Happy Monday, everyone!
I hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend. This was a wonderful weekend for me as I spent it with my family up in Estes Park, Colorado. Shopping in local shops, a parade to usher in the beginning of the Christmas season, and a horseback ride were all on the agenda. This particular tradition with my family is becoming more dear to me with each passing year since my nieces and nephews are all well into their 20’s now and I know before long the clan may be scattered around the country. These special days full of memories are something I do not take for granted.
The holiday season is upon us.It would seem logical and predictable that trying to keep with a more Minimalist philosophy I would encourage everyone to step away from materialism, make your own gifts, and so on. Nah, I am not going to do that. Giving is what this season is all about. Giving from the heart that is. Giving a little of yourself with every carefully thought out gift you purchase and card you sign. You all know not to go over your budgets and try to keep up with everyone else. You know not to bring stuff into your home that will be ignored after a few weeks. You know you don’t have to go to every holiday party to which you are invited or send out 300 Christmas cards, draining what little remaining energy and holiday spirit you have left. You are smart people.
I am going to encourage you instead to visualise the kind of Christmas you want to have and create it all season long. In my tradition this season is called Advent and it is a time of spiritual preparation . What are you preparing for? What does Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, etc. mean to you? That is a question only you can answer but half the fun of reaching the destination is in the journey. Cultivate an environment of anticipation by adding some extra meaning and special touches to the coming days ahead.
Light candles in the evening and enjoy the glow. If you have family, gather them around the light to talk about the day, read stories, or even tell jokes. Single friends, what a great atmosphere for a glass of wine or a cup of tea to end the day.
Play holiday music to lighten the load and lift spirits. As you work on writing cards, wrap presents, decorate the tree, or any other holiday tasks, use music to create a festive and loving mood. Include the family if you have one and make it an evening ritual to get ready for the holidays with everyone involved. If you are single, crank up the music and sing along. Heck, throw in some dance moves too, no one is watching so get a little festive. 🙂
Change up your morning routine. Do something to make the coming days special from the start. Peppermint mocha flavor in the coffee, holiday bowls for cereal, or pancakes on the weekday. Take time in the morning to think about how you can positively affect those you come into contact with. Consider how you can create the opportunity for others to feel loved and appreciated.
Pick a charity and donate. This is one that I think is great for child involvement. What a valuable life lesson to let kids play Santa or Santa’s helper in the world.
Relax about expectations. Cookies burn in the oven. Christmas cards and greetings can be overwhelming. Shopping can be very stressful. Crazy relatives will not magically behave. Accept the holiday preparations that do not go according to plan and situations over which you have no control.
The love, joy, and meaning of the season comes from within ourselves. The heart is where we find the perfect holiday. Everything we do this month to make our holiday special should be an outward expression of a deep inner love for our family, friends, and humanity. Decide what you want your holiday season to look like and go for it. I am sure it will be beautiful.
As always I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by the blog. 🙂
Until next time,
Good thoughts. We don’t do much shopping for the holidays . . . we do relax in the glow of the Christmas Tree and share hearty HO~HO~HOs with passers by.
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Christmas tree glow is wonderful 🙂
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With the hours of daylight shorter I’ve returned to burning a small candle each evening. It does make the time feel special whether it’s Christmas or just winter.
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I love burning candles on a winter evening. I often light some incense too and have some tea to relax. It does make the winter nights special. 🙂