We’ve all experienced the stress, fatigue, and irritability that often accompany the holiday season. The pressure to meet commitments, the commercial emphasis on buying, and the obligation of gift-giving contribute to a season that, for many, falls short of peace and joy. Rather than dwelling on the usual question of “What do you want for Christmas?”, let’s shift our focus to a more profound inquiry — what do we want from Christmas?

In a recent workshop facilitated by James Lenhoff, the visionary founder of Wealthquest, participants actively engaged with these seasonal challenges. The session addressed the technical difficulties often associated with the holiday season. This recap will navigate the key concepts explored during the webinar, emphasizing the prevalent issues encountered during the festive season and examining the proposed strategies to transform perspectives and foster a more meaningful holiday journey.

Strategies for Reflection and Action

Let’s explore a cognitive-behavioral therapy model — Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, Results (CTFAR) — as your guide. This approach empowers you to comprehend your recurring patterns and seize control over your holiday experiences, steering clear of the stress and unmet expectations that often loom.

Start by reflecting on both positive and negative holiday experiences. Take a moment to assess your beliefs about the season and yourself. Are these beliefs aiding your well-being, or are they acting as hindrances? Challenge disempowering thoughts and replace them with empowering ones, aiming to shift your focus from material desires to a deeper appreciation of the true sources of joy, love, and peace during the holidays. As you delve into your beliefs, investigate their origins — whether stemming from family dynamics or societal expectations. Identify intentional thoughts that serve your well-being and replace any unhelpful beliefs. This shift, from a mentality of “I have to” to one of “I choose to,” can liberate you from frustration and resentment, paving the way for a more joyous holiday season.

Consider your desires and aspirations for the season, moving away from setting unattainable destination goals. Instead, focus on directional goals — what you want more or less of. This strategic shift provides valuable insights, aligning your holiday experiences with your desires for connection, shared moments, and meaningful experiences. As you transition from reflections to purposeful actions, consider setting clear boundaries and taking intentional steps to shape the Christmas experience you desire. To prevent becoming overwhelmed, set and express clear boundaries on commitments. Plan activities or outings to foster shared experiences and create cherished memories. If materialism gets to you, put a cap on how much money you can spend on presents. Embrace simplicity by focusing on meaningful connections rather than extravagant gifts. By actively implementing these actions aligned with your desires, you pave the way for a holiday season that reflects your authentic aspirations and brings genuine joy, love, and peace.

Wrapping Up

The holiday season doesn’t have to end in bewilderment. By thoughtfully reflecting on your beliefs, challenging disempowering thoughts, and taking intentional actions, you can create the Christmas you envision — one filled with genuine joy, love, and peace. Wealthquest’s recent webinar provides a roadmap for rediscovering the true spirit of Christmas and making this season a memorable and meaningful celebration.

For informational purposes only. Not intended as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security or strategy. Not legal or tax advice. Opinions expressed in this commentary reflect subjective judgments of the author based on conditions at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice.

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