Christmas or December can be a hectic time of the year, but I always believe that we can have a slow Christmas. It is the end of the year and you often feel in a rush to get things done and to prepare for the festive season. This year however, besides end of the year, also marks the end of a decade. Wow, when it is put in that context, it sounds really heavy. It certainly makes me feel like reflecting on the past decade of my achievements and my life in general. How about you?
The season of Christmas to me has always been a season of celebration, getting together and spending time with family. It is the same way I celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY) and Diwali with my family. The difference with CNY and Diwali is perhaps the buying and giving of presents. I’m guessing this is sometimes the most stressful part of it but then it is rewarding to see family and/or children’s faces when they open their gifts. It’s priceless.
Having a feast and celebrating with lots of joy and laughter is what I like about this season or any festival for that matter. Quite often, the preparation leading to the actual day is what keeps us busy and overwhelmed but it does not have to be. Every year I tell myself that I want to have a less hectic Christmas, I hate being a last minute shopper as I don’t like to shop when it is crowded. So, I always try my best to do my shopping early or online (to avoid the crowd). It does not always work but recently and in addition to embracing slow living, I became more aware of the time I have and learned to slow down even during festivity season. So, I thought of sharing some ways of slowing down to enjoy this Christmas season and hopefully it will help in reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed.
1. Family Tradition
Family tradition is a great way to bring the family together during festive season. If you don’t have one yet, it is the perfect time to create your own family tradition. Ours is making the gingerbread house and baking gingerbread man. My daughters love the decorating part of it and we always have fun building this up every year. If we are short of time, we sometimes get the IKEA gingerbread house and build that up and do our own decorations. Even though it is store bought, it tastes nice and my husband and children love it. Decorating the Xmas tree is another thing we like to do together, my children get very excited to put those baubles on the tree and the youngest in the family always gets to put the final star on top of the tree.
2. Watch your Favourite Christmas Movies
This is one of my favourite activities to usher in Christmas season at home. I recently asked on Instagram about everyone’s favourite Christmas movies and there were tonnes of recommendations from my community under my post. I’m so glad to see that everyone has their favourites and there were quite a lot of timeless movies. Christmas movies tend to either bring back childhood memories or it just makes us feel good. It is also a nice way to introduce movies that you have enjoyed as a child to your children now. So, pop the popcorn and get cosy on the couch and watch all your favourites with your family.
3. Act of Kindness
There’s this saying that I hear a lot around this time of the year “This is the season of giving”. I guess that it is because of the festive feeling and gifting of presents that makes giving around this time of the year special. So, donating to charities, or even helping out at charities is a wonderful thing to do now or even all year round. For some reason, it feels special to make people’s day better during the festive season.
“A true act of goodwill always sparks another.”Klaus from the movie Klaus
I recently watched a new Netflix animated movie called “Klaus”. I love this quote by the character Klaus “A true act of goodwill always sparks another.” and I was truly moved by this and I also believe in this quote. When giving we should not expect anything in return, we give with love and kindness from the bottom of our heart. True enough, if we go around making donations or spreading kindness, it will start to spread everywhere. I definitely believe it will. If you haven’t watched this movie, I highly encourage you to watch it. You’ll enjoy it. When I make donations or do volunteer work, it helps me to feel gratitude for what I have, naturally slowing down during this festive season. When parents display acts of kindness children will follow after, it is a great way to encourage and teach children about kindness as well as being grateful. This can also be a part of your family tradition.
4. Crafting or DIY
The holiday season is so commercialized that you can literally get anything easily like decorations and ready made food. However, the trend of making your own seasonal décor or food never fades. Besides, what I noticed is that the trend of having natural, neutral, minimalist decorations is as popular now as ever and it keeps spreading. Crafting like making your own decorations like wreathes, ornaments or baking along with your family especially children is a sure fun way to slow down and get into the festive mood. When you make something with your hands, it helps you to naturally slow down and feel an immense satisfaction and joy with your work. That’s what I felt when I made my first Christmas wreath this year. Your creativity is your oyster and you’ll be amaze how creative your children are or how you or they come up with brilliant ideas. In addition, you can also get on Pinterest to get inspired.
5. Enjoy Every Moment
Food is definitely a big thing during festivity. My parents always prepare wonderful festive food during big festivity celebration, as it is a lot of work, we all help out with different tasks at hand. They would invite friends and relatives over to enjoy and there’s a wonderful joy in the air and feeling of gratitude. I guess it was my parent’s way of treating their friends and relatives. So, eat and enjoy every bite keeping moderation in mind of course when indulging on those lovely sweets.
Sing songs if that’s what your family like to do, or simply enjoy the company of family and friends. Play games like board games or guessing game where everyone can join in. I’m an introvert so socialising can exhaust me completely so I set boundaries on how much socializing I would do. After that, it is good to get myself some quiet time to tuck away into a book and enjoy the holiday quietness.
Amidst the busyness of Christmas, I actually find that Christmas time is really a great way to slow down. It is always quieter in the office as lots of people go on holiday, the streets are quieter and there’s no morning rush to school. I hope my tips in this post will help you to slow down this season as I’m all about slowing down. I wish you and your family a fantastic Christmas and holiday! 🙂
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