All I Want for Christmas is My Why

:04 read Christmas just might be the perfect time to think about our why. Pffft! Betty, are you nuts? You say you’re way too busy for anything that deep? Don’t tell me I’m crazy, give me a minute to explain. Our website, How To Know Your Why, has a purpose. In a nutshell, our purpose is to help you find yours and help you understand why it matters. It may sound impossible, but there’s honestly no better time to decide what matters most than when you find yourself in hot water, smack dab in the middle of overwhelm.

On the battlefield, it’s called triage.

When wounded soldiers arrive, the most urgent needs must be identified quickly so the worst injuries are treated first. Thankfully, the choices we make at this time of year aren’t a matter of life and death! Still, we need a decision- making tool, something we can use to “triage” our activities.  Here we are, counting down to the big day, juggling a million things, and afraid we’ll drop the wrong ball. The stress knots painfully in our neck or gathers into a sickening glob in our gut. Why do it? This, my friend, is not what the holidays are all about! What we need is a “framework for meaningful living” so we can align what we choose to do with what’s most important.

So what’s the solution?

So often, the answer is simple on paper. This doesn’t always translate to easy in real life! As with all things, it does come down to making good choices and deciding what parts of preparing for and celebrating the season bring us the most joy. There has to be meaning in all the madness!

I often quote my favorite wise guy, Jim Rohn, because I adored his homespun wit. Jim warned, “It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?” Busy being perfectly Pinterest-worthy? Busy trying to match our behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlight reel? (Thanks, Steve Furtick, for that nugget!) 

Let’s face it. There are only 24 hours in a day for all of us, even at Christmas time. That’s a hard, fast rule. No one gets more, ever. If we run out of money, we can use a credit card but there’s no borrowing time and paying interest. (Pity.) That can only mean that not a single one of us has enough hours to do it all!

Why you’ve got to “know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.”

Christmas, like people, changes over a lifetime. Kids grow up (and we’re finding grandkids grow up, too, only much faster!) The things we do when our children are small are a lot different when they get older and that needs to be taken into account as we make our plans. As I pointed out in my last post, tradition should serve as a foundation on which we build new and relevant ways to celebrate.

Think you’re alone in feeling Christmas overwhelm? Believe me, you’re not! A quick Google search shows there are dozens of new articles every year intended to alleviate the anxiety and guilty feelings that all too often turn up about now.

A short list, three things you should let go.

1. Thinking that you’re not doing enough or that YOU are not enough! There’s nothing more delicious than an under scheduled, understated holiday. No one will remember that the gift wrap didn’t all match. However, the peaceful, easy feeling of happily hanging out with loved ones will become a cherished memory. “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” ~ “Silent” Calvin Coolidge

2. Overspending. Spend more thought on the gifts you give. Strive to make them meaningful to the recipient. People will fondly remember your carefully chosen and heartfelt gifts. The impact can last much longer than some of the most expensive ones. “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” ~ Peg Bracken (Check her out, she was an iconoclast! She taught us we didn’t have to live in the kitchen to make our family happy.)

3. Expectations, prejudice, and grudges. Finally, it’s important to remember why we celebrate this holiday and hold that wisdom close to our heart. “Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”  ~ Oren Arnold

I would love to hear how you have adapted your holiday celebrations to make them more simple and less stressful! As I close, I wish you a most wonderful and blessed Christmas season, filled with rich meaning and contentment as you unwrap your unique gifts and discover your why.


  • Gail

    Loved your blog today (as always!). IF we already have everything that we need… and IF giving people are happier and attract other kind people…. THEN practicing generosity in even small ways each day in Advent, will get us where we want to be?

    • Betty Streff

      By George, she’s got it! Right you are, Gail! Appreciate your thoughts as always!

  • Grant Newbold

    Betty works very hard to find some of the greatest quotes in history. All the quotes in this blog are gems but I was most struck by the quote by Oren Arnold. Those are great Christmas gift suggestions! I also want to support what Betty said about “our purpose is to help you find yours and help you understand why it matters.” Betty and I have both been “searchers” our entire lives. Our searches have culminated in our Worthy Values First system which we offer to you to help you find your purpose and meaning. I believe that the greatest gift you can give others is your love and the second greatest gift you can give them is to help them find “meaning.” That is not saying that “happiness” isn’t important but from my perspective happiness is very far behind meaning and purpose. Thanks for accessing our website. Please sign up and please pass us on to others in your world that could also benefit from our message. Talk to you again soon. Doc Newbold.

    • Betty Streff

      Thanks Doc. I watched a short but powerful video this morning. It mentioned five key questions we ask ourselves as we search for our “why”. I thought they were great.
      1. Who am I?
      2. Where did I come from?
      3. What am I here for?
      4. How do I do it?
      5. Where am I going?
      Definitely food for thought!

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