'Tis the Season

Like it or not, 'tis the season. You survived Thanksgiving -- the turkey, the trimmings, the desserts, and the family gathered round the table. You're thankful that your right-wing uncle and left-wing aunt kept their political differences civil, that your zany cousin kept her antics to a minimum, and that your outspoken brother focused his attention and comments on the football game and didn't offend anyone. Now the year-end holiday season is in full swing, along with high levels of expectations and work. And you thought we were going to say good tidings and cheer!

During this time of the year, there are so many added demands on our time and resources. The added expectations and work -- travel plans and travel, holiday greetings to send, decorations and lights to string, songs to sing, parties with extra cooking and baking, shopping and finding the best gifts at the lowest prices -- all result in extra stress which can lead to conflict. 

Christmas, which is a religious holiday, has become more and more secular and over-commercialized -- which is also resulting in more stress and conflict in our society. There's the expectation that we greet everyone with "Merry Christmas" rather than "Happy Holidays" without realizing that not everyone celebrates this holiday or observes it as a holy day. Diversity and differences. Raised expectations. All potentially ingredients for conflict.

You avoided Black Friday and the malls, opting instead for less hectic, more meaningful shopping experiences. You need stocking stuffers for your brother and that left-wing aunt -- but Christmas is still weeks away. Oh, wait -- your office is doing a Secret Santa; your yoga group is doing a holiday gift exchange where you have to bring a mindful gift; your neighbors are hosting a "Festivus" celebration (remember that Seinfeld episode) and you have to bring a gift under $15. You need to get those gifts sooner. And you still have to buy wrapping paper, decorate the tree, and something else you can't remember at the moment. 

We've got a suggestion, and we'd be honored and humbled if you'd consider it. This fall our latest book, The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, was published, and it's available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent book sellers. It contains over 2,000 mindful and thoughtful phrases that address, among other topics, diversity and expectations. It could be the perfect answer for those last-minute gift exchanges that are making your shopping experience more hectic than planned. It's the perfect gift for your colleagues or clients for the holidays or at any time during the year!

This season of the year should be a reflective one, filled with wonder and light and excitement before the gloomy days of winter, not stress and conflict. The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book is a good reminder that conflict can be addressed with grace and civility.

All the best wishes for this season. Take time to enjoy it and reflect. 

Barbara & Cornelia

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