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Newsletter Dated: 12/6/2004 3:14:45 PM
Subject: Happiness Tip: Happier Holidays!
Happiness Tips from Tina
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Happiness Tip: Happier Holidays!
Richard and I just indulged in our favorite December tradition – we watched our favorite Christmas movie (Scrooge! the musical starring Albert Finney) which kick-starts our holiday spirit every year.
No matter what you observe: Ramadan, Kwaanza, Chanukah, Solstice or Christmas, this is a celebratory time of year. For some it's a joy, for others a nightmare, and pressure to spend too much, eat too much, and socialize in ways you don't like.. If your Holiday expectations are out of line with what you can really accomplish, you'll be stressed.
Holidays can be the best of times and the worst of times. Holiday rituals, thoughtfully done, can be a source of bonding and strength. To de-stress the holidays, get intentional about them. Happier holidays require three things: 1) lighten up on expectations, 2) ask for help, and 3) understand what other people are thinking.
To lighten up expectations, understand that this is your real life, not a picture-book experience. Family or friends may squabble, food may not turn out perfect, and gifts may not go over as well as people hope. A sense of humor will help lighten up the whole thing. Think of yourself as a holiday trouble- shooter, rather than a designer of perfect scenarios. Find out what's really important to yourself, your guests and your family, and pare your celebration down to the important things. Focus less on spending money or decorating, and more on spending time with those you love.
Ask for help by getting other people engaged in the happenings, and sharing the work. You'll find that a lot of camaraderie comes out of working together, and a lot of the holiday fun will happen behind the scenes as you work with others to get ready. Your family and friends will feel more a part of the celebration if they actually create part of it.
Understand what people are thinking by talking of events in advance with your spouse, your children, or other members of your family and friends. Ask them what they like most, and least, and what they hope will happen. If you know the "hidden agendas" you'll be less surprised when they show up.
Once you've made your holiday easier and less stressful, you have room to add more meaning.
Encourage family members to talk about what's meaningful to them, or their favorite holiday memories. If your holiday is Christmas, for example: Invite each person at your celebration to choose or bring favorite ornament for the tree, and ask them to tell why it's meaningful to them. Spend a moment after Christmas dinner asking the oldest member present to share his or her memories of Christmas past. Gather around the tree and read a favorite Christmas story. Or, read a few pages of a longer work, like Dickens A Christmas Carol, or O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" aloud every night leading up to Christmas. (Adapted from It Ends With You)
Whatever you are celebrating this time of year, I wish for you a season full of love and warmth.
© 2004 Tina B. Tessina
I have just been selected as an expert by the Redbook Institute, so you'll see me quoted in Redbook frequently. I'm also the "Dating Doctor" on www.couplescompany.com, "Dr. Romance" on Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date, and I'll also answer your questions at www.tinatessina.com.
Catch my radio show on the web: "The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the subconscious" every Sunday 6-7:00 PM PT on www.wpmd.org and on the Leisure Talk Radio Network at www.leisuretalk.net every 12, 4, and 8 a.m. & p.m. EDT. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For more information: www.tinatessina.com
Through my website, you can get CE credits online based on my books: It Ends With You; How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free and The Real 13th Step To sign up for classes or browse my books, visit www.tinatessina.com.
I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
re: Honor the God/Goddess within
I am truly moved by today's newsletter. You are so right; beauty is within - not acquired by plastic surgery, botox, or other fad. Like you, I am blessed - for I am married to a wonderful man. He's not perfect; nor am I - but on November 4 - we celebrate 48 years of marriage. Each year gets better, which is unbelievable, because those before were wonderful. I have two sons I am very proud of., for each is honest and has worked hard to attain their positions. One is a
dentist; the other an organizational psychologist. But most of all, I admire them for being themselves and when I see how my younger son is with his two children, I am so very proud of him - for he is one of the best dads in the world.
I shall keep your golden words and read them often, Tina, and thank you so much for sending them.
I haven't been in touch with you in the longest time but know I am always grateful for these Happiness Tips (especially today's.) Thank you for being my mentor through all these years.
Hugs and Kisses,
I am back in town and just had the pleasure to read your happiness tip. What a great start for the rest of my life...........Thank You for so many thoughts,
It's always a pleasure to find your letter in my Inbox...I always learn something good there!
This is so true...Thanx for sharing.
Loving yourself, for who you are is a real mark of beauty, Tina. Obviously your beauty is the kind we should all strive to have. Wonderful article of self-acceptance!
Re: Power of Politeness
I was on a road trip the entire month of October but was glad to have your "Power of Politeness" waiting for me upon my return. I certainly agree with your message. In fact, for over 3 decades now, I have embraced the power of politeness when working with youngsters--especially the hard-core kids. In San Jose, EVERY youngster in one Continuation School belonged to a gang and each had a long history of incarcerations--from "Juvy to CYA. They hated adults and
were used to a steady verbal diet of denigration. For some reason--probably because they were "afraid" of the kids--adults typically felt the need to snarl at the youngsters as though they were less then human.
Conversely, I have ALWAYS felt the need to treat youngsters in a polite and respectful manner ... and ... guess what? They ALWAYS respond in kind! If no one ever models the behavior for them, how can they ever learn? I certainly don't ever feel the need to "coddle" them. (Instead, I insist that they assume responsibility for themselves and for their own behavior.) But, as you would agree, all of that is easily achieved by asking instead of demanding.