like a swim and dinner or day long picnic to a completely new locale.
- Use the holidays to sensitize the family to the needs of others and the reality of life by visiting an orphanage/ old age home/ shelter for challenged children or invite a couple of challenged children home to spend a day.
Many of you reading this post would suddenly get wary and wonder if the alternatives listed are practical and more importantly would the end result be a real holiday. It is all a matter of attitude. If you can plan and prepare, the efforts will never be wasted even if the end result is not what is hoped for. Unless you try you never know. In any case by experimenting it will just be one holiday season that could be wasted but by never planning most holidays would end up being a challenge rather than a pleasure.
Remember: Holidays in general breed unrealistic expectations. The minute you start wondering, ‘is it going to be wonderful enough?, it never will be. Pepper Schwartz
- Assuming that finance is not a constraint make a list of alternates that you will have lined up if you get a 4 day holiday suddenly.
- Recollect the best holiday you ever had. Now also recount the worst holiday season that you went through when you felt your holidays were wasted ( if you fell sick or a tragedy occurred then do not count them as worst holidays). Can you identify the reasons that made the first holiday so much fun and the other one a rather indifferent or miserable one?
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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