A Thanksgiving Story About Conquering Holiday Conflict

A client of mine recently shared a story about how she resolved a long-standing personal conflict using her newly acquired awareness of emotional intelligence.

Since her conflict revolved around end-of-year giving, and since we're now entering the season of giving, I want to share the story with you as a gift.

Kerry told me that she often felt mired in negative feelings about charitable giving. The huge number of organizations asking for donations overwhelmed her.  

"How do I decide between helping the hungry, supporting disaster relief, or funding cancer research?" she worried.   "Who has time to sort through it all and make a meaningful decision?"

Her resentment piled up like the envelopes on her counter. Tuning into her feelings, she took a step back from the situation and asked herself some key questions: What would happen if I asked my family to share in this decision? How can we live out our values without adding stress to the holiday season?  

Kerry outlined the steps she took to put an end to her holiday angst. I share them with you here so that you can benefit from her insights and experience:

Step 1: Engage the family in a discussion over dinner by asking these questions: What matters most to us as a family? How do we want to have an impact on our global, national, and local communities based on what matters to us?

Step 2: Move the mail clutter from the counter top to the dinner table and get everyone involved in creating 3 piles: local, national, and global organizations.

Step 3: Decide on the number of organizations to support, ask everyone to choose one, and then decide on an amount to contribute.  

Step 4: Set up monthly donations online.

Step 5: Relax and enjoy the holiday season knowing that you have already made a meaningful contribution to others.

I love this story because it shows how we can make choices to move ourselves out of negative emotions and find solutions to reduce stress and increase joy. Isn't that a great focus for all of this holiday season? 

Best wishes for a joyous Thanksgiving!