• Sandy Reynolds

Why I'm Decorating Early this Holiday Season (and I'm not alone)

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

I’m thinking about Christmas these days. In fact, I’ve already started decorating. I know it is only the middle of November!!! I know I am not alone. I’ve noticed many other houses in my neighbourhood already dressed for the holidays. My Instagram confession of decorating early prompted many messages from people telling me they've also started decorating.

We want to surround ourselves with anything that feels good right now. We don't know who will be allowed to join us around our table this year. We do know we won't be going to the usual parties and celebrations. So we are throwing all our effort into making our homes feel festive in hopes it will, in some way, compensate.

The holidays can be difficult, and people-pleasers can really feel the pressure. We deeply care about other people. We care about the details that other people might miss. We care about how people feel about us, which makes us work very hard to live up to their expectations. We can get caught up in finding just the right gift or creating the perfect experience for the people we love. During this Covid Christmas that can escalate, we need to be careful that we don't go overboard.

It’s no surprise to anyone that much of our disappointment is linked to other people. We are disappointed with the choices of our friends and family make. Our values clash. We may feel like we have to compromise to make other people happy. On top of everything, we live in what some people call a ‘post-truth’ reality. We don’t know who to trust anymore when it comes to reliable information. However, we all feel certain that our sources are accurate. It does set us up for some tense conversations.

You may have a adamant family member we live in a ‘scamdemic’ and that Covid-19 doesn’t even exist. You may have other people in your life who are wearing layers of masks and hand-washing and sanitizing so often their hands are raw. It's a challenge to find a balanced, rational approach to life during a pandemic while minimizing the fear messages.

This season is a great time to practice getting comfortable disappointing more people. It doesn’t matter what you think or believe; you will encounter someone who holds the opposite viewpoint. You’ll need to practice doing what works for you and not letting your critics deter you. It can all make the holidays emotionally charged for everyone.

You can get comfortable disappointing people by spending some time with a journal or just reflecting on this question: Am I really responsible for making sure the holidays are perfect for anyone?

Another challenge is gift-giving. I am a fan of giving books. I have started a curated list of books and suggestions for people on your Christmas list. I will be adding to it in the next few weeks, so check back! Books are a gift that keeps on giving. I’ve looked at all the books I’ve read this year and chosen some of my favourites. You can find that list here.

Here are some more things I'm exploring right now:

📚 Reading: I’m reading “Adventures in Opting Out” by Cait Flanders. I’m looking forward to interviewing Cait this week and discussing this book in person! I’m only a couple of chapters in, and I can see why Cait has such a committed following. I'll let you know when the episode is available.

📺 Watching: I've been watching The Crown. The current season dropped last weekend on Netflix. I can't believe I've only watched six episodes so far! I've always been fascinated by the British Monarchy. I find myself feeling a little more sympathetic for this family.

☕️ Support Truthfully Speaking: I’m putting most of my effort into getting a book proposal completed and writing a book. I heard about this website, "Buy Me a Coffee," and I thought I would give it a try. I used Patreon in the past to raise support and help offset some of the expenses of podcasting and writing. Patreon is a lot of work and is so time-consuming that it becomes another thing to do. I discovered this site through a colleague. It's simple and easy when you support me by buying me a hot chocolate (I don't drink coffee, I will give you a shout-out here, and if in the next few months you treat me to five beverages - I’ll make sure to thank you publicly in the acknowledgements in my book! All you have to do is click on this link and buy me a hot chocolate. ❤️ Thanks for your support.

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