I’ve always loved Christmas a lot. Back in the day when Christmas sweaters were trendy and cool, before they became mocked and laughed at at ugly sweater parties, I had some really cute ones. I thought they were cute anyway, and with my full 90’s hair people often said I was adorable. Back then I could hardly wait for December 1st so I could start wearing my fun collection of Christmas sweaters, and I was always a little sad when it was time to put them away.
I was so excited for Christmas that every year I wholeheartedly decorated, shopped, wrapped, baked, and delivered treats to my neighbors. Mostly all by myself. On top of that I managed to work out and eat well.
It was such a high priority for both me and my house to look good at Christmas that we were pretty much magazine (or cute house blog) perfect.
What’s wrong with that picture is I was so busy DO-ing that I forgot to check in and see how things were FEEL-ing. Living in a picture perfect house wasn’t fun for my family and looking back it wasn’t really THAT MUCH fun for me either. Mainly, it was a distraction from what was seriously missing in my life.
These days there are no Christmas sweaters, and my house has a much simpler look, and when it comes to shopping, wrapping, baking and delivering I’ve dropped the ball significantly.
Which means now, instead of being a wound up (to mask deeper depression) nutcase the entire month of December, overall I’m laid back and chill.
Even when things get busy and a little crazy and I get off track (haha – I admit I DO still get a little crazy (a lot) because I have a big family and squiggly personality and can’t help it!). . . I’m good at recognizing that I’m off kilter, and regrouping pretty fast 😉
I still love Christmas a lot, but the bottom line is this.
I’ve come to value and crave FEELING good much more than looking good, and consequently I’ve chosen to simplify and let go of many things in my life, including draining Christmas traditions.
So here’s what to do to keep Christmas simple and make it FEEL GOOD.
1. Remember what Christmas is all about and do something everyday (it can be little) that will make someone else’s life brighter. Try visiting shut ins and people in nursing homes and taking a little Christmas cheer to them. Check in with the center ahead of time and see what they recommend.
2. Get comfortable with giving simple Christmas gifts. Give less presents and do more acts of kindness and service (try making coupon books to wrap). Before you go shopping do a little research and find out what the people on your list really want or need, and only buy that. Don’t spend money on needless fluff.
3. Nurture and nourish your body, mind and spirit. This includes eating real simple food, drinking plenty of water, meditating (lock yourself in the bathroom if you need to), exercising (do whatever you can do even if it’s just running up and down the steps etc.), and getting enough sleep. Do grounding and soothing things, like make soup, diffuse and use essential oils, light candles, take a relaxing bath, and listen to your favorite Christmas music. If you can fit it in, read a short Christmas story every day. I did it one year and it really brought the Christmas spirit to my heart!
4. Choose to spend your time wisely. Stick to only doing needful things, and heart-happy things that you enJOY doing. Choose to only spend your time with PEACEful people and only participate in Christmas activities that leave you feeling happy and renewed. Practice saying no to all the rest.
5. Do whatever it takes to be able to enJOY yourself. If that means saying NO, do it, and so be it. Refuse to get sucked into other people’s expectations or drama. When there’s drama going on around you, remove yourself. And if someone else is offended, oh well. Remember, it’s not your problem. Learn to say this, “not my circus, not my monkey”. Stop feeling like you owe people something, and stop believeing they’ll fall apart if you don’t deliver – they wont, they might be dissapointed etc. (oh well) but they’ll be ok. Use Cheer, Forgive and Peace (doTERRA’s emotion blends) if you need extra support.
6. Continue to let go. As you get closer to Christmas instead of freaking out about what isn’t done, start crossing things off your list. If it’s not important, let it go. Don’t do it and don’t worry about it. Whew. That feels better already, doesn’t it?!!
In short, give yourself permission to do less, and do things simply. If you don’t have enough time or money to do something, don’t worry about it. Do what you can and remember the reason for the season. Give generously from your heart. Gather your loved ones close (or find someone who needs a friend and gather with them) and slather on the love as you enjoy the magic of this beautiful season together.