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Will you be surviving or creating your Christmas (Copenhagen)

Here are some fun thoughts around the festive season!

We are often asked, “How do we survive Christmas?” Survive?? Well first of all, ask a better question!
Christmas is coming and while many of us look forward to it, the festive season is not without its challenges. Some of us may be staying in Denmark, far from family and friends and surrounded by ‘foreign’ traditions. Others may be heading home to stay with relatives and this scenario for some is worse than a trip to the dentist!

However you plan to spend Christmas this year, we suggest you first re-think the question you are asking. Survive?? The quality of the question is going to determine the quality of the answer. When we ask ourselves ‘survive’ we’re assuming the negative. When we assume something will be negative, we put our attention on what is going to be wrong, what is not going to work. And guess what... we are going to get exactly what we put our attention on!

So this Christmas, what could be a more skilful question? Perhaps “what does my best Christmas look like?” (and you can even deepen this by asking yourself, “what does it feel like.... smell like... taste like?”). Asking all of these questions puts your attention on what you want instead of what you don’t. It conjures up images of a happy Christmas, putting you in a better mood to then begin to strategize how to create it.

Now that we are in a better mood (i.e. have a better mind-set), let’s look at strategy:

As many of us have experienced, this past quest for ‘survival’ is surrounded by conflicting expectations – from whether you celebrate on the 24th or the 25th to what kind of foods you have on the table and even the big one, whose table is it? With all these swirling expectations, Christmas can be very stressful.

Here are a few tips to help create your best Christmas:
1. Perhaps easier said than done, accept that you may not get everything your way. Once you truly accept this, everything else gets easier. Honestly.
2. Negotiate a solution that meets some of the expectations of all parties involved. For instance: alternating where Christmas is celebrated; expanding the Christmas dinner by bringing dishes from both cultures; celebrating Christmas twice – Christmas Eve in the Danish tradition and Christmas morning with stockings. More fun!
3. Try out the Danish tradition of wish lists–you not only embrace a tradition that’s important to your Danish family and friends but you also save your time, a precious commodity at this time of year.
4. Enjoy the Danish festivities–ChristmasinTivoli, gløgg in Nyhavn,dancing around the Christmas tree, Julebryg (the Christmas beer), pebernødder (mini cinnamon cookies.... yummy!) or even host your own Julefrokost (Christmas lunch).

What other ideas can you come up with to create your best Christmas?
Merry Christmas everybody!
Stacy Townsend & Stephanie Keller, S2 Strategic Skills

Copenhagen Forum