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Below are the articles in the Holidays category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.


Grief Takes No Holidays

Holidays and special occasions can stimulate memories of grief and sadness, this article helps you make the best of them while understanding your feelings.

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For those experiencing sorrow, whether through death, separation, divorce, illness, job loss or relocation, the glittering commercialism and unrelenting cheer of the holiday season can be stressful.

Facing Thanksgiving Day and Christmas with an empty chair at the table can make unbearable grief so much worse, says by Karen Silbert, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, who suffered the loss of her five-month-old daughter.

Many people believe that anyone who has experienced great loss should be "over it" in six months or so. If only that were true. Emotions of the recently bereaved are terribly raw. It can be difficult for them to cope in social situations during the holidays, when tears would be out of place, Silbert says. At holiday time, many who are dealing with loss are often caught in a dilemma between the need to grieve and the pressure to "get into the spirit" of the season.

But holidays can stimulate memories and a renewed wave of pain, which feels even more pronounced. And it's not only holidays that may trigger deep feelings of new or renewed grief. Birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions present a challenge for many, even after a number of years have passed.

Holiday Drinking—When the Party’s Over but the Drinking Isn’t

The holidays are a time of More. More parties, more social gatherings, more celebrations. And more drinking.

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Many of the usual drinking rules are relaxed during the holiday season. Drinking in the daytime for example, and drinking at the workplace where office parties often add alcohol to the mix. More drinking and driving occurs during the holidays than at any other time of the year. And sometimes people who don’t normally drink much may indulge in more than they intended and trouble follows.

It’s not true that increased drinking causes alcoholism—alcoholism is a disease with many “causes.” Just because someone drinks more frequently, or consumes more alcohol than they usually do, doesn’t mean he or she has become an alcoholic. But there are warning signs that drinking may be a problem, for example:

• Starting to drink earlier in the day.

• Increased drinking (drinking every day or every few days, or drinking increased quantities).

• Continuing to drink when they’ve “had enough.”

Holidays: Here They Come, Ready or Not

Somewhere around September when the weather changes, it starts. "It" is The Holidays, and whatever one celebrates, everyone has in common stress with a capital S. But there’s hope.

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All those events and activities, family gatherings. The kids are out of school again, houseguests are coming or you’re planning a trip. Don’t even ¬mention shopping for gifts, sending greeting cards or decorating the house. The credit cards are maxed out, you’ve got more chores than you can shake a stick at and your “to do” list is longer than Santa’s beard.

You swore it would all be different this year.

Take heart. It’s not too late. With intention, it really can be different this year.

First thing to remember: take good care of yourself: Eat healthfully, get plenty of rest (schedule it in), exercise, drink lots of water. Breathe deeply. Relax and have fun. (Schedule that in, too.)

Having houseguests? Try to make them as self-sufficient as possible. Ask for help. And even though it might be fun, don’t wear yourself out by staying up late every night, or stuffing each day as full as a Christmas goose.

How to Cope with the Post-Holiday Blues

It’s not unusual to feel down during the holidays, but the blues don’t have to ruin the holiday season. The first step is recognizing the symptoms and then taking some action and getting help.

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A trail of brown needles leads out to the curb where the Christmas tree, once fragrant and green, lies wilted and dying. Unplugged are the brightly colored lights and, along with the treasured decorations, boxed up and stored away. Gone too, are family and friends. And where so recently nights were filled with gala social gatherings, the only thing left on many to-do lists is return gifts and mop up.

To top it off, in many parts of the country dreary, gray days lengthen into cold, dark nights.

No wonder so many people find themselves at a loss once the holiday season is over. The Post-Holiday Blues—feelings of sadness, of let-down, of depression—are not at all uncommon this time of year.

How Well Do You Navigate the Holidays?

Tips for navigating the holiday season with grace.

