This year will be the second year that I get to have the kind of holiday that I prefer. A holiday celebration that is not cluttered with busy-ness, stress, and pressure.
I still enjoy making a Christmas feast, but it no longer feels forced or obligatory. We feasted at home last year. This year we are free to deviate from the norm and do something different if we wish to do so.
I still love giving presents, but there's no pressure to get the perfect present to represent my relationship with that person. The present is just a present, as it should be.
For my minimalist end of year holiday period I have cut out
- the manic stress of trying to please everyone,
- the frustration from trying to get the perfect presents,
- the heavy, unhealthy, obligatory holiday cuisine,
- the pressure to live up to my expectations and goals , and
- the trying, and failing to do everything.
Not only have I cut those vices, I have gained the following blessings, which are
- contentment, and
- the ability to be my authentic self.
To get here, I had to ask myself how I wanted to feel during the holidays, and who I wanted to spend it with. I to say no to jobs, and I had to say no to people. It sounds harsh but "You can't change the people around you, but you can change the people around you".
We can't do everything, and we can't see everyone for the holidays, therefore we need to stop striving to do it all. Not only is it impossible, but we shouldn't strive to do everything in the first place. When we jam pack our days with things to do and are rushing from place to place, we are dramatically reducing our chance to savour life.
There is immense joy and calm in savouring experiences because it allows us to enjoy life. When we rush we can't savour.
Do I want to rush around and deny my full and complete presence from the people who love me? No. So, I made a decision to be selective with my time in order to have enough energy to dedicate to my favourite people. Minimalists curate their life in the hope of spending majority of their time doing their favourite things with their favourite people.
The trick to having a simple holiday is to follow your intention with action steps. Intent is great and necessary to start, but without action it is fruitless. So, start letting go of other people's expectations, let go of tiring traditions, and let go of the idea that you should say yes to everything. Do it and see what happens.
With love and simplicity,
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