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Type and Holiday Celebrations

Julia Balzer Riley, RN, MN
(Georgia Association for Psychological Type Newsletter, DEC 97)

Yes, our fascination with type can help us create joyful celebrations when we honor our own needs and the differences in those we love. Reflect on past holiday seasons, and ask yourself two questions: (1) Which activities bring meaning to your holiday celebration, activities you want to be sure to build into your holiday plans? (2) What activities are no longer special and have become stressful? Consider those loved ones in your life, and ask them to share their own responses to these questions.

How can you plan together to take charge of your holiday celebration so you can create or be open to (the J meets the P) special moments? This is a time to experience the sights and smells and sounds of the magic of holidays (a preference for Sensing understands this well, whereas the partner with a preference for iNtuition needs to be collared, slowed down and taught to savor precious moments.) This is a time to make memories, to take a little extra time and care to create rituals which can be woven into the fabric of the lives of our families and friends.

We always have a Christmas brunch with the same menu. This 20-year-plus tradition has seen loved ones through deaths and divorce. It has been a portable feast and has moved with us. It is a way to meet new neighbors and entice dear friends to travel to spend the day with us. The teens remember the biscuits. The older set save up fat grams for the egg and cheese casserole. Apple butter reminds me of my Virginia heritage.

This is an important time to use your best communication skills, to clarify what is special for each of you and how you can design a celebration to meet in the middle. It is a time to give a little, to be flexible, but also to make sure you can participate in activities that bring you joy.

The nurse in me also says, rest, exercise and eat in moderation . . . OK, so we try. This is a time to remember our differences are gifts. We need each other to add fullness to our celebration. If you are alone, plan to get involved with others (the Extravert's energy source) or create a special time of contemplation and celebration in the comfort of solitude (the Introvert's energy source.) All types can consider what we can do to remember the spirit of giving and gratitude. Create an act of peace in your own family.

(c) 1997 Julia Blazer Riley


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