Baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, volunteering, school performances, holiday parties, family responsibilities, traveling, caroling and general merriment... it all sounds like a blast! However, when I think about all the things I'm going to attempt to cram into my schedule before the year is through, I actually feel a bit tired and anxious. How about you? Is this reflective of what the holidays are like for your family? How does a stuffed schedule make us feel? For some moms, the busyness is energizing. But for me, holiday busyness can sneakily steal my energy and attention away from living in the moment.
On my journey toward more mindful moments, I've found it is important to sit with irksome feelings as they arise, such as feeling overwhelmed or anxious instead of ignoring them. And boy can that be uncomfortable! I am a stubborn Capricorn, so giving thought to bending the rules of "Christmas Tradition" is far from easy for me. Honestly, giving it any thought whatsoever sends my insides into a mess of knots and anxiety. Part of me says, "This is just how it is! It's always gonna be crazy! It'll be fine. My friends and family (and children!!) have expectations, I can't let them down!" But I find that sometimes those kinds of excuses don't lead to good "end results."
Rather than side-stepping a problem, having a mindfulness practice has taught me the power of seeing my problems clearly so that I can better "see" a new perspective; one that is full of love, acceptance, forgiveness, letting go, and (during this holiday season) plenty of strategies for simplification.
1 The Four Laws of Simplicity | Zen Habits
2 Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ways... | Zen Habits
3 Simplify the Holidays eBooklet | The Center for a New American Dream
4 Preventing Holiday Fatigue | Greater Good Science Center
5 When In Doubt, Simplify | Zen Habits
6 Surviving the Holidays | Greater Good Science Center
1 Holiday Traditions That Raise Happiness | Greater Good Science Center
2 Walking the Talk: Happiness is... a Holiday Tradition | Greater Good Science Center
3 Unusual Holiday Traditions | Ladies Home Journal
4 Treasured Holiday Traditions | Baby Center
Save Some Dough
1 The Buy Nothing Holiday Survival Guide | Zen Habits
2 The Best Online Sites for Bartering | TLC
3 1 Simple Strategy to Save... | Far Beyond the Stars
4 A Non-Consumer Christmas: Simple Gifts for Kids and Grown Ups | Get Rich Slowly
5 Christmas Budget Worksheet | Life Your Way
6 Holiday Printables | Life Your Way
1 35 Gifts Your Children Will Never Forget | Becoming Minimalist
2 Kids Who Are Giftless are Gifted | Zen Habits
3 The Ultimate Clutter-Free Gift Guide | Slow Your Home
4 This Christmas, Give Peace | Becoming Minimalist
5 Three Ways to Help Students Give Meaningful Gifts | Greater Good Science Center
6 Big Hearted Families
1 Planning a Potluck Christmas Party | eHow
2 The White Elephant Party | WikiHow
1 Minimalist Christmas Tree | Everyday Minimalist
Therefore, I'm committing to incorporate a few of these strategies into my family's holiday experience this year: When In Doubt Simplify, Surviving the Holidays, Potluck Christmas Party, White Elephant Gift Exchange, and homemade gifts (most likely found on Pinterest) :)
Simplicity is a way of life that can help us to find more peace and love within our moments this season and all year long. Let's spread simplicity along with cheer! What simplicity strategies work especially well for you this time of year? We'd really love to hear. Simply drop us a line in the comments section below.