When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.
– Bob Hope
The holiday season is only a few weeks away and you’re probably already brimming with anticipation. This year it is going to be great!
You have been making plans for months and everything is almost ready. You can’t wait to see everyone’s faces when they catch a glimpse of how you’ve decorated the house (inside and out), the new table ornaments you’ve bought, the mouth watering menu you’ve cooked up, and the perfect gifts you’ve gotten for everyone.
You tingle with excitement because you have thought of everything.
When Christmas Day comes it all races by in a rush and before you know it you’re sitting there with a cup of eggnog looking the tree and wondering where the magic went.Advertising
Is this all it’s about? The elaborate decorations, the food, the gifts – what about the magic that is advertised everywhere?
Why do you feel let down when the holiday season is all over?
Perhaps it’s time add something new or different to your plans. Below are five options for creating a new and meaningful holiday experience.
1. Assess Your Traditions
Putting up the tree and decorating the house is always done on December 15. Why? It’s tradition. That is the way it was done when I was growing up. I followed the same pattern for a while, then asked my mom, “Why December 15?” She replied, “That was when we got our mid-month pay. I had some extra money then.”
Do you have things related to the holiday season that are considered a tradition? Do you get snippy or irritated when members of your family question the tradition?
Do you know why the tradition began and why you’re continuing it? Perhaps you’re creating unnecessary stress over a tradition that has long lost it’s meaning or it never really had any value.Advertising
Change it up: As a family, create new traditions that represent your family values and current situation. You might be surprised at what people want when you open up the discussion.
2. Let Memories Stay in The Past
You close your eyes and you are a child again reliving the excitement and magic surrounding Christmas. The bright lights, the expectation of Santa, fantasizing about what you will get and the smells of the holiday goodies coming from the kitchen.
Are you trying to recapture a particular feeling or experience from your childhood?
This rarely works. You are attempting to recreate an emotion and a mood that cannot be reproduced. You are not the same as you were then nor is the situation the same.
Change it up: Create an experience that is meaningful and has value for everyone right now. A new memory that your family and friends will cherish long after the season is gone.
3. Let Go Of Others’ Expectations
You are surrounded by family, friends, society and rampant commercialism and each one of these comes with a different expectation for the holiday season.Advertising
They expect you to have a tree with decorations, buy everyone a perfect gift, have a fabulous meal and be happy and joyous!
Many people love all of this, but there are others who feel trapped by all the expectations. If you love it, great! If you don’t, why do you do it?
Change it up: What would be your ideal Christmas? Perhaps minimal decorations, no gifts, a simple meal and a day spent with loved ones. What would it feel like if you did what made you happy rather than feeling bullied by the expectations of others? Try it out and see!
4. Stop Aiming For Perfection
Around the holiday season, you often here people saying, “I want this Christmas to be perfect!”
When I hear this, I want to ask, “Perfect for whom?” Everyone’s idea of perfect is different.
For me, a perfect Christmas would be snuggled up with my beloved in front of a blazing fireplace sipping mulled wine. For another, it would be being surrounded by the boisterous laughter and gaiety of family. Someone else might consider sitting on a beach to be the perfect antidote to the wintry Christmas season we always see on TV.Advertising
Creating perfection is a difficult task, for it can only be seen from your perspective. If you are trying create a perfect holiday for someone else, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Change it up: Expand your perception of a perfect day. You might rephrase your wishes to, “I want this holiday to be a reflection my love and joy for my family.”
5. Be Fully Present In The Experience
You have spent weeks in preparation for the big day only to feel tried and disappointed when it’s all over. At the end of the day, have you ever thought, “Next year, I’m not doing this”?
Change it up: On Christmas Day, slow down and fully experience each moment. Clear your mind of thought or judgement allow yourself to be immersed in the richness of your senses.
Breathe deeply and let your senses guide you. Listen to the laughter and giggles of the children or to the soft music in the background. Hear the real joy being expressed by a special gift. Smell the rich scents wafting in from the kitchen or perhaps the pine boughs on the mantle. Let you eyes rest on the colorful lights reflecting off the snow or each beautiful face in the room. As you eat, savor each bite of food and pay attention to the different flavors. Shift down to your heart and feel the love and joy in the moment.
At this level of experience you are receiving your deepest and most long-lasting gifts!
May this holiday season be rich with unique experiences and memories that fill you with joy!
Featured photo credit: Close up of Christmas market stall in Basel, Switzerland via shutterstock.com
Last Updated on February 11, 2021
The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You
Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.
Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.
Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.
Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.
George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.
Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.
Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.
Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.
Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.
Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.
Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.
Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.
iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.
Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.
A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.
Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.
Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.
Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.
Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.
Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.
GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.
Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.
Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com