Mindful Holiday Traditions
I wanted to write a post highlighting different ways we can have a more mindful holiday season. But then I googled Mindful Holidays and discovered this topic has been thoroughly covered on the web! Which is awesome! I mean, that goes to show that we, as a society are finally getting it. We are working towards a shift. A shift in how we approach things. From everyday life to the holidays. We are becoming more mindful and I love it!
So, by now, we know we should be “giving the gift of presence rather than presents” (how many times have you read that one???). We know we should be focused on the love and joy of the holidays. We know we should be cherishing our blessing and giving back.
But the question is, how?
So, I bring to you, 10 Mindful Holiday Traditions to start with your family! My son will be just 9 months this Christmas. So the beautiful thing is, we get to start one (or many) traditions that he will get to enjoy throughout his whole childhood! Which made me think, what traditions will mean the most? What traditions will reflect who I want us to be as a family? What traditions will ensure we are mindful (ie: present, loving, grateful)? Below is the list of the mindful holiday traditions I came up with!
1. D.I.Y. Gift Exchange
You can draw names or do this for each person in your family. Give each person a small budget to purchase supplies! And get creative! Make each other gifts from the heart. Gifts that were hand-crafted with time, love and patience. A quick google search will give you oodles of ideas! Some of my favorites are this handmade Snakes & Ladders game or some DIY Jewelry kids can make!
2. Sing Your Way Through Town!
You can let everyone choose their favorite Christmas song and plan a Christmas caroling tour! You can even take it to the next level and hold practices for a few days or weeks prior to Christmas! Rather than going in your neighborhood a meaningful alternative is to go to a Seniors home. I can’t think of a group of people that would be more grateful.
3. Bring Some Love to Some Fur-babies
Pick up some pet food (don’t forget some treats) and head over to your local animal shelter. I’m sure they would appreciate the donations. I’m also sure the cats and dogs deserve some holiday love just as much as the rest of us! Spend some time at the shelter, playing with the kittens or walking the dogs (and giving lots of hugs and kisses of course!)
4. Ditch the Chocolates and Opt for a Book Advent Calendar
I got this idea from a friend! She has collected Christmas books and every December they read one story a day, counting down to Christmas day! You don’t have to head out and buy 24 books all at once. Start saving them now and continue adding to the collection as your children grow up. Maybe the first year you only have 5 books so your countdown is only 5 days. Each year, add to it! Oh and PS, I was only joking about ditching the chocolates. Obviously, you should do both. Because what is Christmas without chocolate?!
5. Christmas Pajama Party!
Every year pull out your families favorite Christmas movie. And yes, I said pull it out, not stream it online. There’s just something special about digging up an old movie and throwing it in the dvd or vcr player! Get everyone in their pajamas, curl up under some blankets and make some hot chocolate. You can even take it to the next level and create a hot chocolate bar with chocolate shavings, candy canes, marshmallows, whip cream etc!
6. Have Some Friendly Competition
Bundle the whole family up and head on out to the ice rink. I’m willing to bet there aren’t many people out on Christmas morning. You may even have the rink to yourselves! Bring grandma and grandpa, even if that means they are referee and scorekeeper! Getting out and getting active is a fun and joyful way to spend Christmas morning. Take it to the next level by getting jerseys (or making jerseys) for the whole family!
7. Hit The Slopes
And by slopes, I actually mean toboggan hill!
8. Spread the Love to Those in Need
Take the family and volunteer at a soup kitchen. This is a beautiful way to teach your kids the importance of gratitude, love and giving back. Which is really what Christmas is all about isn’t it?
9. Christmas Shopping with a Twist
Take your family shopping and have each person purchase a toy to donate for the Christmas season. Have your kids wrap the gifts and create a handmade Christmas card. Drop it off at your local shelter or even at a newcomers center in town. An alternative to this is to have your children help you buy items to pack into an Operation Christmas Child box.
10. Go on a Twinkle Tour!
Pack into the car. Put on some Christmas tunes. Bring along some hot chocolate. And drive around town, taking in the Christmas lights. Search for your favorite house of the year. You can even have the kids drop a cute little “award” in their mailbox as the winner. Some cities even have parks you can walk through to look at the lights!
Please share with me any mindful holiday traditions your family shares! And together we can create a shift in the way we celebrate the holidays and the way we live life. Mindfully, gratefully, lovingly and present!
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