With the holidays approaching, now is the time to reflect on what you would like the season to look like. That is, if you believe we create our own reality. Will it be stressful? Will you run around to every store to find the perfect gift, compete for a parking spot, and spend lots of money? Will you take care of yourself by not overeating, exercising and getting plenty of rest? In addition, can you imagine the rituals and beauty of the season? What does that look like? What do you long for?
I get why we think that buying gifts can seem to be the answer to making someone happy and their lives fuller. TV commercials and print ads are really good at conveying this – exquisite photography, beautiful, happy people enjoying their new phone, watch, ring, jeans, etc. So we begin to associate the love we would like to convey and happiness with the product itself. Commercialism speaks to our hearts with images of loving children, family, romance, friends, fun times, etc. But can this truly be purchased?
This year, I encourage you to do things in a simpler and more fulfilling way…to create a holiday that brings great joy and satisfaction. Start by spending the time to get in touch with what you really want the season to look like. Set aside 15-30 minutes, put some soft music on and write your own holiday vision specifically focused on what you long for. In the process, clarify your core values. When it comes down to it, what’s most important to you…authenticity, simplicity, truth, peace, joy, love, hope and faith are just a few to consider. Take into consideration your talents and interests as you are creating this picture. What activities do you really enjoy and what activities do you like the least around the holidays? Finally, what are you celebrating? As you are writing what you want for this holiday, remember to include the sights, scents and sounds you want to experience to help your vision come alive.
Most of us become overwhelmed trying to get it all done in a short amount of time. Woman especially tend to take it all on, it’s just our nature. One of the keys to having a meaningful and fun holiday season is to do less. Consider what you might do less of this year; fewer gifts, less entertaining, less TV, less baking, etc? What will you say No to? This will cause you to be less rushed and allow the peace and joy of the season to permeate your being.
Can you be spontaneous and give more of your generosity, acceptance and love? Is there an experience that you would like to share? Consider spending your energy on time with the people you love and care about instead of frantically running around to find the perfect gift. Years ago, we had what we needed materialistically and so our gift giving consisted of exchanging checks in the mail between our in-law extended families. Until one year, I realized we missed the entire meaning of it all. It was then that we decided that each family would buy one small gift for the children and together, we would research a charity and find one to donate our checks to. This was deeply rewarding for all and it became our tradition.
Keep in mind that children want to spend time with their parents/family and want love. They enjoy different activities during the month and afterwards that celebrate the meaning of the season and the traditions/rituals you create. Think about the things you can do together that are easy and fun. Set expectations for children and limit the number of gifts.
Finally, schedule some down time to replenish your energy. Continue to exercise, maintain healthy eating habits in between having some festive foods, and get enough rest. Generally, take care of yourself.
This year, consider celebrating the holidays differently… something wonderful will happen!