Create Your Holiday Happiness: A How-To Guide for Savoring the Joy of the Season

Written By Expert Aswynn Willowroot

The holidays create mixed emotions in all of us. We typically experience varying levels of stress. Even though holiday celebrations can sometimes fall short of our expectations, the truth is they serve an important purpose. They are not merely archaic traditions from a less civilized time. The holiday season takes us from one significant period of our lives to the next. It invites us to reexamine our spiritual and philosophical truths and ideals in order to enter the New Year with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.

It's possible to create an authentic and deeply meaningful holiday, no matter what your holidays have been like in the past. In just a few quick and easy steps you can take charge of your holiday experience and direct its entire course and outcome.

1. Create a holiday game plan. What would a "nourishing" holiday look like for you? What activities, events, people or experiences would make this holiday so fulfilling -- so very wonderful -- that you could hardly stand to experience it? Map out only the things which hold the most meaning for you while emphasizing quality over quantity. Do what makes you happy.

2. Pass on holiday perfectionism. There is no "perfect" Hanukkah. There is no such thing as an iconic "picture perfect" Christmas either. The planet will not cease to rotate on its axis if the tree is not aligned to catch the sunlight at dawn Christmas morning. Holiday miracles and magic happen when we get out of our own way. Let go and allow the holiday to unfold as it will.

3. Savor simple yet significant holiday moments. In the flurry of activity we often lose sight of some of the most precious holiday moments hidden in the most simplistic of activities -- like frying up a warm tasty batch of latkes with a most beloved bubbe or driving through the neighborhood to enjoy the sparkle of holiday lights at night. Even spending an hour chatting over a cup of hot chocolate with a good friend can hold significant holiday value and meaning. Slow down and savor simple pleasures.

4. Cultivate a spirit of genuine gratitude and giving. Thankfulness doesn't end at midnight Thanksgiving Day. If you have a job in this economy, you're extremely fortunate. If you still have a home, you're doubly blessed. If you're in good health, you're richer than you can imagine. Pay your blessings forward. Infuse hope, love and generosity into an all-too-often dreary world. Give what you can and be grateful for all you have been given.

5. Begin to reinvent yourself for the New Year. Let's face it -- 2012 was not a banner year for a lot of people. Closing out 2012 to welcome in 2013 will probably prove to be a bit of a relief for many. What are your goals and aspirations? Shift your thinking to see this holiday season as the kick-off period to launch a new, fresh version of yourself. Your life is a blank canvas. Set these goals in motion. Give yourself the best holiday gift imaginable -- a happier, healthier "you."

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Ask Cristina!

Hi Cristina,

I'm hoping you can help me. I have a huge crush on two guys at work. One is married and the other one is single, but he is younger than me. I talk to both guys every day, but lately it seems the younger guy, Nate, is always talking to me and his smile and voice make me all tingly. The other guy, Ron, is married, but not in a happy marriage, yet I get the feeling from him he is all about his "image" and I deserve better than to be treated like a second banana by him. I have tried every dating site: and and I can't seem to get a guy to save my life. I don't know what to do. Everyone is telling me to "live my life and if it's meant to be it's meant to be." Can you give me some direction?

Thank you.

Blessings my dear, and thank you for allowing me to do a reading for you today. As I look at the many questions you ask, I feel that you already know the answers. You are highly intuitive and have a strong sense of things and can even predict the final outcome of situations yourself. But I see you do need to sort through all this to figure out the best outcome for yourself.

This strong attraction that you have for these two guys comes from the simple truth that your social world at this time is all tied to work, so naturally you'll be attracted to people at work. Because for you, your routine involves basically work and home -- even though you have outside interests and can be incredibly fun to be with, work and home take up most of your time.

With that said I don't see a future with either one of these guys. I feel the younger one does desire you most, but I feel you know this would be a short-term affair. The possibilities with the married man... well it would take a book to write how wrong for you it would be. All the negative energy of the married man, his unhappiness, his frustration, problems with his family, all would infiltrate into your life and reality and you have to ask yourself, do you really need that?

I know you have tried all the dating sites, but try something else. I see when your routine changes, the universe will bring you someone totally different into your life who matches your spirit perfectly. Expand your interests, break from the work and home routine and get involved in life. Take on a hobby, a class, the gym or just something else that involves you in loving life...and this vibration from you will attract the right man into your life. At the end of the day, I don't see you old and alone.

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