I love Christmas. No matter how old I get, I love to indulge in the magic of the season and all of its traditions. In fact, normally I look forward to reliving the same traditions year after year.
But this Christmas, I’m questioning a few of them. It’s become too easy to get caught up in the craziness of the season: the excessive shopping, the Pinter-est-worthy wrapping, the Instagrammable parties, the stressing over family gatherings, cooking, bak-ing, card writing, decorating, and the list goes on. For many people, Christmas is stressful, even downright depressing, and some of its traditions simply add to the challenges.
So this year, in an effort to be more conscious of the traditions we engage in, I’ve decided to rethink a few of them, and to add back some oldies but goodies to bring more joy to our festive season.
The Purge List
Christmas cards. Ok, I confess, I actually haven’t mailed physical cards in years. It’s just too much work. But every year I shower myself in guilt over not having accomplished this task. This year I’m done feeling guilty and, instead, I’ll happily send a quick note by text.
Gift exchanges with friends. I love giving gifts, and getting them in return. But with every year that pass-es it becomes harder to choose meaningful gifts for all of my friends and family members. Fortunately, my family has started a new holiday tradition of picking one person to buy for. And as for friends, I’d rather spend time than money on meaningless trinkets.
Christmas parties and events. There are so many festive events taking place in this city — there’s a huge Lisa ManfieldContent StrategistDigital StorytellerSFU Instructor/Public Speaker temptation to get out and do it all. This year I plan to go small, then go home. I’ll pick one or two things to do, and keep it at that.
The Comeback List
Handmade Christmas decorations. Remember popcorn garlands? Wreaths made from boughs of actual pine trees? This year I’m going in favour of the handmade decorations of yesteryear. Making decorations is giving a keepsake that may last for years to come.
Simple gifts. Every year I get an orange in my stocking from my mom, along with a pair of quality socks. I can’t say I appreciated those gifts as a child, but I sure do now. The orange is said to symbolize prosperity, and quality socks, well, who doesn’t need a pair of those?
Carolling. Ok, we won’t likely be going door to door like they did hundreds of years ago. But belting out Christ-mas carols with family and friends is a quintessential holiday activity I’d like to bring back, it costs nothing and you can do it anytime. So who’s up for a round of Christmas carol karaoke?
This holiday season, I’m giving myself permission to simplify, and return to traditions that truly bring joy. I hope you will too. Happy holidays!