Subject: Happy Holidays
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Monday, December 5, 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Welcome Notes
2. Happy Holidays
3. Coaching: What Will Make Your Holiday Truly
5. Humor: Label Instructions
7. A Great Christmas Gift
1. Welcome Notes
Flash: My server is having big problems, and I am unable
to do the email format editing that I usually do. I
apologize for any spacing errors or typos that may have
I am writing from Connecticut on a bright, crisp December
morning. Here to visit my dad and stepmother, I am
enjoying a couple of peaceful and restful days before I
return home to the hubbub of the Christmas season.
I am fortunate to be a part of the Aspen Choral Society,
and we sing during this delightful season – a lot! It gives
me great joy to be a part of something that gives so much
to the community, and I cherish the experience. At the
same time, every evening between now and December
18th is dedicated to rehearsals and performances.
To honor this addition to my already full life and the fact
that both Christmas and New Years Day fall on a Monday,
CTJ will be abbreviated over the next few weeks. I will still
greet you on Mondays. The greeting will be shorter,
perhaps only a quote or two; perhaps a piece of coaching
from another source; perhaps a sharing of my own joy at
this time of year. Celebrating the Journey will return to its
full form once again after the new year begins.
As always, I welcome our new subscribers. We will end
the year 2000 with just over 1,100 subscribers. I thank you
for your feedback and invite you to let me know what
additions, changes, new goodies you’d like to see in CTJ
for the year 2001.
2. Happy Holidays
What is a happy holiday?
For each of us, the answer will differ. The media tells us
that a holiday is happy when we have 25 family members
who never argue eating a turkey dinner which took little
or no time and effort to prepare. According to this media
image, each family member will have received exactly
what he or she wanted for Christmas. The happiness
portrayed in these images is based on unrealistic
relationships, food and material things. Are these the
things that create a truly happy holiday?
Often we try to live up to that media image and spend an
enormous amount of time and energy creating a holiday
that looks “right” according to what “they” tell us. Then
we wonder why we feel more stress, tension and fatigue
than happiness, peace and joy. That is what happens
when we put time and energy into creating a holiday
image rather than living a happy holiday.
It is all too easy to lose track of the essence of the
Christmas season; the Hanukkah season; the Kwanzaa
season; the Santa Claus season. Whatever your religious,
spiritual or cultural beliefs, this is a time of joyful
celebration, from the insides of our souls. That is where
the happiness comes from.
For me, the Christmas season is a time of giving —
kindness more than presents; of connecting — with our
own hearts and with those we treasure; of remembering —
the people and events which have made the past year
exactly as it was meant to be; of honoring — those who
have been important in our lives; and of loving. It is a
time of angels and snow; of a look of wonder in a child’s
eyes; of families being together; of sharing and generosity;
of music sung from the heart; and sometimes, of miracles.
It is the essence of the season which creates the magic of it.
My holiday wish for you is to live each day of this joyful
season, embracing its spirit in each word you speak and
action you take. A happy holiday happens from within.
It’s yours to choose.
3. Coaching: What Will Make Your Holidays Truly Happy?
It’s a simple question and yet for most people, not an easy
one to answer. What is worth more in happiness:
Getting the new stereo you want or spending an hour
at a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony with your
Serving the perfect turkey dinner or letting the whole
family help cook the meal?
Rushing amidst the shopping crowds to buy presents
or listening to a performance of Handel’s Messiah?
Searching the Internet until 3 a.m. for a PlayStation 2
or baking Christmas cookies with the little girl next door?
The most essential ingredient in having a happy holiday
is making the decision to be happy. Yup, that’s right. It can
be that simple. I write and speak frequently about the
truth that happiness comes from inside us, not from any
outside influences. That is equally true at this time of year.
It is all too easy to get lost in all the busyness of the season;
to allow our time to be consumed with the shopping and
the wrapping and the spending and the partying, leaving
little time to just feel the spirit of Christmas. Coach David
Burnet* has a wonderful philosophy of life that is
especially true at the time of year:
“Do what brings you joy, and take care of things,
systematically, that interfere with joy.”
What brings you joy? Answer that question, and put those
things first. You will create a truly happy holiday and a
David Burnet is the founder of the Coach Center who can
be reached at mailto:DavidB@CoachCenter.com or visited
on the web at http://www.CoachCenter.com.
The greatest secret to living a happy and fulfilled life is the
realization that everything is created in our minds before
it manifests itself in the outer world.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy,
that makes happiness.
Places and circumstances never guarantee happiness. You
must decide within yourself whether you want to be
happy. And once you’ve decided, happiness comes much
Robert J. Hastings
There is no value in life except what you choose to place
upon it and no happiness in any place except what you
bring to it yourself.
Henry David Thoreau
5. Humor: Label Instructions
We are as educated and technologically advanced a world
as we have ever been. Yet, if we were to put some of these
labels in a time capsule, our descendants might wonder
about the state of intelligence in the 21st century.
1. On a Sears hairdryer: “Do not use while sleeping”.
2. On a bag of Fritos: “You could be winner! No purchase
necessary. Details inside.”
3. On a bar of Dial soap: “Directions: Use like regular
4. On some Swanson frozen dinners: “Serving
5. On the bottom of the Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert box: “Do
not turn upside down.”
6. On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: “Product will be
hot after heating.” (As night follows day…)
7. On packaging for a Rowenta iron: “Do not iron clothes
8. On Boot’s Children’s Cough Medicine: “Do not drive a
car or operate machinery after taking this medication.”
9. On Nytol Sleep Aid: “Warning: May cause drowsiness.”
10. On most brands of Christmas lights: “For indoor or
outdoor use only.”
11. On a Japanese food processor: “Not to be used for the
12. On Sainsbury’s peanuts: “Warning: contains nuts.”
13. On an American Airlines packet of nuts: “Instructions:
Open packet, eat nuts.”
14. On a child’s Superman costume: Wearing of this
garment does not enable you to fly.”
15. On a Swedish chain saw: “Do not attempt to stop
chain with your hands or genitals.”
16. On a bottle of Palmolive dishwashing liquid: “Do not
use on food.”
17. On a tube of Crest Toothpaste: “If swallowed, contact
18. On a bottle of ALL Laundry detergent: “Remove
clothing before distributing in washing machine.”
7. A Great Christmas Gift
Give the gift of a Coach!
I am once again offering Coaching Gift Certificates for this
holiday season. The certificates are for one month of
coaching – that’s 4 half hour sessions – at the discounted
rate of $100. They are available through the end of 2000, to
give as gifts or as an introductory new client rate. They
may be used any time during the year 2001.
This is a great way to discover the value that a Life coach
can have for you. Advocate, cheerleader, mirror, someone
to be accountable to, holder of vision — my roles as a
Coach are many. Sound intriguing? Give it a go! Give the
gift of coaching to a friend! Or to yourself!
Email me at mailto:email@example.com to find out
more about this program.
Give yourself the gift of happiness this week.
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My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey of creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
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Copyright © 2000, all rights reserved, by Margo
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author of this article is Margo Chisholm. You may contact
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“At every moment of our life we have an
opportunity to choose joy.”
Henri J. M. Nouwen
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
freedom and joy in all areas of your life
970-704-9336 fax 970-704-9346
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