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You may have a hard time getting through the holidays without getting your feelings hurt or getting into a fight with your sweetie.

When you are dating someone, you may be disappointed when you don’t celebrate the holidays in a special romantic way and/or if you don’t give/get the “perfect” gift. Actually, this holds true if you are married as well. The holidays can be a time of anger, stress and disappointment. We often ask ourselves, “How am I going to feel good about the holidays?” and then we set up lots of conditions that simply can’t be met. Then we feel bad. But there is another way to “get through” the holidays! We can decide to let the holidays be a joyous and fun time ahead of time. We can decide that whatever happens or doesn’t happen, it’s just fine with us.

Whatever gift we give or get, it’s just fine with us. We have removed the conditions, and now we can just enjoy whatever happens. This is easier said than done, but it all begins with a decision ahead of time.

It’s ok if my new boyfriend is late to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner. I don’t need to feel humiliated or embarrassed. It’s just fine.

It’s ok if my wife forgot what I told her I really wanted. I am happy to be alive and to be married to her after all. I can get that myself if I really want it. It’s ok if I don’t even get to spend Christmas Day with my girlfriend because she is visiting her relatives. I can be with her before or after Christmas Day, and we’ll enjoy each other then.

Repeat after me: it’s okay, it’s just fine.I am so glad not to be at the mercy of events, circumstances and other people anymore. I am really looking forward to the holidays this year, because I don’t need them to be perfect anymore.

I am so proud of you! The great thing about doing this exercise now is you can keep doing it for the rest of your life.

Try it and see if it isn’t a better way to live and see if joy doesn’t sneak in when you least expect it.