Enjoy the simple things - I haven't decorated a Christmas tree since I was a child, but I plan to this year! Image courtesy of Pexel photos.
Some Christmas Thoughts
As Christmas draws near again, I am again in the state of flurry and excitement, but with a sense that each year seems to rush past even more rapidly than the one before. The prior years seem to melt into this one as memories seem to be of the routine and mundane, which seems to speed everything up. However, I am reminded of more special personal meaning which signify some deeper within me that is evolving, and though may not slow things down, remind me of what is important and what I would like to see grow in the New Year.
I would like to share some thoughts to ponder over this Christmas season and as we enter yet another year.
1. Simplify . There’s a lot of invitations, events, advertising.. There can be a lot of pressure to purchase gifts, arrange dinners, attend parties and the like. Are these meaningful to you? Writing down what and who you’d like to spend money on can help simplify things and lower stress.
2. What makes Christmas meaningful for you? Is it family – your partner, children, parents? Is it time to recharge your batteries and perhaps just be with a friend or even your pet? Is there a spiritual reason for being positive and finding meaning? Will it be a time for new personal changes – a new direction, stopping habits or ending relationships which were harmful?
3. Take time to write what you were grateful for this year. Being grateful can lower anxiety, bitterness, improve relationships and prime you to be receptive for positive event in the future.
4. Evaluate the year for you personally – what was positive, and what would you like to change? What personal growth would you like to see in the New Year? It sounds trite, but what are you goals, your resolutions. Make sure these are “SMART goals” – be Specific about what it is you’d like to achieve -what, when – invest in the details. Measurable – how will you know when you’ve reached your goal? Achievable - do you have the personal resources, in terms of money, time, skills you may need to learn. By making your New Year’s Goals achievable, you are increasing your chances of success and giving yourself a sense of achievement. This will be important to put you in a right frame of mind to make new goals. Are your Goals. Are your goals Relevant -do they make sense in terms of what your personal values are at this time. Finally, you need to make your goals Time-Bound – putting a time-frame around when you would like to achieve your goal keeps you motivated and accountable to yourself.
5. Stay safe. Remember this is a frenetic time of year – the increased rush, stress and prevalence of drink driving mean you need to take extra care on the roads to protect you and your loved ones. Do you really need to drive? If so, take frequent breaks, travel at a time when the traffic is less and not as fast – if you plan on drinking, always make sure you have a sober person who can take the wheel.
6. Forgive. This is not always realistic, but if you can, where you can, at least try to lower levels of resentment and anger. I have actually found that forgiveness makes me feel better.
7. Be optimistic. There is a new year around the corner..new possibilities, decide that 2018 will be the year where you will be the best version of yourself, expecting the best from yourself and others. Priming yourself to think this way can help put out a new energy and make you receptive to receive better things!
8. Slow down, take time for you. Eat well, sleep well, lower your expectations of yourself. Buy yourself a Christmas present. This may sound so self-absorbed but actually, when you are kind to yourself it’s then you are in a position to be able to give the best of yourself to others.
9. Decorate a Christmas tree Especially when done with another, this can imbue even the most mundane of Christmases with a special feeling even Scrooge couldn't deny! Alternatively, take time to drive around to see decorations. There are some places that are so magnificently decorated that I find myself open mouthed for several minutes, taking in the magic as if I were a child again!
10. Listen to Christmas carols. There is something about them - they can leave me with a sense of inner peace and meaning that changes my entire Christmas spirit to one that's more positive..
Wishing Self Avenue readers and writers a safe, blessed and magical Christmas and New Year.