It’s one month today until Christmas Day.
How do you feel when you read that?
Excited? Freaked out? In denial?
Maybe you love Christmas (the most wonderful time of the year!) and have your tree up already?😆🎄
Or perhaps you loathe it and the memories of Christmas past – heartache, family drama, loneliness?😠
However it occurs to you, how about gifting yourself some ease this year?
In the past I’d work up until the last minute, shop last minute, then host Christmas dinner and try to cook the perfect roast with all the trimmings.🤦🏻♀️
These days I approach it in a different way. I think of it as creating the conditions for Christmas to flourish – for me and those around me!🤗
Here’s what that looks like…
It’s easy for it to feel like you have no choice around Christmas – you do the things you always do, and spend it with the people you feel you should spend it with.
Cue Viktor Frankl!
The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. And there were always choices to make.
Viktor E Frankl, Man’s Search For Ultimate Freedom
A few years back, myself and a couple of friends came up with the idea of Conscious Christmas. We gathered for a cuppa and a natter in early November and each shared how we’d really like our Christmas to be. Then we considered what key actions or conversations were needed to make that happen.
I remember what I wanted most was for it to feel simple, spacious and to enjoy the key moments.
Doing this made a big difference!
We visited my folks in Ireland the last weekend in November, did a Thanksgiving style meal and exchanged gifts.
We spent the Sunday before Christmas with my husband’s family and had a full on festive meal, games and exchange of gifts.
On the day itself we took time to enjoy our then little one discovering her stocking, then headed out to do the local ParkRun with a family friend. Home again afterwards and back in to our pyjamas. We spoke with friends & family on the phone, opened our presents, enjoyed a simple roast dinner, watched a movie, and went out for an afternoon walk with coats and wellies on…over pyjamas.
The next day we met up with one of the grandparents at the beach for a walk and hot drinks.
It was wonderful – the kind of simple, spacious, enjoyment I had longed for.
This year things will be a different for us. We’re away on holiday over Christmas itself – a bucket list trip to see the northern Lights in Norway. So exciting!😆
And it also requires some extra logistical planning!
Here are some of the things I’m doing to create ease over this festive period,
1. Family & friends.
I love seeing loved ones over the festive period and I like to spread it out. I want to enjoy the time I do spend with them. Plus I know that I need downtime in between.
I’ve put dates in over the next few weeks to see close girlfriends.
We’re in the midst of sorting out a date for a family gathering with husband’s side of the family.
I’ve blocked out ‘home days’ between Christmas and New year – days to lounge around in pyjamas and watch movies.
I’ve booked a trip to see folks in Ireland in the new year.
2. Cards & gifts
Although we’ve shifted the focus from gifts to getting together with loved ones instead, I do still enjoy giving token gifts at this time of year. And although I’ve reduced the number of cards I send (tree-lover!), I do still like to send to those I don’t see so much of these days -a chance the exchange news with those in far off places.
This weekend I’m going to have dinner with husband and make a list for cards and gifts.
We’ll divide up the gift shopping.
I’ll schedule an evening to write Christmas cards. And schedule time to post them!
3. Lights and decorations.
I love lights and festive greenery!
Next weekend, I’ve kept Saturday free to go walking and collect greenery, and to dress the house.
4. Prep time.
I usually finish work the day before Winter Solstice. This year we’ll be away for that so I’ve scheduled to finish earlier on 16th December – time for holiday packing and wrapping gifts.
Why bother with all this planning? For me it creates freedom to enjoy the festive season.
This weekend, I invite you to make yourself a cuppa, grab your journal and ask yourself,
How would you like your Christmas to be?
What are the most important ingredients in it for you? Is it time alone or with others? Times to rest or time to party? Is it food? Or gifts?
How could you honour that? What choices can you make?
What do you need to put in your diary now to ensure that happens?
What do you need to let go off?
I hope you feel inspired to gift yourself some ease this Christmas.
You’re worth it, dear one.⭐️
Let’s flourish together!
Arlene Francey Lyne
Coach, writer, mama, raving fan of Mother Earth.
Life a work in progress; like a garden, it’s never finished!
Sharing practical inspiration to help you tend to what matters💖
Need a flourish boost?
Get instant access to my FREE list of 10 Easy Ways to Turn Your Day Around when you sign up to my newsletter.
The Flourish Newsletter🌟
Tips, resources and stories from my own life. All designed to help you stay true to yourself, take action, and flourish.
Plus, special announcements and offers only for readers.
It’s weekly, it’s free and you can subscribe here