Going by the ads and commercials, it is only possibly to have a happy Christmas/Yule if you spend lots and lots of money. Add to that the expectations of children who are in competition with friends about who is getting the best Christmas presents, plus the fact that most of us have had to tighten our belts lately due to the financial crisis, and it all adds up to lots and lots of stress… if we let it!
I’m going to give you seven holistic tips here to help free yourself from the stress and expectations. In addition to prevent you from going overdrawn, these tips will help you align your mind with your spirit. You may have noticed… The media ads are only interested in aligning your mind and actions with the ego because only the ego competes with others. Stress is literally only in the mind. Change the way you think and you will find that peace is 100% possible 100% of the time.
Tip 1 – Redirect your mind to focus on the REAL reason for the season. Whether it is Yule, Christmas or some other religious holiday you are celebrating, the real reason for the Season is NOT commercialism. Write down what the season means to you. Having it in black on white will help you stay on track for a peaceful holiday season and make it impossible for the media programming to ruin it for you. You could even create an affirmation based on these thoughts, such as:
‘I celebrate the King of Peace this Christmas’… or ‘I welcome the return of the Light.’
Tip 2 – Talk to your children (or grandchildren). Ask your children to write down what the holidays mean to them and talk to them about what it means to you. Explain to them that you can’t buy love and that there are lots of ways to give that do not involve money: a smile, a hug, a helping hand, something hand-crafted and upcycled… And the sooner you can help them see that the ads aren’t there to help them with their list for Santa but to make parents spend every last penny, the better. Redirect their focus to giving by getting them involved with donations for your favourite charity. Because the sooner you help your understand that it is more blessed to give than to receive, the sooner we will be able to break the chain of generations that feel ever more entitled than the generation before.
Tip 3 – Give the gift of time. Time is the most precious thing you can give to anyone, including yourself. Visit the elderly. Volunteer… Play that ‘silly’ video game with your kids… Once you begin to view giving in terms of time rather than money, you will realise that you are more abundant than you think you are. And, best of all, the time you give will create memories that transcend the boundaries of the grave.
Tip 4 – Candle magick. Light candles with intent rather than just for the purpose of decorating. Do it when you cook and ask the angels to bless your Christmas meal with love and peace. Do it when you open the presents and ask your children to join in with a blessing for whoever most needs one at the time. Let your children chime in with ideas!
Tip 5 – Recycle. Get your children to help with a clear-out and take the things you no longer use/need to your local charity shop. Give each child a bag each to fill and fill one bag for each room of the house yourself. In addition to encouraging giving, making more space also helps you stay better organised and this in turn will help lower your stress levels.
Tip 6 – Dream interpretation. In Pagan times, winter solstice 21/22 December was the time for prophetic dream interpretation. Make this a fun game for the whole family. Ask your partner and children remember their dreams when they wake up the next morning. Talk about your dreams around the Christmas tree, fire-place or breakfast table the next morning and help each other interpret them.
Tip 7 – Connect with nature. Let Nature Herself tell you what the season is all about. You will probably notice a message of rest, peace and going within… quite contrary to the media message of forced social activity and ridiculous amounts of shopping. If you have a camera, you could take your children out with you and ask them to help you make your own Yule/Christmas cards with real images that reflect the beauty of Mama Nature this time of year. If you do not have a camera, you could go foraging for leaves, pine cones or whatever else you may find and make some festive decorations of your treasures when you get back.