The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

November 29, 2022
Inside HR
Health & Wellness
Read time: 3 mins

The year was 1963, and crooner Andy Williams released what has become a Christmas standard–“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” I was eight, and it the most wonderful and magical time of the year when December finally arrived. I didn’t realize the time and effort it took for my parents to create that magic, but I do remember their exhaustion. As I got a bit older and was given responsibilities to help make the holiday memorable, I began to understand why, by New Years, they were game for a long winter’s nap!

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, leaving us stuffed and sated, it is time for all the holiday planning and preparation–whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or other winter holidays. These are times of family, food, festivities, and traditions and for many HR professionals, open enrollment, budgets, the company’s holiday party, employees (some) behaving badly (at the holiday party!), ACA reporting preparation, new laws, handbook reviews, policy updates–well you understand! It can also be a time of year when holiday realities are far different from holiday expectations, often resulting in our employees needing additional help in coping.

With all these demands and deadlines, it is easy for human resource professionals to feel like it’s not the most wonderful time of the year, becoming stressed and overwhelmed making it difficult to be present and enjoy the holiday. As parents, siblings, children of aging parents, and professionals, it is easy to put ourselves last and neglect to take time to care for ourselves. Suddenly, the holidays are over, and we wonder where they went. This is a reminder that when time seems in short supply, it is essential to make time for yourself. Extend that kindness you provide to others to yourself! You’ll feel better, will have more energy, and be better able to embrace all the holidays have to offer. Don’t know what to do? Here are some ideas:

  • Take a walk. Don’t have a destination in mind? Just meander and discover something new.
  • Stop your mind from racing and checking items off your mental checklist. Enjoy the moment.
  • Set aside time to read a new book or reread a favorite.
  • Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, and catch up.
  • Watch a favorite holiday movie that brings you joy–be it “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Elf,” or “Die Hard.”
  • Get a massage.
  • Take a long, relaxing bath or shower, and clear your mind.
  • Remind yourself that it will not, nor does it need to be perfect–and that is okay! Sometimes it is the burnt turkey or some other calamity that makes it a memorable (and fun) holiday.

As we navigate the holiday season, I wish you joy, wonderful times with your families and friends, and employees completing open enrollment on time!