Loosen Your Grip this Holiday Season

posted by Aby Garvey on December 5, 2013 9 Comments

How much more can we enjoy the holidays if we loosen our grip a little?

Some of my Quick Tips stick with me more than others. One that I find myself thinking about, and reminding myself to put into practice, is one I wrote many years ago. It was about loosening your grip.

In this Quick Tip I shared advice I learned while taking golf lessons. The idea was that to hit a golf ball farther, I actually needed to loosen my grip on the golf club.

This tip applies to so much more than golf which is why I think of it often. Here’s what I mean. Notice the energy that goes into clasping something very, very tightly. Pick up a pen or pencil right now, and really squeeze it. Hold on tight as if your life depends on it. Got it….

Okay. Now, let it go.

Ahh…that feels better. That was a lot of work, wasn’t it? And yet, a similar, and perhaps better outcome could have been accomplished with a lot less energy and effort. With a lot less effort you could have picked up that pencil and held it in your hand. Right?

As we head into the final stretch of the holiday season, keep this idea in mind. I invite you to give yourself permission to loosen your grip on the holiday season just a bit. This season is filled with opportunities to cling tightly—to hold on with all our might and try to create a desired outcome. We cling tightly to traditions (even ones that no longer fill our heart’s with joy), to the hope of finding the ideal gift for everyone on our list, and to the desire to create a perfect season for ourselves and our loved ones.

How much more could we enjoy the holiday season, and let its true essence into our hearts and lives, if we loosen our grip just a bit?

I invite you to try for yourself and see…

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Have you been clinging tightly to something this holiday season? Are you ready to loosen your grip? Thanks for sharing. 

Happy holidays,


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program

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  • December 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I love this concept! I also find that I use another of your slogans “done is better than perfect”–especially when gift shopping. Thanks for your weekly quick tips!

    • December 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      I have actually NOT been clinging – my father passed away two months ago. Needless to say you know how hectic life has been since then. We only put out our favorite decorations on the tree and only put out our favorite decorations in the house. Yes a few might be missed but so far not many. I didn’t put flowers or sticks in the tree and have cancelled two cookie days because MIL is having a hip replacement next week. We are not doing the ‘Night Tree’ activity based on the children’s book because my children are not little anymore. Someone asked me about it yesterday and we shocked we weren’t doing it – as we’ve been doing it for years…..

      • December 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

        Well said! Following your gentle reminder helps to place the spirit of Christmas in my heart. As we watch the newscasts of people who suffer disasters of any form, I am reminded that my family has all we need and more. Most especially we hold dear the love of family, friends, and mankind. Letting go of perfection allows room for the warmth and love. I think your example is powerful. Thank you. Would you mind if I link you to my blog?

        • December 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

          I have been really bad about getting my Christmas decorations up this year, so not too clingy. However my wife has been on me about getting the lights and tree up this year, so gonna be good. Great post!

          • December 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

            Thank you so much for this reminder, Aby! I often am not aware how tightly I’ve got a hold on something. Ah, that really does feel so much better. :)

            • December 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm

              Oh yes, Aby! Loosening the grip and letting go of some of our expectations makes for a much less stressful and more joy-filled holiday season. In fact, it makes for a more joy-filled EVERY season.

              • December 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm

                What a wonderful analogy! It’s the “sense of control” we have when we hold on very, very, VERY tight. But truly by loosening up we enjoy everything more. Thanks for sharing!

                • December 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm

                  I loosened my grip this year and announced that we wouldn’t be hosting the family Christmas dinner this year, (a sit down dinner for 30 of my DH’s immediate family) with the hopes that someone else would take on what we have been doing for the last 10 years. My FIL passed away this summer and my Mom is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and won’t be joining us for the first time in 10 yrs, but we plan on visiting her on Christmas day. Instead of someone else stepping up to host, everyone else has decided that an afternoon tea get together on some other day would be fine. Part of me thinks, fine, lets move on and try something new, but a bigger part of me cries out that sitting down to a Christmas dinner with everyone is important and wonders why it isn’t important enough to everyone else for someone to take this on. Maybe we should have just gone to Mexico for the holidays, but that would feel even less like Christmas. Sigh…

                  • December 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm

                    Such good advice, Aby! I let go of Christmas cards 2 years ago and it took such a load off my mind. Our family is spread out now, so Christmas is whenever we all can get together….that was a hard one to let go of, but I realize the reason for the season is Jesus and family….the rest is icing. Thanks for giving us all permission to let go and enjoy.