The following are my top 9 tips for enjoying an intentional holiday season. The holidays are what we make of them. On the one hand, we can eat and drink to excess, spend too much money, and wake up on New Year’s Day with an expanded waistline and a depleted bank account. Not an empowering feeling!
OR, with a little intention and planning, it can be a beautiful, loving, nourishing, peaceful, and comforting time of the year.
9 Tips for Enjoying an Intentional Holiday Season.
1. Choose and Prioritize:
- Choose what you’re going to participate in with enjoyment, meaning, and intention. Yes, we want to be all things to all people, but for a happy and intentional holiday season, that is simply not an option. Much better to choose what’s important to you, participate fully, and leave the rest.
- Choose, plan, and organize your holiday menu well in advance. Check out healthy recipes to keep you fully nourished. For inspiration take a look at these recipes.
- Prioritize self-care to avoid a meltdown during the busy holiday season. Honestly, sometimes it’s helpful to put it on the calendar. A long soak in a bubble bath, followed by an early night with some lavender essential oil on your pillow can go a long way toward recharging your batteries. Here’s how to create the ultimate bubble bath experience!
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2. Reflect on Values:
- Consider what Christmas truly means to you and your loved ones. Think back to your childhood, what was magical? What wasn’t? What traditions are important enough to pass along to the next generation?
- What aspects of the holiday season bring you joy and fulfillment? Is it gift-giving, decoration, entertaining, volunteering, spending quality time with friends and family, the food, or simply having a few days off the daily grind? Be honest with yourself and allow yourself to “feel” what brings you contentment and joy.
3. Mindful Gift-Giving:
- Prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to gifts. Nobody needs more “stuff” just for the sake of it.
- Make a list and stick to it!
- Be mindful of the environmental impact of your holiday gifts.
- Consider giving experiences or homemade gifts that have personal meaning. For inspiration, check out this post from House Beautiful.
- Support local businesses. Think of all aspects of the Holidays, from linens, flowers, food, decorations, and gifts. Try a store you’ve never been in before, you might get a lovely surprise! Get to know your local shopkeepers. Having a chat and a laugh whilst buying a gift is so much more fun than online shopping.
- Choose gifts that align with the recipient’s values and make them special. Gifts, I believe should be something the recipient will love, but couldn’t really justify buying for themselves. In other words, not necessarily something they need!
4. Simplify Decorations:
- Consider creating handmade decorations or repurposing items you already have. If you love to craft, or you have kids, this can be such a lovely activity. Put on your holiday playlist and let your creativity soar. I played around with a flower arrangement for the mantlepiece this year. Although I’m not a particularly gifted florist, it gave me a lot of pleasure to create and we’ve been enjoying it every day since.
- Look to nature for inspiration. ? What can you forage? I love placing pinecones as decorations on the Christmas tree. How about dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, sprigs of evergreens, or some holly with its bright red berries? Here is a lovely post from The Spruce to give you some inspiration.
- Focus on meaningful decorations that hold sentimental value. It’s fun to build a family collection, adding something special every year.
5. Quality Time:
- Prioritize spending time with loved ones and if you’re a person who needs “ME” time, set your boundaries!
- Plan activities that create connections and create lasting memories. There are endless possibilities with game nights, storytelling, outdoor fun – especially if there’s snow involved, a trip to a show etc, etc
- Volunteering or participating in charitable activities around the Holiday Season can be a great experience as a family.
6. Mindful Consumption:
- Reduce waste by using sustainable materials and recycling. Wrapping your gifts in recycled paper is a great idea. There are many eco-friendly wrapping papers available. For inspiration, here’s a lovely post from the Woodlark blog.
- Choose locally sourced and organic foods for holiday meals. If you’re fortunate enough to have a Farmer’s Market nearby they’ll be sure to have wonderful fresh ingredients, handmade pies, tarts, cookies, and cakes.
7. Create Traditions:
- Create meaningful traditions that bring joy and foster a sense of togetherness. Think back to your childhood and keep the magic alive. How about a Tree Decorating Party?
- Consider starting new traditions that align with your values and interests.
- Focus on experiences that create lasting memories for your family. Ideas may include: creating your unique family playlist, Christmas movie night, holiday baking, a sleepover by the Christmas tree, and leaving a snack and thank you card for Santa on Christmas Eve.
8. Practice Gratitude:
- Take time to reflect on the things you are grateful for during the holiday season.
- Encourage your family to express gratitude and appreciation for one another.
- Consider keeping a gratitude journal throughout the holiday season.
9. Create a Peaceful and Relaxing Home:
Peace and Music!
- A peaceful and relaxing home is a gift in itself. Getting organized, eliminating clutter, and stocking the fridge and pantry is a must.
- Create a holiday playlist, light the fire, put a few cozy throws on the sofa, soften the lighting, fill vases of fresh flowers, and light the candles.
- Natural Elements:
- Bring in natural elements like plants, flowers, or a small indoor garden. Plants not only add a touch of nature but also contribute to better air quality.
- Consider using natural materials such as wood and stone in your decor.
- Soft Lighting:
- Use soft, ambient lighting to create a cozy atmosphere. Consider floor lamps, table lamps, or string lights for a warm and inviting glow.
- Opt for dimmer switches to adjust the brightness according to your mood.
- Neutral Colors:
- Choose a calming color palette with neutral tones like soft blues, greens, grays, or earthy tones. These colors can promote a tranquil environment.
- Introduce pops of soothing colors through accent decor.
- Comfortable Furniture:
- Invest in comfortable and cozy furniture. Soft cushions, throws, and blankets can add warmth and comfort to your space.
- Arrange furniture in a way that encourages relaxation and conversation.
- Personalized Touches:
- Display meaningful items, photographs, or artwork that evoke positive emotions and memories.
- Incorporate personal touches to make your home feel uniquely yours.
- Use scents to create a relaxing atmosphere. Consider using essential oils, scented candles, or incense.
- Choose scents like lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus, known for their calming properties.
- Comfortable Bedding:
- Invest in comfortable and high-quality bedding to enhance the comfort of your bedroom.
- Arrange pillows and cushions to create a welcoming and cozy bed.
- Quiet Spaces:
- Designate quiet areas for relaxation, meditation, or reading. Create a comfortable nook with a comfortable chair or cushions.
- Consider adding a small water feature for a soothing sound element.
- Soft Textures:
- Incorporate soft textures through rugs, curtains, and upholstery. These can add a tactile and comforting feel to your home.
- Opt for materials like cotton, wool, or plush fabrics.
- Music and Sounds:
- Play soft and calming music or nature sounds to create a serene ambiance.
- Invest in a good sound system or use calming apps for background noise.
- Mindful Spaces:
- Create spaces for mindfulness activities like yoga or meditation.
- Use natural light and soft colors to enhance the tranquility of these areas.