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Girltalk November/December 2009: Guilt-Free Holidays!

Hey, Girlfriends! With a nod to the busy-ness of the months ahead, we’re scheduling only one GIrltalk…Taking it Deeper™ topic for November and December combined. Christine Arylo’s discussion guide for this month appears below. If you are hosting a Girltalk group, you may want to download this month’s printable guide here. Want to know what Girltalk is all about? Read this. If you have any questions about Girltalk…Taking it Deeper™ or suggestions about how we can improve your experience, please leave a comment or email us.

Guiltless Girls Have More Fun!

Be Real. While the holidays are advertised to bring us cheer, joy and gifts (and often times they do), what many of us also end up with is a rack full of stress, guilt and debt. And truthfully, some of it’s our own darn fault. We’re like wind-up toys gone beserk, doing everything we’re supposed to, acting as we’re expected to, showing up to the places we’re invited to (even if we don’t want to go), afraid to do and say what’s really on our minds.

If the holidays are meant to be a time of joy, connection and celebration, why the heck would we do anything that doesn’t make us joyful or feel connected to the people we love? The answer? G-U-I-L-T.  We don’t want people to be mad at us… we don’t want to be the ‘bad girl’… we want everyone to be happy. But what about us?

While every woman has a choice in how she spends the precious six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years, few of us slow down long enough to ask our bodies, minds and spirits what they need. And even if we know what we need, we succumb to guilt, obligation and the holiday frenzy instead.

Be Wise. November and December are actually a time for going in and slowing down – think about the hibernating bears, the trees without leaves, and the days getting longer and darker leading up to Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. What nature is calling us to do is the exact opposite of the bright lights, big sales and hustle bustle… which explains why most of us are exhausted by January 1 and the year has only begun!  What would it be like this year to enjoy the holidays in ways that actually replenished you, fueled you and left you ready to start 2010 vibrantly full of energy?

Be You. This month at  Girltalk… Taking it Deeper™, I dare us all to give ourselves the gift of joy by doing what we truly want this holiday season. I dare you to do not even one thing out of obligation or guilt. Now, I am not suggesting you become a raving lunatic, stomping around demanding that everyone bow to you, but I am suggesting that you put your foot down and your heart forward, and use this holiday season to replenish.

This holiday season, I invite you and your Girltalkers to make November and December guilt-free by doing what moves your hearts and souls, to what brings feelings of love and happiness. Even for the things you might not love doing… how can you do them from a place of love vs. guilt? I dare us all to make our choice from this place. Isn’t that what the holidays are about anyway?

Holidays & Obligations: Find the Joy in The Expectations, Invitations, and Guilt-Laden Insinuations

Step One:  Your Personal Experiment:  THE LOVE/HATE HOLIDAY LIST

Take this adventure on your own, before getting together w/ your girlfriends.

Your Mission: Get crystal clear about what you love, and what you don’t about the holidays so that this year, you can make it a holiday season you really love

When we were little girls, many of us loved to make our gift list for the presents our little hearts desired. Brightly colored bundles … ones that usually made us smile from head to toe when they were what we desired. And let’s be honest, sometimes made us frown when the race car we wanted turned out to be a dollie instead (ok, that was me!). But we all have memories, traditions and beliefs picked up throughout a lifetime of holiday-time experiences that form how we do or don’t celebrate today… some are great, they bring us joy, and well others, can we even remember why we do them? In honor of this holiday season, it’s time to take a magnifying glass to your holiday memories, traditions and beliefs to uncover what really makes you happy, and what really doesn’t.

The How To: Your goal is to do a modern-day woman’s ‘Christmas Carol’ experiment of your own. Just like Scrooge, albeit with you being much better looking and having better sense than to travel in a nightgown, you will visit your Holiday Past and Present with the intention to clearly see what you LOVE and have loved about the holidays and what you dislike, hate or even dread, so that this year you can craft your Holiday Future.

