Christmas has a knob. Use It!

What does this mean? It means you have choices. It's your holiday and you can have it just the way you like it.
Turn it on, turn it off. Turn it up, turn it down. Adjust the dial. Get rid of the static.

It means you're free to celebrate or not, in exactly the way you wish.

· It means you're free to ignore media hype that tells you if you're a Real Husband you'll give her a diamond or a fur.
· It means you know your child can live without Tickle Me Elmo.
· It means you have emotional self-awareness and know what you enjoy and what you don't.
· It means you don't need your mother-in-law's approval if you and your husband decide to take a cruise this year.
· It means you can not buy your teenage son a Hummer "like everyone else" because that isn't in your values
· It means you can respectfully tell your Uncle Harry he's welcome if he stays sober, and not if he doesn't
· It means you can refuse to be 'used' as a single person to sit between the impossible boor and the ex-spouse at the holiday table, or to keep the family off each other's throats.
· It means if you're the single grandmother, you can go to the Bahamas with your boyfriend for Christmas and let the other grandparents have the sick kids, the exhausted parents, the expensive, time-consuming meal, and the long clean-up at their place this year
· It means you can BE the traditional Christmas and have the whole family, their dog and everyone they know over to your house and cook and clean for a week, have half of them stay as house-guests, put on your Santa suit, hang mistletoe from the rafters, and love every minute of it
· It means you can establish and honor traditions, or you can do it differently each year.

It means you can be unique! At the holidays, be more of who you are. Everyone else is taken!

It means if you're an extravert, have 'em all over and go to every party, and then do it some more. It means if you're an introvert, don't!

Nancy Fenn, the Introvert Coach ( ) talks about the kind of holidays introverts enjoy the most. One of her favorite Christmases, she says, she spent almost the entire "season" designing a gigantic webpage for a German professor, painting Russian-like icon paintings and a emailing her daugher daily who was staying in Morocco under a language study program. "Heaven!" she says. She says she's also spent a lot of holidays with her dog.

I myself have been single by choice for over 20 years. Some Christmases my sons were with me, others they were with their dad. The alternate Christmases left me free to create, design, invent! Each one was different; each one was special.

Having emotionally intelligent holidays means emotional self-awareness and using your judgment, your intentionality, and your personal power.

Treat yourself right -- decide what kind of holiday you intend to have. This means accepting responsibility for your actions, your emotions, and your motives.

Ask yourself this - do you intend to enjoy the holidays or to stress yourself out? The choice is yours.

The holidays have a knob. Turn it on, turn it up, turn it down, turn it off. Adjust that dial!

Author's Bio: 

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, is a personal and professional development coach who specializes in emotional intelligence. Visit her on the web at and for FREE ezine.