Here are some questions to ponder if you want to experiment with creating a new experience this year:
What do you expect to happen? (Your uncle will tell his stale, inappropriate jokes, your sister in-law will make that face again, your frustration scale will tip just in time to finish off the egg nog...)
What do you hope happens? (Your poker face is perfect as you exclaim how much you love your gifts, your parents actually do love the gift you gave them, everyone enjoys the special time together...)
What do you hope doesn't happen? (You receive an ugly sweater two sizes too small, you eat and drink yourself into an apathetic stupor, your daughter blurts out some embarrassing testament to your parenting...)
As you ponder, be aware that all your responses are rooted in the past. And all are possible scenarios.
In fact, they are probable scenarios because we subconsciously support the environment within which the events will occur. It is natural for us to expect the future to repeat the past because the past is all we know.
So how do we stop repeating the past? Ask yourself:
What is a new way I could be to inspire a new environment?
For example, you could be "loving" and "accepting." This might mean loving and accepting others as they are without trying to change them, or allowing them to be different than they have been in the past. It also might mean loving and accepting yourself as you are, and being okay with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions related to your family.
As your way of being shifts, your actions will align with this way of being without you having to think about it.
In this way, we can CHOOSE our experiences! Imagine the possibilities...
Let me know what comes up for you. What experiment will you take on in the coming days?
Above all, enjoy each moment - with the love and courage to be who you want to be and allow others to be who they want to be.