So Many Reasons to Love December
I love December! The charmed month that brings the longest night of the year, and the promise of longer days ahead. It brings twinkling lights and sparkling snow, walks in the fresh northern air, the smell of pine, the brilliant blue winter skies. It means time spent with friends and family, the wonderful aromas of delicious food and tasty wine. When I assess what it is that I find so magical about December, I realize it has very little to do with shopping, or receiving material gifts. The things that make this month magical for me have everything to do with spending time with loved ones, and savouring life.
How to Enjoy the Holidays… Your Way.
With all of the pressure to buy, spend, out-do and out-decorate, though, we sometimes wind up feeling more stress than joy. It is important to remember that we have the choice to make changes, and create a simpler season for ourselves. The key is to make decisions that are right for you and your family, based on what you want your Christmas to be, not the expectations dictated by a commercially driven holiday.
Simple Ideas for a Simpler Christmas
Our family tries to keep things pretty simple at Christmas, but we enjoy celebrating together and doing some sort of gift exchange. Everyone always buys presents for the children, though we try not to over do it. However, we tend to be quite minimalist with the adult gift exchange. Some years, we pick names and only buy for that one person. This means that we can put more thought into the gift. Also, my husband and I don’t always buy each other presents, or we keep the gifts small, fun, or really wanted (Example: I love books, but rarely spurge on them for myself – I just use the library. So, at Christmas, my husband will often buy me a book he knows I love). When deciding on gifts, remember that unique and creative gifts are often way better than the latest and greatest piece of plastic. Another way we simplify is that we reuse gift bags and decorations… I am still using the artificial tree and the ornaments from my childhood! My son loves it, and putting up that old tree has become quite a family tradition.
How Would You Like to Spend This Christmas?
Early in December is a good time to reflect on how we’d like to see the season unfold. Ask yourself: How would you like to spend your time this December? What makes this month special for you? Make a list, and prioratize – identify which activities are most important to you. Then, remember the list when planning your engagements and gift exchanges for the season. You can’t say yes to everything, so use the list to help guide your choices. If necessary, consider making a few changes to how you’ll approach the holidays this year. As my mom always says, “There are a lot of stops between everything and nothing.” Small changes can make a difference.
Enjoy Christmas and December, too.
Celebrating a simpler Christmas keeps December from becoming a frantic month, and it gives you the opportunity to really enjoy the activities of the season. It has been a win-win for us: less packaging, less shopping, less pressure, less waste, more time to do the things that matter, more time to spend with the people who we love, more money in the bank or contributed to a charity, more contemplation and more health.
Home, Life, and Living.
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So here’s to December. In an imperfect world, and with all it’s challenges, may it still sparkle with some sincere joy. Thanks for stopping by homehurrah.com. I can’t wait to share my next post with you!