  1. Prep. Give yourself an hour to sit with yourself, pen and paper (a computer is okay too).
  2. Holidays Past. Take a trip back through time, close your eyes, and remember what the holidays were like for you at the age of 10… 15… 25… 30… and so on. Make a two lists – LOVE and HATE.  The LOVE list is all the events, traditions, feelings, experiences, memories you can remember that fill your heart with joy or your face with a smile. The HATE list is all those same things that made you frown, get stressed out, or just generally not enjoy yourself. Make a list for both or write a few paragraphs about each, going through each age to remember.
  3. Holidays Present. Think back to last two years specifically and add to your LOVE and HATE list.
  4. Reflect. Go back and read what you wrote. Find the wisdom and the aha’s.
  5. Holiday Future. And then, with this new enlightened view of your life, ask yourself, “What do I want this holiday to be full of? To be void of?” Write down the holiday season you will love to have this year. What’s in it? Who’s in it? Who are you in it?

Step TWO:  Throw a Girltalk… Taking it Deeper™ Event with Your Girlfriends

Use our super-dooper fun conversation technology – Be Real. Be Wise. Be You. – guaranteed to get you closer to yourself and your girlfriends. To get the skinny on how to start a Girltalk group, and how to facilitate a fabu Girltalk gathering, download the Girtalk… taking it deeper™ Getting Started Guide here.


Your goal here is to have each woman ‘check in’ on her personal experiment as a way to get the group connected. It’s a great primer for great girltalk!

  • Each woman says her name and then answers this question: “Three things I love about the holidays. Three things I hate. One thing I want to be different this year.”
  • Even if they didn’t do the experiment, they should be able to answer. If some women brought a visual of their experiment, let them know they can show it now or whenever they want throughout the night.
  • Go around the room until everyone has spoken. This will get you all connected enough to the conversation topic that you’ll be ready to Get Real!


The goal? Get the truth on the table. Say what needs to be said, but too often isn’t. Use these questions to get the conversation started, or to change gears as the girltalk grows. Use all of them, use some of them, whatever works to get the conversation real. Ask women to think about what they learned through their personal experiment as fodder for the conversation.

  • What was most surprising about what you learned through your love / hate list?
  • What do you do during the holidays because you are “supposed to” vs. because you really want to?
  • What don’t you get out of the holidays that you really want to?
  • What is one thing that you think is true about the holidays that we don’t talk about?
  • If you could spend you holidays anyway you wanted, without obligation, what would you do differently?


Now it’s time to bring the wisdom forward so that you can start bringing forward thoughts and ideas that are going to help and inspire you to create the life you really want.

  • How has your relationship to the holidays changed throughout your life? What have you learned?
  • What have you done out of a sense of guilt or guilt around the holidays? If you could change the way you did it, what would you do differently?
  • In what ways do you unnecessarily deplete your energy during the holidays? What can you change to stop depleting and start replenishing?
  • How would you redesign what the Holidays are like in our society?


Now it’s time to take action, to do something out of your comfort zone that has the potential to make real shift in your life. And like a dare, it has to push your edges.

  • Give Up The Guilt. Pick one thing you do out of obligation, guilt or some other downer of a reason during the holidays and stop doing it.  Instead, do what makes you really happy. During & after you do it, remember to stay guilt-free.

To get a PDF version of this month’s Girltalk… Taking it Deeper™ topic, CLICK HERE.

Have a great time Girltalking in November and December. We will be back in January with something guaranteed to help you have your best year yet!

With big heart,

Christine Arylo

Chief Girltalker

January’s Topic? The Power of PAUSE. Forget running right into making resolutions on January 1 or feeling guilty for the 5 pounds you gained. This year, try something new and learn how to use the super power of pause to reflect on the year before so you can leave behind the garbage and carry with you the good stuff!

To learn more about Christine Arylo, creator of Girltalk… Taking it Deeper™, inspirational catalyst and self love expert, visit her at, a virtual cornucopia of self-love inspiration created just for you. Sign up for Self Love Studio – 7-weeks of self- love secrets and how to’s with some of the wisest women of the time You can also download her free Madly in Love with ME Guide, full of daring and practical tips on how to fall more in love with you everyday, at


  1. [...] Girltalk November/December 2009: Guilt-Free Holidays! | Girlfriend Celebrations – view page – cached Hey, Girlfriends! With a nod to the busy-ness of the months ahead, we’re scheduling only one GIrltalk…Taking it Deeper™ topic for November and December — From the page [...]

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  2. Great tips! I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for sharing this one.

    Comment by Primary Work at Home — November 7, 2009 @ 10:23 am

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