Advent is supposed to be a time for waiting and anticipation, for spiritual reflection and cultivating hope, peace, joy and love in our hearts. Yet, for most people, December is crammed with holiday events, shopping and other obligations that can be a drain on time, energy and peace of mind.
If holiday jingles jangle your nerves, or the idea of participating in yet another Secret Santa exchange fills you with dread, give yourself permission to retreat for a while. Well-being and balance are important anytime, but especially so at the holidays, when expectations are so much higher. You don’t have to stay home, but you might choose to take in a holiday light display instead of another raucous work party.
“…there are often many things we feel we should do that, in fact, we don’t really have to do. Getting to the point where we can tell the difference is a major milestone in the simplification process.” ― Elaine St. James
Some people love and feed on the energy of the holiday season, while others are more likely to feel overwhelmed by too much activity. If you’re in the latter category, it’s really OK to say no and give yourself some rest so you can enjoy the holiday as you need – and want – to.
What are your favorite things to do during this season? What fills your heart with joy?
Prioritize moments of hope, peace, and love, instead of more holiday happy hours or shop-til-you-drop days. Say no to things that overcrowd your calendar and say yes to moments that feel meaningful, even if it’s sitting by the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree, drinking hot cocoa with your loved ones.
May the peace of the season be with you – and within you.
Feel free to share your experience or your creative suggestions. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, share using the #24daysofgiving hashtag. Let’s spread some love and good cheer!
Did you miss a day?
Day 1: Give yourself 5 minutes
Day 2: Give someone your attention
Day 3: Give time to a worthy cause
Day 4: Give someone a helping hand
Day 5: Give a cup of coffee or tea
Day 6: Give 3 words of love
Day 7: Give a handwritten note
Day 8: Give hugs
Day 9: Give blessings
#24daysofgiving is an Advent experiment in being called to come into being through the practices of love and compassion, while reflecting on the coming of Christ into the world.
(Image credit: Christopher Fleck)