I am the most aware of the need for discernment in my life around the holidays. There are so many obligations, expecations not to mention business oppportunities. Christmas is supposed to be fun or at least that's the way I thought about it as a kid.
I think the only way that I can have a merry attitude around the holidays is by using discernment. Some years, I will have fun and festive holiday cards dropped in the mail by December 15th. Other years, I won't send any cards at all. Some years, I will drop Christmas Cookies at the doorsteps of my neighbors. Other years, I will only get the baking done that I have already committed to. Some years, I will throw a hip holiday party. Other years, I will only attend parties that I actually feel like going to.
It's all about applying the art of discernment, especially without added guilt. The times I can't meet all of my own or another's expectations I can remember that all I really want when the New Year rolls around is to have a little money left over in my bank account, a little bit of my sanity still in tact and a continued desire to get in my kitchen to bake.
Discernment is not always easy. But I'm learning it's necessary, especially around the holidays.