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Take a big, deep, beautiful breath: the holidays will be here before you know it. For many of us, this time of year brings with it the joys—and challenges—of family gatherings, gift exchanges, and holiday festivities. The good news is that with a little planning and thoughtfulness, you can navigate the holidays with grace. Take this self-quiz to see how ready you are for this year’s holiday season.

True or False?

1.I start planning for the holidays early so that I’m not running around in November and December.

2.When my family is making plans, I make a point of negotiating what I really want to do and where I’d like to spend each holiday.

Top 10 Things to Be Grateful For

A person may feel grateful for her health, safety, and loved ones. But what about the less obvious things that are all around?

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What do we take for granted? What moves us? What would fill our hearts daily if we would just notice it?

1. The senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste—daily miracles each of them.

2. The plant world. From the productivity of a late-summer tomato plant to the delicate unfurling of a fern, nature’s exuberance and tenderness is something to behold.

3. Opportunity. Our steady companion, opportunity is always ready to take us down a path yet unknown. (Hint: We have to say “Yes!”)

4. Beauty. What do your eyes feast on? What splendor makes your soul rejoice? It is all around us every day. How often do you stop to drink it in?

Top 10 Ways to Get Through Tense Family Gatherings

Family gatherings may not always be fun, but they don’t have to be disasters.

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Let’s face it. Family gatherings are not always roses and cotton candy. For some families, they’re masked balls with everyone straining to maintain a façade of harmony. For others, they’re Wild West shootouts. Try some of these tips.

1. Make a pro-and-con list. Clear your head, find a calm moment and decide whether it is best for you to go.

2. Consider smaller portions. Plan to visit only for appetizers or dessert.

3. Educate yourself. Seek information on the issues or dynamics that tend to come up in your family.

4. Dig deeper. How do you contribute to the tension? Can you adjust your understanding of other points of view?

Top 10 Ways to Have the Best Holidays Ever

Tips for creating ease and magic throughout the holidays.

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The holiday season will soon be upon us. And with it will come the hope that this one will be truly magical.However, many of us quickly get bogged down in busyness, stress and old patterns. Here are 10 ways to turn that dynamic around and create the magic.

1. Give yourself a break. Perfection—even perfect happiness—just isn’t possible. Let your best be good enough. Make a budget for both your time and your money—and stick to it. It really is the thought that counts.

2. Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to do over the holidays before compromising with others. If you don’t have a clear plan and clear intentions, you might find yourself getting swept along by others’ desires. Even if you compromise later, get clear first.

Top 10 Ways to Plan to Thrive During the Holidays

Ten ways to make the holidays enjoyable and as stress-free as possible.

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For many, the holidays that come in late fall are something you feel relieved just to survive. But if you start NOW to look at what you want, you may actually be able to thrive during the holidays. Here are some suggestions:

1. Plan ahead. Don't be at the mercy of the season. Decide what YOU want your holiday experience to look like, and make necessary arrangements now.

2. Make gifts this year. It'll help you not over-spend, and handmade gifts are almost always more appreciated.

3. Set a financial budget. Start shopping sales now to get better prices. This includes for the supplies you'll need for your handmade gifts.

Top 10 Ways to Sidestep Holiday Stress

The Holidays and stress seem to go together like egg and nog. But does it have to be that way?

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From the rising of the moon on Halloween eve until the setting of the sun on Super Bowl Sunday, the holidays create more opportunities for anxiety to get a foothold than a tile roof makes for Santa’s reindeer. Here are ten ideas to help you keep your own steady footing during the upcoming season.

1. Take good care of your self. Eat healthfully, get plenty of rest, exercise.

2. Make lists and set aside specific times to accomplish certain tasks. Prioritize. Consider scratching a few items off your list.

3. Ask for help. It’s more fun to do things together — from decorating the house to wrapping presents.

4. Make a budget and stick to it. No matter what. If you use your credit cards during the holidays then spend the rest of the year paying them off, try not charging anything this year.

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