Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away. ~Unknown~
Spending the months leading up to the holidays in frantic shopping, cleaning, and entertaining mode can leave us breathless for all of the wrong reasons. We may be stressed, snappish, and short with the very people we are doing all of the holiday preparation for. It is in this spirit of remembering what’s most important that we at Holistic Pain want to take a moment to wish you very happy holidays.
Stopping amid the holiday din and bustle to really enjoy family and reflect on what makes them so special is an important part of every holiday tradition. During the year and the busy time leading up to holiday celebrations, we may forget this simple practice as we cross things off our to-do lists. If we take time to reflect and live by the quote above, we can take these every day moments of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and gifting and turn them into a deeper celebration of the holidays.
This means practicing mindfulness in every step. Focus on Aunt Sally when you are buying her gift, thinking about the things that make her a special part of your family. As you are cleaning the house for a family gathering, remember the other times when you gathered in celebration. Cook mindfully with your kids instead of rushing through the steps to get it all done.
Maybe this means you need to scale back a bit. Maybe your family starts a new tradition of Secret Santa instead of buying presents for every person in the family. Maybe the holiday dinner becomes a themed potluck instead of one person cooking everything. Instead of cooking dozens and dozens of different kinds of cookies, maybe a holiday cookie swap is a better way to go.
However you do it, make the time to truly engage with your kids, your partner, your friends, and the rest of your family, near and far. Technology means that even if someone you love lives halfway around the world, an internet connection can bring them into your living room. Instead of dashing off a quick holiday text or formulaic email, take some time to deliver your greetings “in person,” even if they are reaching across the miles.
There are many ways to connect with those who are close to you. Sometimes reflection and family time can be as simple as sitting down to a board game instead of zoning out in front of the television. If you have lost a loved one this year and are feeling their absence keenly, saying a prayer or starting a little ritual like lighting a candle to include their memory in your holiday celebrations is a great way to also connect with those who are with you. We may think of these things as “old-fashioned,” but an evening spent ice skating or walking around your community looking at holiday lights goes a long way to embrace the holidays and make them meaningful.
Whatever traditions you choose to observe, we want to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season, with best wishes for love, luck, and breath-taking moments in the coming year.
How do you and your family work to cultivate moments that take your breath away during the holidays?
Image by Elda via Flickr