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  • Are You Feeling Grinchy This Year? 7 Tips For A Better Holiday

    While “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” may be fun to watch, no one wants to be dating or married to a Grinch—especially not at the holidays. Getting “grinchy” is roughly defined as being a party pooper, Debbie Downer, etc..

    We have the potential to make the holidays a major win or a major bust for our families depending on our attitude and engagement. So my question is, “Are you feeling grinchy?”

    What are some signs you may be grinchy?

    • Every year you remind anyone that will listen that you hate this time of year. You preach against the evils of commercialism. You call people fake. You get angry at the extra traffic and all the TV commercials. Even if you have some valid points, it isn’t helpful.

    • Grinchy is being all about yourself and refusing to have fun. You are thinking about work, or problems or finances or whatever. Without meaning to, you suck the happy out of “Happy Holidays”. Your spouse feels totally alone and your kids are bored.

    • You are buried in your phone when you visit your in-laws. If someone starts to pay too much attention to you, you get back on the phone. Your spouse feels you are there but not really there. It feels like you don’t care about your family.

    • You don’t buy a gift for your partner. Ouch! Super grinchy!

    • If you are a husband, you buy a practical gift for your wife. There is nothing wrong with practical, just be prepared for not getting much reaction. My wife still reminds me of when we were first married and I gave her a garbage can after she mentioned in passing she needed a new one. I know what you are thinking, but at least I was listening.

    • You buy lingerie for your wife. Ok, that’s not exactly being grinchy, but I do need to give you a heads up. Don’t be surprised if she takes the stance that the gift is more for you than her. She’ll be a lot more excited about lingerie if you aren’t being grinchy in other areas.

    What can you do to keep from being grinchy?

    • Go get a Christmas tree together. We used to do that when our children were young. We would wait until university students went home for the holidays and then our family would drive around campus until we found a nice tree set out by the garbage. Ok, that might be a little grinchy, but at least it was a family activity. That tradition lasted until a large group of high school students dumped several dozen used trees in our yard. Yes, I said several dozen!

    • Laugh and make memories. Traditions build memories. Play games. Listen to songs and watch movies. At Grandma’s house, our kids used to be in the basement at the kids’ table. We heard a ton of laughter from the kid’s table. It was years before we found out they were making fun of us. Set your family up to have fun. They will remember the fun more than the gifts.

    • And if you can’t go to Grandma’s house this year or visit your in-laws, you can start new traditions. Just make it fun. Be creative.

    • Watch a Christmas movie. Maybe even a Hallmark movie if you are really feeling the spirit of the season. I’m so glad my wife isn’t into Hallmark movies! But if she was, I would watch one. Why? Because I don’t want to be grinchy.

    • Find an avenue to give to families in need. Schools, churches, the Salvation Army, etc. are some potential avenues to help.

    • Find a way to encourage friends and family. Stop by and surprise them with a dessert, a card or a bottle of wine. You may make their day and have fun yourself. 

    • Think of ways to engage your family. Husbands don’t make your wives do all the work. I used to come up with a series of clues, that when solved, would enable the kids to start opening their presents. The kids had a blast.

    • Remember. It isn’t the gifts the kids remember as adults as much as the fun you have as a family. So use the same drive that you use to be successful at work, to make it a great holiday season for your family.