By Kristi Hall
I love sparkly things and glorious, heartfelt, magical moments. Maybe that’s why I am such a fan of the holidays. I understand that this can be a time of stress for many, as we are adding merry-making to our already full lives. My best recommendation is to assess what brings you joy, say a hearty “yes” to those activities, and skip the rest. After all, it’s your life, your precious time and energy, and you always have a choice.
I’m sharing a few of the holiday traditions that make my heart sing and fill my soul with goodwill. Please accept these as ideas to get your creative juices flowing and make conscious decisions about how you will plan the next few months. It’s not so much about the specific activities, but more about the spirit in which you participate in the activities you choose.
Sparkles + Twinkle Lights. I enjoy the creativity of decorating a glitzy holiday tree. I reserve a weekend day (yes, it takes me a good six to eight hours to glam up my tree), put on some energizing tunes, and relish unwrapping boxes of collected ornaments and layering the tree with a bounty of jewel-toned treasures. I prefer to do this the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I can sit by the tree light all season and enjoy my masterpiece through New Year’s Day. I consider decorating the tree a significant artistic endeavor, and giving myself a full day to tune into my creativity is a soothing gift that is a reward unto itself.
Cookies. I have precious memories of making sugar cookie dough, chilling it, rolling it out, cutting it into fun shapes and sizes, and painting each adorable cookie like a gift. Whether I take this on as a solo project or invite a friend into the mix, I rejoice when my counters are filled with colorfully decorated cookies that I package up and offer to friends and family as a handmade (with love) gift.
Experiences. There are few young children in my nuclear family, and the adults have more stuff than they know what to do with. So, I focus on shared experiences instead of things as gifts. I treasure my time with my parents and fly off to Texas for about two weeks around Christmas to simply be with them. That means lounging in our holiday pajamas, my mom bringing me coffee and homemade banana nut bread in bed each morning, preparing favorite holiday meals together, watching Hallmark movies and playing cards by the fire. On occasion, we get a wild hair to travel and have spent Christmas on Tortuga Island in Costa Rica and seaside in the Caribbean. This year, though, it’s a traditional holiday at home for us.
Gratitude. As we imbibe in the richness and privilege of our lives, the very best gift is the one of shared time. It’s pretty fun to connect with childhood friends who “knew us when” and consider how far we have come in this life. Nothing beats this feeling of deep satisfaction, and I dare say, this is what holiday magic is all about. It reminds us how bright and miraculous life can be, especially when shared.
Staying Grounded. As much as I relish the holidays and focus on the magic, I have my own challenges visiting a state where the leading belief systems and values seem to differ significantly from my own. I do have some shocking moments that become an opportunity for me to practice love and acceptance. I look at it as a litmus test for how I am growing in consciousness and marvel at how little rattles me anymore. And if I do get a bit rattled, I retreat to my childhood room and meditate.
Here’s wishing you all your heart’s desires for a meaningful time of your very own making. Cheers to YOU!
Kristi Hall is an author, speaker, and creator of Conscious Connections, a local community of 6,000 purpose-based businesswomen. Join her community at consciousconnectionsglobal.com.