4 “R’s” to December

1. Reuse, Repurpose, Reduce

The month of December can be a wonderful time of year to get rid of excess or make something new out of something old.

This year, I have been using Christmas cards from years past to create new holiday greeting cards. They feel personal and special.

In a season when advertising messages that push us to buy more are everywhere, it can be wonderfully freeing to use items on hand to make a homemade gift or to clear out a closet and donate the clothes to a shelter. Likewise, kids can be taught to part with old toys to make room for new presents. 

How often do we think that giving means shiny and new?

Plus, children learn a valuable lesson when you demonstrate that a meaningful aspect of giving is parting with things that you currently own so that others can benefit from them. This enables the whole family to feel inevitably more connected to the gift, and hopefully, you’ll wind up with a cleaner, less cluttered home as a result! 

 

2. Release responsibility

I read a magazine article that instructed the reader to write out all the holiday meals he/she intended to cook and then to cut the list in half. The point of the article: We tend to take on more than we can possibly do over the holidays.

Whatever lists you’re making this season, your best bet to staying sane and balanced over the course of the next few weeks is to find ways to cut them down.

Embrace the “less is more” attitude. Figure out ways to use the same ingredients for multiple dishes. Cut out one thing your family plans to do.

When you look back, you will not recall if you baked every pie on your list or attended all the holiday parties or concerts you could squeeze into your schedule. What you’ll remember is how you feel. Stressed and tired or happy and peaceful? You are in control of how much responsibility you are willing to take on and how you will feel as a result.

 

3. Rejoice

Rejoice –  show great joy and delight – in the reason for the season and what you value most about this time of year.

Treasure special moments with loved ones. Spend your time doing what most comforts you and brings you happiness.

It sounds rather simple. However, the joy of the season can feel increasing lost in the stuff.

Often, whenever we plan for the month, we are jotting down what has to be done- gifts that have to be bought, office parties we are expected to make, or work that has to be accomplished before taking off.

How would you fill a list that is less about obligations? If you made a joy list, what would be on it? How can you connect with the “things” that will make you feel most delighted and alive this holiday season?

 

4. Recharge

When we get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays, one of the first things to go out the window is self-care.

We think there is no time to pause and recharge. Do we not have that backwards? After all, the more we recharge, the more energy we have to do the things that we need or want to do.

Maybe the greatest gift that you can give to yourself and your loved ones this month is to take time for rejuvenation so that you are more pleasant and enjoyable to be around.

Commit to taking daily walks or decide that going to the gym is non-negotiable. Another idea is to plan a silent retreat. The good news? You do not have to go anywhere. This could simply be a few moments of quiet or an afternoon devoted to doing nothing.

While scheduling a massage or an acupuncture visit would be nice if funds allow, it is not necessary. You can focus on breathing, meditating, scheduling quite time for your family, spending more time outside rather than in shopping malls, and finding other ways to connect with your spirit.

It’s time you decided to enjoy the holidays rather than carry that frazzled, worn-out feeling that typically accompanies this month into January!

Cheers to peace, joy, and much less stuff!

 

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Dear Reader,

Fill your life with what matters, and you will find that you have no room left for what doesn’t. Release the weight of too many things and feel the enormous relief that follows. Take care of yourself, and you will experience a more balanced, calm existence.

This season, we can choose to focus on all that is most important. That choice is yours.

 

All the best,

Jennifer