As December was approaching, Krista and I spent a number of conversations trying to decide what we wanted Christmas to look like on our blog. We wanted to make sure that our values were represented in how we approached the holiday and what content we published.
While neither of us are official and true minimalists, neither of us live our lives with much excess either. Christmas in the world of the internet is the definition of excess and that isn’t us.
So what is us? What values do we want to share this Christmas?
What it all boiled down to was this:
The idea of taking time for what matters.
In a world of abundance, we want to take time to value the simplicity and space of the season.
Taking time for Ourselves
Krista is a mom to two toddlers and I work in the social services sector serving those in need. Both of our current jobs require a lot from us. To top that off–and I’m sure many can relate–2020 has been a year.
So as that year (was it only a year?!) comes to an end, taking time and space to check in with personal health and well being is important. It’s important to practice self care at any time throughout the year, but especially so during the holiday season where social and familial obligations are higher.
This time of year can become so focused on others that we forget about ourselves to the detriment of our well-being.
Taking time for myself looks like anything from binge-watching my favourite shows to exercising to turning off any Covid-19 related news. Sometimes it is not answering a phone call, ordering take-out so you save time cooking, or taking a five minute break from the chores and chaos of life to sit down.
Whatever the taking time looks like, stepping back from the intensity of the holiday season will allow for more time to discover what time for yourself looks like. It is also a way to re-charge ourselves so that we can pour our hearts into our engagements without hesitation.
Taking time for our Family
Time with those we love is a precious commodity this year. 2020 has highlighted how much we can take for granted with those in our lives. All of a sudden a child’s cold or a coworker’s flu-like symptoms can halt any interaction with those we care about.
Since the pandemic started, I was able to have one visit with my family. It involved a 10-day pre-visit quarantine so I could be confident my 90 year old grandma wouldn’t be put at risk. These extremes–the lack of contact, the distance–they all emphasize how important taking time while we have it is.
For me, on that one visit, it was taking time for photos, which is something I never do. And I now have them printed out so I can cherish them.
Whether it’s weekly phone calls, video chats, or mailing surprise parcels, taking time to appreciate, love, and cherish family is what we are wanting this season to be about.
Taking time for our Finances
Spending money isn’t a horrible thing, but the holiday season seems to fight extra hard for every disposable dollar we have. Not only is there the constant flood of advertising, there is also the pressure to give gifts to others. Whether it’s family, personal, or societal pressure, there can be an expectation to spend money unnecessarily.
Unnecessary spending can not only lead to causing harm to our own finances if not budgeted well, but also to the environment because of an excess of “stuff.”
Taking the time to reflect on how I want to spend my money during this season, helps me to prioritize. It also helps me to put more meaning behind where I spend my money and what I spend it on. I hope that makes the gifts I give even more special because each is chosen with intention.
Stepping Back from the Chaos
Stepping back from the chaos of Christmas isn’t easy. And I may not do it well. But I am going into this December with a set intention to prioritize self-care, loved ones, and giving with care.
Taking time for these things is what matters to me this year.
What are you taking time for this holiday season?