It's become a pet peeve of mine that this season has become associated with rushing and stress. People always ask you "Are you ready for Christmas" but what they really mean is "Have you finished buying gifts?"
I'm striving for a holiday that's focused more on how we spend our time. It's a busy season for sure, but also an opportunity to fit in some special activities that we don't do at any other time of the year. A bucket list is a great way to brainstorm some ideas and make sure you savor the season in between dashing around doing a million things.
It's a long list, so it's unlikely you'll finish the whole thing. Instead, whenever you have precious free time pick something that fits the mood of the day. Cozy up with a blanket and watch a movie if you're craving rest, or go for a walk and see the lights if you need movement. Here are the top 9 I want to fit in...
a slow-living christmas
1. thrift christmas decor or a holiday sweater
Thrift stores are a gem this time of year and an eco conscious way of changing things up. For a few bucks you can snag a new ugly Christmas sweater or a cute decor piece. My favorite thing to do is grab a super inexpensive piece with a great shape (i.e. like a vase or ceramic tree) and spray paint it a colour that matches your decor. Gold always looks good!
2. plan a get together with friends
I'm guilty of not putting enough effort into organizing get togethers with friends, and if nobody organizes it then nothing happens. This year I'm hoping to fit in a gingerbread house building day and my high school friends are planning a year-end Zoom hangout complete with Powerpoint presentations on how 2023 went.
3. make homemade hot chocolate
So much better than the powdered stuff it's not even funny. Definitely add marshmallows.
5. wrap presents with music on
It's a task that's got to get done, so make the best of it. Throw on a holiday playlist or a movie in the background, pour a glass of wine and make it enjoyable.
6. have a pyjama day
Highly recommended in that bizarre stretch in between Christmas and New Year's when nobody's quite sure what day it is.
7. make salt dough ornaments
So old school and a great activity with kids. I made handprint Christmas trees with my toddler and made myself a bunch of tiny stars I'm planning to make into a garland.
8. watch a Christmas movie
Minimum one...there are a lot of good ones out there to choose from. This year we've already watched Home Alone twice; the joy of your kids discovering your favourite holiday movies from childhood!
9. spend some time reflecting on 2023, and setting goals for 2024
This one is very important to me. I don't love "resolutions" because they tend to be all-or-nothing and don't leave room for slow progress. Last year I spent a lot of time mapping out my values, my short and long term goals, and the things I wanted 2023 to be about. For my goals, it wasn't about mastering everything (and I sure didn't) but about making some kind of progress during the year. I'm actually excited to do it again this year!