Happy holidays gurus! Currently, screens are everywhere and technology is distracting us and those around us from the joy that living in the present moment can bring, especially around the holidays. It breaks my heart when I go out to dinner and see a family out together and the majority of the family members are completely disengaged with one another and immersed in whatever is happening on their phone or the television screen in the restaurant. I remember the days when families would sit down together and talk (verbally) about their day. In my house, both as a child and when I became a parent, the television was never allowed to be on during dinner. Sometimes we would play games and sometimes we would just vent, but “unplugging” provided the space for us to connect as a family. So even though it may not be feasible for you and your family to “unplug” every meal, maybe this holiday season you can get centered with some old-fashioned fun and quality time that will encourage you and your family members to put down the remote and pick up some holiday cheer.
In my last blog post earlier this month, I talked about Santa Trail, one of the memorable holiday traditions in my family. Another fun thing to do around this time of year is to go seek out those neighborhoods with extravagant Christmas decorations. Instead of watching the TLC special “Crazy Christmas Lights”, brew up some peppermint hot chocolate, load the kids up, and gaze in awe at the hard work individuals put into Christmas light displays, simply to keep the spirit of Christmas alive. It is incredible how moments like these really ground you and can bring you together as a family.
Another fun tradition that my daughter and I used to love is holiday cookie decorating. I know it may sound cliché, but baking cookies really brings in the holiday cheer. Every year my daughter and I would set up a mock cooking show and pretend we were featured on a Food Network holiday special. We would engage with the “audience” and explain what we were doing step by step as if those at home and in the (imaginary) audience were following along with us. Aside from providing a space to unplug and connect interpersonally, baking holiday cookies is also a great, and inexpensive, way to show your friends and family how much they mean to you. You can create these festive gifts by buying red and white cellophane or tissue paper and wrapping up a few homemade cookies and pieces of candy. Then, tie up the cellophane or tissue paper around the cookies with ribbon and top it off with a festive charm or bell tied into the ends of the ribbons. Your friends and family will love the delicious gesture and you will feel more aligned with the traditional holiday spirit.
Holiday markets and events are another fun holiday adventure. Many Shopping Centers will host Christmas events this time of year. Shopping Centers usually feature events that cater to every member of the family, including the pets! Check around your area to see what Christmas events are being hosted near you. Take the family out for some holiday music, crafts, and stock up on those presents for under the tree! And no matter how young, old, or furry you are, get your picture taken with Santa! Yes, that's right there are even Paws ‘n Claus events that feature pet-friendly Santas!
As you can see, there are many ways to reconnect and get centered in all the commotion that the holidays bring. Some of the best ways to get centered involve unplugging and charging in to the holiday spirit by taking part in timeless Christmas traditions! I simply provided some of my ideas and family traditions, but do you have any that really stood out to you as a kid or that you always wish you could implement in your family? If so, now is a great time to establish or re-establish those traditions.
Until next time, stay centered and happy holidays, Gurus!