On Monday of this week I held a free seminar all about how to have a stress free Christmas. The people who attended enjoyed it, found it interesting and gave me some wonderful feedback.
I was quite nervous, as I so wanted to get across my main message about having ‘the conversation’ with people to let them know what you are planning for you Christmas, whether that is being at home with your partner, going away to an hotel, inviting people to come to you for Christmas Day but to bring a plate of delicious food with them to add to the plates being brought by others to make a wonderful buffet for everyone.
There were, of course, some people who said they were going to attend who then couldn’t. So the audience was quite small. I started on time and made a mistake straight away. I had been chewing some gum to keep my mouth moist and completely forgot to take it out before beginning my talk. So there I was, trying not to chew away, but of course not succeeding.
I went through how people can cook whatever they would like for Christmas dinner. That could be roast turkey with all the trimmings or shepherds pie or sausage and mash. Whatever it is that makes you happy.
I mentioned how we learn much our behaviour at Christmas from our parents. How conditioning may not be intentional but how it works very well. How your extended family may not want to be dragged away from their newly opened presents to come to you for Christmas, but don’t know how to tell you for fear of offending you.
I told the audience how the subconscious mind stores all your habits and all the stuff we use every day without even thinking. How we drive our cars without giving a second conscious thought to the process.
The fact that the fear of doing something is often so much worse than actually doing it. And how to combat those fears. How our ‘chatterbox’ runs our lives by constantly telling us how we can’t do this, or that.
I gave examples of my own fears and how I overcame them.
To do lists can be very, very long, and I gave some ideas of how to delegate, dump or simplify the to do list to reduce stress. How my friend had decided a couple of years ago to spend her Christmas day on her own, reading and watching television. How she didn’t want the traditional Christmas dinner and cooked herself poached eggs on toast and loved it.
I gave suggestions of how to spread the cost of present buying over the year, or getting good deals online. How people could volunteer to help out the Salvation Army on Christmas Day if they found themselves to be alone but really didn’t want to be.
There was of course lots more, and it all went down very well indeed I thought. Below is some of the feedback I received:
“Helpful. Made a list as went along. Has made me determined to face some tough decisions.”
“Very helpful. Thank you.”
“I really enjoyed this. I had a stressful day at work today, and a lot of what you said made me think about this situation and I can use a lot of it.”
“Useful advice re ‘The Conversation’. Topic that everyone can relate to and has experienced.”
“Some useful tips on how to prepare for Christmas. Thank you.”
‘I really enjoyed last night, it all made sense, I plan to have the conversation at the weekend.’
I am planning to record the seminar as an audio file with the slides for those people who couldn’t make it and who would still like to listen. Let me know if you would like to download it for yourself.