Enjoy a Simpler, More Traditional Christmas
The holiday season is one fraught with warm memories and time-honored traditions. Unfortunately, it’s also fraught with advertisements and the pressure to do more, spend more and just generally be more. And while I enjoy decorating for Christmas, buying gifts and wrapping them just so, each year I find myself feeling more worn down by the commercial pressures the holiday has come to be associated with. (Do I sound like Charlie Brown, yet?).
This year, I’m making a point to step back, relax and enjoy Christmas for the things it has traditionally represented: good food, heartwarming music, time spent with loved ones and a general sense of gratitude. I’m not a psychologist or a licensed mental health professional, but there are a number of practices I’ve stumbled upon that are helping me embrace the true spirit of the holiday and worry less about consumerism.
If you, too, are looking to take a beat and block out some of the commercial noise, these are the three practices that have helped me the most:
Get Off Your Phone
Your phone is a portal to the rest of the world. And while it’s great for looking up new recipes or craft inspiration, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, playing the comparison game or virtually rifling through yet another gift guide. One of the best ways to avoid the commercialism is to disconnect from the digital world which is — in fact — completely driven by commercialism. Step away from the screen and instead pick up a festive novel (“A Christmas Carol,” anyone?), go for a walk and look at Christmas lights, or take a moment to relax and journal.
Honor Family Traditions
I feel fairly confident when I say you’ll never regret time spent reliving activities you enjoyed during the holiday season as a child. The magic of Christmas is nostalgia and the warmth that it brings. Skip the stores and instead spend time recreating a recipe from your grandmother’s cookbook or watching a film your family watched every year during your childhood.
Take the Pressure Off Of Yourself
The most wonderful time of the year tends to come with a lot of pressure and a tendency to hold ourselves to very high standards and — simultaneously — create high expectations. There is pressure to buy the perfect gift, take the most idyllic family photo, enjoy the most incredible peppermint latte you ever did taste, and complete every single item on the holiday bucket list. Don’t do that to yourself! This is something I have to remind myself of often. I enjoy doing holiday activities as much as the next person. But, truthfully, when I put pressure on myself, they’re not quite so enjoyable anymore.
Whatever your plans are this holiday season, I hope you make time to take care of yourself and allow yourself to indulge in whatever brings you the greatest sense of gratitude and joy. Merry Christmas, my friends.
Feature Image: Katie Azi