How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 3 Plan Ahead

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays only $6.95!

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

Plan Ahead

First, start planning! You’re going shopping. Get it over as quickly as possible. It is not turkey time yet. It’s not Christmas season yet. Locate family recipes you like and create a shopping list. Take a day off from work and do your shopping. Get the turkey to put in the freezer. Buy cranberry sauce and non perishables. Don’t wait until the last minute when everyone else is shopping. Avoid long lines and short tempers.

Taking a day off from work to shop might not feel comfortable for many people in this economy. What’s the first thing that came to mind when I mentioned it? Money. Probably one of the single biggest stressor during the holiday season is financial stress. Money problems are difficult anytime. Financial stress can have a bigger impact during the holiday season. Let’s face it. You feel pressure to buy something everywhere you turn. It’s a racket. The jingles, Christmas carols and nonstop TV commercials are meant to build excitement so you buy. You have every member of the family to buy for. Credit card bills pile up. Hello. The bills don’t go away just because it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. The post-holiday blues come quickly when the credit card bills arrive. Why do we often buy things we don’t even need during the holidays? Excitement triggers from a tiny mechanism in the brain. It pumps out the stress. We see a shiny red ornament. Because of the distortion of our mind from stress, we think that the shiny red ornament is THE ornament that’s going to look perfect on our Christmas tree. We purchase it for twenty bucks knowing full well that as soon as Christmas is over, the same ornament will drop to two dollars. Why do we purchase it anyway? The moment we purchase it, a chemical interaction within our body/mind system comes up that makes us feel good. The excitement doesn’t last long but it’s strong enough to make us want more little highs from buying the ‘perfect’ gifts.

This is why so many families go into debt during the holidays. Financial stress from holiday over-spending is a problem that can be reduced. What should you do BEFORE you buy the shiny red ornament, or expensive watch or tons of toys the kids will break or soon lose interest in? Before you ever walk into a store, sit down and decide how much money you can comfortably spend during the holiday season. Make this year different. Say what you’ll spend and stick to it. The holiday season is no different than going to Vegas. If you go to Vegas with your credit card in hand and your wallet wide open, you’ll return home broke. It’s almost guaranteed. Holiday spending is like that. This holiday season, take only the cash you feel comfortable spending with you instead of using credit cards. Make a gift list. Purchase only the items listed or equal substitutes. In a separate pocket, put your grocery list, coupons and cash. Buy only what’s listed and nothing extra. Like Vegas, decide what you can afford to lose/spend. Don’t go over your limit. No one will know the difference in how much you spend. However, they can feel when you’re happier and less stressed.

Now let’s talk about your children. All things considered, adults can handle stress better than children.

Well, in most situations, you can at least laugh. Children have a much more difficult time. Here at the Post Institute, we specialize in children who are easily stressed out and extremely sensitive. Many of these children have had significant traumas in their lives, whether they’re biological, adopted, or foster children. That experience creates impairment in their ability to handle significant bursts of stress.

What’s that going to do? It’s going to set them up almost every time for failure. The holiday seasons are

S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L-L. This stress is going to make your children almost impossible to deal with because they can’t handle it. They can’t take too much stress. That’s why I mentioned pre-planning for yourself. I mentioned finances and setting a holiday budget you can stick to. Those help you handle stress better.

What about your children? Here’s what you can do to help them. Get out a piece of paper and pen. Sit back and think about the way the last two years of Christmas and Thanksgiving have worked out with your child. Think all the way back to getting up in morning, the long drive/flight to your destination, interacting with family with the friends. Think about mealtimes, the drive home or spending the night away from home, if you did. Think about the night time and events the day after. Heck, throw in the dog chasing the cat and knocking down the Christmas tree if it happened. Think about all those things. Walk your mind through everything that happened over the last two holiday seasons.

Albert Einstein said, “To do the same thing over and over again and to expect a different result is the definition of insanity.” The holiday seasons are insane enough to begin with. You must do something differently if you want a different outcome from what you experienced the last two years. What would you like to see different this year?

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the
Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $6.95 click here.




Leave a Reply