E136 Three Ways To Ruin Christmas feat. Diann Wingert

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Experience 50 e136Midlife creates some interesting holiday twists

Do you remember this Folgers holiday TV commercial: It is late at night, probably Christmas Eve, in a beautiful home awash in a warm glow of love and holiday tradition. “Peter” arrives home from college and all is well in this 1986 version of a midlife holiday.

But what if Peter had other plans. What if he decided to blow off your ideas for Christmas and went skiing with buddies or followed Savannah, his college girlfriend of a whole 6 weeks to her family’s Christmas in North Dakota?

Fast-forward a few years and many girlfriends later to when Peter is married with kids of his own and had established his family many states away from you but right down the street from his in-laws who have many a holiday tradition to hold him hostage to. Your younger daughter is away at college and planning to stay on campus picking up extra hours at the coffee shop to pay for her spring break trip to Cancun.

Oh, I do love the holidays.

Holidays have a very special way of putting our roles and relationships under the microscope. You have some choices to make. You could choose to ruin Christmas.

You can ruin Christmas in a SNAP!

Here are three easy ways to do it:

  1. Having unrealistic or silent expectations
  2. Being stubborn about your traditions and having things “your way”
  3. Lacking imagination

My husband and I have let go of the reigns, with each year bringing different versions of the holidays. Thanksgiving has been a freeform sport for the last several years. Christmas has taken many twists but still plays out on home field. Only one year was Christmas an away game, and I tell that story of Chinese Christmas dinner in the podcast.

I am so happy to include part of a conversation with my therapist/coach friend Diann Wingert from Episode 017. If you have missed Diann’s steady voice and wise insights on Experience 50, rest assured Diann is well and has been busy refocusing her practice. An announcement is in the works.



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