Fam, I love the holidays. I do. For lots of different reasons. But I can absolutely say, these reasons have changed and fluctuated in level of importance each year. This holiday, I would like to emphasize a few things to keep in mind as we celebrate and spend happy holiday feel good time with loved ones.
KEEP YOUR PRIORITIES IN ORDER – BE GRATEFUL
Gift giving is fun and I promise I won’t sit here and ruin that for you by saying “Christmas is ruined and commercialized and we’re all greedy!”… That is harsh, I feel ya. But… there is truth in the matter and it’s no big secret really. I won’t be dropping a bombshell when I say, that Christmas has certainly lost some of it’s spirit and core meaning, due to commercialization and industries trying to make a buck.
I also know it feels good to give something to someone that you know is going to light up their face and hopefully, add true value to their life. I also know what it’s like to not be able to afford to give anyone anything that costs actual money. No one should feel like just because they can’t afford gifts, their loved ones are going to think that they love them any less or that they don’t care.
So all I ask this year, on the giving and receiving end, remember that things and stuff, gadgets and gizmos, all of that is not what all of this…is about. Appreciate Christmas not because of gifts, but because friends and family travel to see one another. To hug after months, maybe years of not being in the same room. Be grateful, be gracious.
Appreciate the MOMENTS, not the THINGS. I love looking at Christmas lights. Even if Christmas isn’t your bag, there is something magical about hundreds, sometimes thousands of little lights illuminating the night sky. As far as I know, there’s no rhyme or reason for it, it’s just childlike and magical to me, and I adore them.
TAKE OFF THE PRESSURE
Unfortunately, as gift givers and parents and loved ones, we tend to put a tremendous, unnecessary amount of pressure on ourselves at the holidays to give the best gifts, and host the most classic Christmas, and do all the parties and make the best food!
With all this pressure weighing on us, it becomes damn near impossible to actually enjoy the moments of the holidays. Instead of sitting on the couch with an old friend catching up, we’re losing out mind in the kitchen because the cookies fell flat or the Turkey is too dry. Instead of playing with our tiny tots on the floor, we’re arguing in the next room about appropriate etiquette and shoulda, woulda, couldas.
Take off the pressure this season. Set no expectations and if anyone chooses to get upset with you for this, that, or whatever, that is their issue and there is nothing you can do about it. People choose their own drama, but you can choose peace.
BE A PATIENT & KIND PATRON
I did not do any shopping this year, and one movement I am very much on board with and in support of is Minimalism, but if you are out and about in the shops and stores, I encourage you to do one thing… Be kind, and be patient! Everyone out there is trying to enjoy the holiday season just like you, so instead of being cranky or tired or antsy, try to slow down and not contribute to the chaos.
Along with that, think about the people working in the stores. They are people too, trying to enjoy their holiday and they’re not miracle workers. Too often do I see people being unkind, and impatient with workers and it’s really ruining the holiday spirit. If you’re not that person, awesome! I thank you! If you see someone being unkind to someone, try to turn the energy back to good if you can. If you’re next in line, genuinely ask them how they are? Tell them with all the heart and soul you can muster, to have a happy holiday! Or even be honest, tell them you’re sorry that person was a jerk, and not to let them rain on their parade! Trust me, they will appreciate the gesture and the humanity in the interaction.
All of that being said, I wish you all such a happy, warm, joyous holiday, in whatever form that takes place for you! For me, it is a very small get together and we will be eating out and seeing a movie. Nothing fancy, but I will savor every moment with my loved ones, and I encourage you to do the same. Appreciate the feels, and the tiny, seemingly insignificant moments. The secret, I think, is that those turn out to be the big things.
If you’re spending the holidays alone, that is a-okay too. If you want some interaction, volunteer at a shelter or any local charity. Do something you enjoy and reflect on the past year and spend time making plans for the upcoming year. There is love in solitude.
Be good. Be kind. Be joyful.
Zenful Holidays, Fam!