A Mindful Christmas
I have been thinking a lot this month about how I can keep all of my Christmas and New Year traditions, celebrations and gift giving as mindful as possible. While minimalism does influence my choices, it is not the overarching goal. More importantly my desire is to make mindful choices. For instance we do have a tree laden with ornaments that you may not expect in a minimal home. However, as I unwrapped most of the ornaments I was reminded of a special memory. These give our tree a unique combination of each person in my family. The ones that did not strike a chord of adding value or unique special memories will be decluttered when the tree comes down. That is the beauty of approaching the holidays in a mindfully. Each choice can be evaluated on its own merit.
photo credit Julia Kivela - Riistunturi, Finland
One activity my husband and I love is going to Epcot Center for the Candlelight Processional. I totally understand fellow minimalists who quake at the thought of even going to a Disney park, let alone doing so at such a busy commercial time. However, for us this is a family tradition we have established and value. Hearing the Christmas story and the beautiful music followed by an amazing firework display always sets our mood for this special season. I am happy to say “no” to other potential activities, to say “yes” to spending this time together each year.
I briefly mentioned gifts in a previous post, but my approach this year perhaps more than any other has really been to focus on experiences rather than physical gifts. We are not at 100% yet, but the remainder are truly desired items that are useful and consumable gifts. So,
I am getting closer. My approach is to give mindful thought to the people in my life and what they feel would add value to their lives. However, we all know there are times when our intentions go awry. This is why I am a firm supporter of passing along or sharing gifts with others that will not add value to your life. So….if you happen to receive a gift from me that does not suit you….don’t keep it out of obligation…please share it with someone else who will enjoy it. You have my permission to let go of anything that does not serve you and your life!
My biggest change in this year for a mindful Christmas is in my own mindset. I am adjusting my intentions for each task whether chosen or obligatory to find the joy and blessings that the event may hold. To “find the silver lining”, and not allow myself to fall into the all so easy trap of dreading an over-scheduled, stressful round of holiday parties, events and tasks. Or, find the space to say “no” and make room for a better “yes”.
What Christmas plans do you have that are a mindful addition to your holiday, and which ones could you let go of? Perhaps you have a tradition that no longer serves you and your family that could be replaced with something richer. Take a little time in these last weeks of 2016 and evaluate what you could do to enjoy a more mindful season.