Create the Christmas of dreams
It is possible to disengage from the chaos and consumerism of Christmas that leaves many feeling disappointed and physically drained, and create more meaningful holiday traditions that focus on generosity, community, and peaceful celebration.
According to Dundas, Ontario-based life coach Katie Geoghegan, who designed a workshop to teach people how to take back the holidays, the first step is to stop saying yes to things that don’t reflect your core values. Like in every other area of life, you have choices when it comes to deciding how you will celebrate the holidays. Spend some time rediscovering your values, advises Geoghegan, explore what truly makes you happy and refuse to be hijacked by marketing campaigns or other people’s expectations.
Rediscover your core values
Here are some exercises Geoghegan uses to help people uncover their core values and subsequently learn to use that knowledge in creating holidays that are meaningful, magical and memorable.
- Recall a peak experience in your life – a time when you were truly happy, fulfilled and in your element. Write down words that best describe that period in your life – these words will act as a guide in getting reacquainted with your values.
- What does the Christmas of your dreams look like? Re-create that mental image in a sketch, painting or other artful expression. This will give you yet another insight into your essential values or the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled.
Honour your values at Christmas
- Then ask yourself: how can these values be honored during the Christmas season? It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong; it’s about finding the formula that works for you and your loved ones.
Introduce a holiday ritual
- Finally, use this special time of the year to introduce a ritual that reflects those values. This can be anything from organizing a cookie exchange with your neighbors, volunteering at a soup kitchen or hostel, sponsoring a needy family in your own community or elsewhere in the world, or simply taking a long nature hike with your family. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.
Don’t get stuck in auto-pilot again this holiday season, enduring the chaos of overspending, overindulging and overextending yourself. Take time to rediscover your core values and then find creative ways to celebrate those values in the spirit of the season. Adopting rituals and celebrations that are personally meaningful will help you rediscover the joy and magic of Christmas.