There’s no way of getting around it, this year the holidays have been different. For some it is a subtle shift, for others it’s been extremely challenging. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, I am here for you with a Santa’s bag stuffed with ways to help turn any Grinch into an eggnog chugging, carol singing wrap king. It’s been said many times that in the darkest nights the light shines even brighter, so let’s look for the lights. There’s a lot more of them this time of year, on trees, houses, even on bikes riding around the neighborhood. This holiday season brings with it opportunities to celebrate and connect in new ways.
My wish for you is to experience the magic of the season and share your gifts with those you love. I have brainstormed and compiled a list of ways to feel merrier this holiday season. It is my gift to you. I give it in the hopes that some of these ideas will resonate and have you feeling a little more jolly.
Before we start, I know that even thinking about the holidays this year is difficult for a lot of people. Many have lost loved ones, others can’t be with their families and it’s pretty clear that Covid has affected us all in some way. Let’s give a moment of pause now to access how we are feeling.
Resume reading this after taking a few breaths…
Now that you have accessed how you are feeling, I want you to know that it’s okay to feel whatever emotion is coming up for you. If the feeling is overwhelming, please reach out to talk with someone who can help. We all need support sometimes and it’s important that we reach out when we do.
I’ll share how I’m feeling, in this moment I am feeling a lot of gratitude to be here, thankful for my health and happy to be able to write this article. On that note-
I want to share with you the power of music. A great way to move through a negative this time of year is to lighten them through music. Holiday tunes are filled with joyful melodies and uplifting words. You can access peppy Christmas dance playlists and move to the sounds of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, or “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Sing, dance and marvel at how quickly this changes your physiology. Even the breaths I had you take earlier can change your mental and emotional state. These subtitle shifts help our bodies release those incredible feel-good hormones and thus we feel uplifted.
Another way to feel connected with friends and family is by jumping on video calls. You can also make silly videos or share funny memes. Reach out to people to brighten their day because we never know what’s going on in the minds of others. Check in frequently and be on the lookout for ways to spread the holiday cheer of a video of catnip intoxicated kitties playing in christmas sweaters. Notice what makes you laugh, make a note of it and share it with others you think would enjoy it. I have been enjoying watching movies together with friends through Zoom, Skype & Houseparty. Best of all, you can laugh and chat throughout the movie which can be a lot of fun when taking on a classic film you’ve seen a million times.
While I have been away from my parents this holiday season I asked my mom for some of her recipes. She was honored and I loved testing out my newly improved culinary skills. It was a way to connect with her in a fun way. I found myself asking questions to be sure I was doing it right. When I finally tasted the sausage and shells pasta I felt at home. It was a wonderful experience and a great way to feel even more connected.
This year you could have an ornament exchange! To make it simple you can ask your friends to exchange ornaments with you through the mail. If you are crafty you can make the ornaments by hand or if you’re like me you can have your friends pick ones out online and buy them. Then have them shipped directly to your house.Then delight in the treasures you receive. Your tree will be more festive than ever and if you have friends like mine it will be a funnier sight full of hilarious new additions. A tree like this can fill us with deep gratitude for all those who contributed to it. Best of all, each year you get to unpack the ornaments and remember who gave them to you, while your collection grows. What could be better than feeling that love.
When it comes to gifts it really is “the thought that counts” the more thoughtful you can be with gift giving the better. You can easily create a text with several questions in order to know more about your loved ones. I like to store these lists in my phone under the notes section of their contact along with their birthday or anything special to remember. Some questions you can ask are-
Types of music/artists?
Brands for clothing?
Stores you love for home interior?
What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
What’s your birthstone and do you like it?
What’s something you’d love to have but would never purchase for yourself?
Any allergies or medical conditions?
Any phobias? (This one could get funny)
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received and why?
Think about the things they already own and love when deciding on gifts and know your budget before selecting. People who go too far with spending can actually feel worse during the holidays so be sure to budget wisely to avoid undue stress. If you have photos from adventures or an inside joke those can make great personalized gifts. Have fun with it and spread the joy.
While you are spending time thinking of others be sure to take good care of you. You could ask yourself what you need, especially when feling frustrated or overwhelmed. Give yourself the gift of accepting whatever comes up and tending to your needs. Another question I recommend my clients ask themselves is “What would make me happy today?” Enjoy and delight in the simple pleasures of wrapping yourself up with a soft blanket, taking breaks from social media if you need them, enjoying a hot drink and a tasty treat, luxuriate in a warm bath surrounded by candles and your favoirte products, and a good holiday movie is always a great time. For some good laughts I recommend Holidate, it just came out on Netflix.
We are all in this together and everyone here at Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine is wishing you a happy holidays.