I never really understood why holidays brought along uninvited guests - lots of emotions, confusion and chaos, travel worries, and so many expectations.
I'm chasing this down, this year, and trying to enjoy the journey, trying to enjoy the countdown until everyone is finally home. I'm getting their rooms ready, and remembering their favorite foods, and I'm almost at the window pane, I'm so eager with excitement for their arrival. Soon this quiet place will be filled with reminders of who we once were and who we have become.
I'm reminding myself of something else, too. Surefire tips for a successful holiday season:
1. Seek to understand before you are understood.
2. Figure out what really matters.
3. Focus on your priorities first.
4. Chill the vodka.
Jump start conversations with these open-ended phrases:
1. Tell me why that's important to you.
2. How can I support you?
3. What do you need?
4. How did that feel?
Keep in mind that these questions are no longer yours to ask:
1. How much did that cost?
2. Do you know what's in that?
3. How often do you do that?
4. Why don't you do that this way?
There's nothing I enjoy more than hangin' with my family, all my twentysomethings that offer me so much. I'm looking forward to our conversations: around the fireplace, in the hot tub, snackin' at the island. No doubt, at some point, someone will quietly question my place in their world. Hopefully I will still have the conviction I once had: to remind them that my role isn't to make them happy, it's to challenge their thinking. And then, I'll add: When are you coming home for Christmas...love?