Last year I was absolutely winning at staying present during the holidays. I went minimal on gifts, got all of my preparations done early, and traveled back home while leaving my to do list behind. This year, due to a change in travel scheduling, things are a bit different and I am struggling to find that presence. In hopes of reminding myself how to better enjoy this holiday season, I thought I would share with you 10 ways to live in the present this holiday season.
Experiences Over Things
This was huge for me last year. Due to budget limitations and a planned trip with family and friends, my husband and I decided to go minimal on gift giving and give both our girls and each other an experience in the form of a vacation over several gifts. For our young girls, they still received a few gifts from Santa and us, but for the most part we went minimal and it was great! Not only did this save me time with wrapping gifts, but it allowed us all to enjoy the true meaning of the season just a bit more.
Let Go Of The Perfect Wrapping
If you are anything like me, a holiday gift requires not only the perfect wrap, but also ribbons/bows, tags, and the whole nine yards! I am slowly starting to realize that each gift does not need to look picture perfect, thus freeing up more time for me to just enjoy moments instead of a “to do.”
Something I have been working on in the last few months is something that is also really helping me unwind during this busy time of the year. Ending each day with 5-10 minutes of focused breathing really helps me to relax and be in the moment. I also like meditation for times during the day when I just feel absolutely overwhelmed and need regain my calm.
Print Out A Calendar
By having a paper calendar system in place, you can visually see the days and times you have available for get togethers and events. In having a visual representation of your time, you can be sure to not overcommit yourself. If you don’t have enough room to write down a commitment on a certain date, then you are likely are packing too much into your agenda!
Communicate With Family And Friends
By communicating closely with family and friends, you can try to arrange get-togethers with several people at once rather than attending multiple events with similar groups of people. The season is all about enjoying the company of family and friends…not scheduling yourself thin to the point that get-togethers become just another “to do” on your list!
Turn Gift Giving Into A DIY Family Activity
To save money and stress, try creating little DIY gifts for friends and family this year. Including young children and other family members in this project allows for both bonding time, but also the opportunity for everyone to put a little love into the gift. Just a few ideas for DIY gifts that others are sure to love: seasoned cooking salts, flavored butters, soaps, bath salts, lotions, perfumes, playdough, artfully covered journals or notebooks, decoupage trays or coasters.
Schedule At-Home Family Time
Be sure that when you are filling up your calendar for the season, you are sure to pencil in one or two nights of at-home family time. What better way to live in the present than to be present with your loved ones. It’s the perfect time for movies and popcorn or a family game night! Bonus points for matching jammies!
Schedule A Date Night
Just as it is important to schedule family time, if you have a significant other it is also crucial to schedule at least one date night during the holidays. This is a great time to focus on being thankful for one another an reconnecting with the help of those warm fuzzy holiday feelings. This would also be a great time to reflect on the things you were able to accomplish together in the previous year and set out your family’s goals for the coming new year.
Repeat after me: “I will live in the present today and keep in mind the true meaning of this season.” Just repeating this out loud to yourself a few times every morning will help you to keep your perspective during this otherwise busy time of year! I think you will find that positive affirmations really do work!
Phone Calls Over Holiday Cards
This is something that I have been doing over the last few years and I am really enjoying. The stress of taking the perfect family photo, ordering the holiday cards on time, addressing and then getting them to the post office in time always left me in a bit of a head spin. I have begun to instead opt for calling friends and family that I do not get to see in person for the holidays and have a an actual conversation. It always ends up being so much more meaningful and cup-filling than sending a holiday card! Now, I’m not going to lie and say I get to call every single person on my former holiday card list, but I still find this way of doing things to be a much better way of spreading the holiday cheer!
We wish you a merry holiday season and hope you find time to live in the present with the ones you love most.