Transform Your HOLIDAY To-Do List



This will be the first year that I put up a Christmas tree in probably 10 years! I have not participated in “Christmas” in the way that the vast majority of the population does in over a decade. I literally dread the commercialized, over-scheduled, chaotic version that the holidays seem to have become. Between split families, bi-coastal relatives, Christmas cards, cookies and gift lists a mile long, it had become complete opposite of joy for me. Some might think me a scrooge but far from it. Let me explain.


The message I really picked up as a kid was that Christmas was about the gifts. The more the better, more is more if you will. So, when I became a mom, I simply followed the same pattern. Even when our budget was super tight with two small children, it just meant I got creative. But, success was deemed by the number of packages under the tree.


Then one fateful Christmas, it all changed. I had done an “excellent job” that year and my kids had gotten the motherload – everything they asked for. So much that I had to literally build new shelves in their bedroom closets to store them all. All of the new toys went on the new shelves and only one or two EVER came off again. This was a HUGE eye opener for me.



Was all the craziness and anxiety I put myself through really worth the maybe one hour of fun that it created? Was my time, energy and resources best spent in this way?


I decided, NO. From that point forward, we changed up our Christmases. From that year forward, instead of buying a ton of “stuff”, we began to create experiences and focus on slowing down and connecting with one another instead. Sometimes that looked like Disney World or a cruise. Other years, like this one, that meant a small gathering of just a few family members at my mom’s house on the river with plenty of space for quiet reflection and intimate conversation. This is my favorite kind, by the way.


I realize that you likely have your plans in place for this year and I am not suggesting that you do Christmas “my” way. What I am encouraging you to do is have Christmas YOUR way. So, my question for you is:



What do you REALLY want for Christmas? 



If you could create the Christmas that YOU want, what would it look like? I’m not suggesting that you give up traditions and parts of the holiday that you love and would miss. I am suggesting that you do them and anything else you choose with the intention to create your experience the way that YOU desire it. 


Here are some questions to ask yourself to begin to create your holiday experience:

(As you answer these questions,  we are looking for the experience you are after.)


  • What experience do you want to have of yourself over the holidays?
  • What do the holidays REALLY mean to you?
  • Do my activities truly reflect that meaning?
  • What would make YOU feel love and joy?
  • How do you want to show up for the people that are most important to you?
  • If I told you there was only one event or party that you could attend this season which one would it be?
  • What do you want to remember about this holiday season?
  • What is it that you want your family to remember about this holiday?


Our greatest fulfillment is always based in an experience. Specifically, the experience you are having of yourself with what you DO choose to do.


By learning to choose and designing the experience you desire BEFORE the experience, we can begin to create fulfillment in any and every area of your life.


Here are a few more questions that are useful in how to choose events and set priorities for your holiday season (and any season for that matter!)


  • Who am I really doing this for?
  • What I am hoping to gain out of attending this party or event?
  • What is my true motivation for buying or giving this gift?
  • What impact will this choice have on me, my family and my personal priorities?


This has been a hot topic this last week with clients. So, I was inspired to share with you the recording of a special live training I did several years ago for the holidays based on my  landmark Transform Your To-Do List course. (I do mention a course date start in this recording that is from a couple of years ago. You can look for a new updated version of Transform Your To-Do List in the spring.)


I realize that Christmas is right around the corner and there is a lot vying for your time. What I know is that investing this one hour to listen to the recording can literally transform your experience of the holidays. I realize that asking you to invest an hour just days before Christmas may seem crazy, butyou are worth it!

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