The holidays are full of surprises (both good and bad) and knowing how to make the most of them or handle them comes down to being emotionally and cognitively nimble. This is when being able to live in the moment comes in handy because ’tis the season for spontaneity.

Handling Surprises
Holiday surprises come in all sizes. There’s the good ones – a surprise gift you weren’t expecting and the not so good ones – a surprise gift from someone you didn’t buy a gift for. In either case, it’s time to apply the lessons you’ve learned from being spontaneous. Stay in the moment. Try not to make the surprise about your insecurities and take it for what it is. Show gratitude and remember that you’ve now got the green light to surprise them back at some time in the future (spontaneous gifts outside of the season are even more unexpected and lovely!)

Letting Go of Expectations
There’s one thing that being spontaneous teaches us and that’s that having expectations is a waste of energy. So, despite how many hours you spent shopping for the perfect gift or planning the perfect holiday feast, when it comes time to enjoy the moment, be sure to do that by letting go of your expectations. That includes expectations of others, of yourself and of the moment itself. It is what it is and you’ll enjoy it a heck of a lot more if you accept that.

Find the Joy
How did the holidays become the most stressful time of the year? It’s time to find the joy that all of the old carols are filled with. Act on the inspirations of the moment. Go out and build a snowman, have a snowball fight or test out that new sled. Hand out hugs whenever the spirit moves you. Say yes to invitations even if it breaks from tradition. Stay spontaneous and allow the joy of the season to have its way with you.

Water Under the Bridge
If you don’t have any dysfunction in your family functions, please skip this section. For the rest of us, it’s time to talk about the baggage that pops up every year along with the decorations. Whether it bubbles silently beneath the surface or boils over somewhere around the third eggnog; this is the year your spontaneity training is going to change everything. What being spontaneous helps us to do is stay in the moment. And in the moment, there are no old grudges. So, flex those emotional muscles that your spontaneity has so stealthy toned this year and finally let it all be water under the bridge.

Spontaneity and everything you’ve learned from your spontaneous spirit can take the holidays from happy to joyful and very merry indeed.

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