The Christmas holidays are one of the busiest times of the year, which explains why the holidays come upon us and are gone like a whirlwind. We are so focused on buying the perfect gifts for everyone, on cooking the best holiday dinner and getting the most festive Christmas photos that we forget to tune in on the present moment.
This year, I’ve decided to really simplify my holidays and embrace a different kind of holiday. I’ve slowed down this holiday season, taken the focus off of gifts, and let go of the “busy” mentality we hold during Christmas. Here are a few tips on how you can have a mindful Christmas this holiday:
CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT GIFTS
During this time of year, we’re bombarded with advertisements and gift guides of this years must haves. We end up buying things that neither we, nor our loved ones really need. Think of something those who you’re buying gifts for truly need. Is there something they would genuinely benefit from? What do you genuinely feel is a great gift idea?
If there’s nothing you can think of, gear your gift towards something sentimental and personal. These gifts mean so much more to someone and are the ones people look back on for years to come. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can make us think that we need to buy way more than we actually do. With a special, personal gift you’ll end up buying so much less while spending your money mindfully.
TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREATHER
Instagram is going to be filled with photos of the perfect Christmas decorations, beautifully decorated Christmas tree’s, gourmet-like dinners, and aesthetically pleasing cozy holiday photos. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, as I love looking through Pinterest for Christmas inspiration. With that being said, I also love taking a break from social media during the holidays so I can be present in the moment and have a mindful Christmas.
When I’m on Instagram, I’ll often see ads catered to me and think hm, maybe I should buy that too. Or I’ll see a photo of a beautiful candid photo at the Market and think, maybe I should get out and do more, too. I start wondering if my tree is decorated enough or if my room is cozy enough. Am I having as good of a time as everyone else? If your idea of fun means staying in bed and watching a documentary on Netflix that has nothing to do with Christmas, then do that! Don’t fall into the social media trap of needing more. Enjoy and appreciate what you have at this very moment.
Take a social media breather and be present with your family, loved ones and yourself during the holidays.
MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
There’s something about special occasions and holidays that have us enamored with unrealistically high expectations. For the longest time, I never had a good New Year’s Eve. No matter how much I planned ahead, or how cute my dress was, or how fun the party was- I always had a different image in my mind of how the night would have been. Once I started to manage my expectations, focus on my true goals and what would make me happy, I finally started enjoying my New Years Eve’s. I didn’t need a giant party or celebration to have an amazing night like I once thought.
We imagine smiling family members, a delicious home cooked meal everyone loves, a gorgeously decorated home and a dreamy snow fall during Christmas eve. In our minds, everything is perfect. In reality, you can definitely hit a few of those markers- but it’s never going to be perfect.
My Christmas often consists of running around the kitchen trying to get everything to cook on time, someone being late to the table, one of us eating so much we can barely move (usually me) and relaxing as a family over tea as we open presents on Christmas Eve. To me, that’s perfect, and that’s what helps me have a mindful Christmas. Manage your expectations and try not to think too much about everything going right. Just think of what you’re grateful for, and how lucky you are to be able to spend the holidays with all that you do have, and those by your side.
TAKE THE FOCUS OFF OF YOURSELF
By this, I don’t mean that you should throw your self-care practices down the drain this holiday. Carve out time for yourself when you need it and prioritize your health, as always. Think about others that may need a bit of extra help this season. Is there somewhere that you can volunteer your time, or a charity you can donate clothes to?
It’s also important to check in on the people in our lives. Talk to your family and friends, ask them how they’re doing. The holidays can be a stressful and tough time for some people. We might miss that if we’re too focused on making sure that everything goes right. Check in on the ones you love, and offer your time and help to those who might need it most.
What do you do each holiday to have a mindful Christmas? I’d love to hear about your tips, ideas and thoughts on slowing down this holiday season.