It’s the holiday season – a time for family, friends and frequent trips to the mall. Many of us are feeling less than jolly with the added stress of decorating the house, shopping for everything from special grocery items for Grandma’s sugar cookies to chapter books for great nieces and nephews, then writing cards, wrapping and mailing all those cards and packages. For many years our holiday tradition included going to both Grandmas’ houses many, many miles away. Now, that took some planning and shortened my preparation time to have everything bought, baked, wrapped and ready a week before Christmas.
Today, I’m creating a new tradition and a new strategy by choosing to simplify and streamline gift giving, decorating and celebrating. I’ll delegate the decorating. I’ll make just three favorite treats for my family to enjoy and to give as gifts. Home-made gifts contain a special magic and that special ingredient makes effort is worthwhile. Folks appreciate the fact that you spent time and talent to produce a holiday experience just for them.
As for celebrating, we’ve gotten together with another family over the years and taken turns hosting. The food has always been a collaborative effort and secondary to just spending time together. We’ve had brunch with ham and eggs, lunch with soup and sandwiches, dinner with pot roast and pie, but we’ve also done pizza and sugar cookies (that’s the menu the kids always ask for). The menu isn’t as important as spending time together and catching up on what is happening in each other’s lives.
Being present and spending time with family and friends is what I hope for you this holiday season. Giving of ourselves and spending time enjoying the beauty and the abundance of our many blessings, and being grateful for all the gifts we’ve received.
Last Saturday I had the opportunity to play with friends at a Creativity Workshop I entitled, Investing Time in Yourself – Yields Creative Results. We talked, shared ideas about de-stressing, wrote, worked on our collages, got to know each other, and played. The message I wanted to share with the participants, along with all of you readers, is that we have to choose to make time for ourselves. No one can do it for us. Carving out a small amount: 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at noon, or 15 minutes before you go to bed, can make a huge impact on your day. When someone we care about is upset, the first thing we may tell them is to take a deep breath and relax. Well, let’s take our own advice and take a few deep breaths a couple of times a day. Investing Time in Yourself could (and I hope it does) lead to longer opportunities to explore what brings you joy. But for now, let’s start with small shifts in attitude. Fifteen minutes, a simple addition on that TO DO list to give you a chance to pause and catch your breath. As we all know, if it’s on our TO DO list, we’re going to do our best to make it happen!
I invite you to invest time in yourself today!