So Thanksgiving is now behind us, and the holidays have officially begun. For many, the last several months have felt an exceptionally stressful time, no matter what side of the political aisle you may find yourself on. With the holidays now upon us, it may be a specially good time to take extra special care of ourselves and our loved ones, making sure this season reflects the best of our values and what we hold meaningful. With that in mind, I thought to share some ideas on how to make this season reflective of what may be most important to us, and those we care about, no matter what’s swirling in the world around us. Whatever your political opinions, this is a time to come together, and share our lives with those we care about.
The current mood in this country has caused many of us to take a step back and re-examine what is important to us, the values we want to live by. I think the answer of what to do and how to give will be unique to each of us. As time goes on, what I enjoy most about the holidays are the spirit in the air, and memories of good times with those close to me. Let your most important values guide your actions and you can’t go wrong. A few ideas to consider:
- Send out cards. Yes, good old-fashioned hand-written cards. Add a note to let someone know how you feel about them. Both of you will benefit.
- Give the gift of experiences. Research shows that experiences bring people more happiness than material possessions. Tickets to a play, a concert, or a favorite team’s game create lasting memories long after the event is over.
- Create some new memories or traditions. A holiday hike, ice skating on Christmas day, or a Christmas eve movie by the fire – whatever brings you together with those you love works.
- A spa day or afternoon can be a great gift to someone special or a wonderful way to spend time together.
- Give the gift of learning. Gourmet cooking, art classes, music or horseback riding lessons, yoga or dance classes – whatever you think might delight the receiver. A subscription to an app like Headspace.com or Calm might open the door to the stress-relieving benefits of meditation. Anything that is personalized to the one you’re giving to is always appreciated.
- Surprise someone who’s been especially anxious with a self-care basket. Include lotions, bath salts, essential oils, a diffuser, luxe soaps, pajamas and cozy slippers, a beautiful journal and pen to write with. The list is endless, and you can tailor it especially to the person you’re gifting.
- Don’t forget yourself! It can be as simple as an afternoon or evening home to unwind in the midst of the season, but be sure to include your own self-care in the mix at this busy time of year.
- Don’t forget those less fortunate. Adopting a family in need, or stopping by an elderly neighbor’s with a basket of Christmas cookies can remind us of the true spirit of the holiday. At a time when people may be feeling more apprehension, look for the good you can bring, what you can give. The world needs it.
I hope you find something in these words that sparks you to find peace, meaning and joy this holiday season. I would love to hear any additional thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment below– I’ll be sure to respond.
With warm wishes for the best of the season!