COVID-19 disrupted our lives and has impacted many aspects of our existence; mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, spiritually, etc. It has changed the way we live; better for some, worse for others.
During the lockdown, when we were unable to participate in our traditional holiday family gatherings, I blogged about making the most out of the hands that we were dealt. One of the things that I shared was using that opportunity to pause and reflect upon whether the way that we were living and the things that we were doing were serving us. If not, I suggested to use that time to create new holiday family traditions. “Post-COVID” as many of us are rebuilding our “new normal”, I encourage you to do so in a similar and mindful way.
On the tail of COVID-19, we were exposed to news of wars, several other viruses, inflation, and more. While we definitely live in this world, we don’t have to be consumed by every single thing that goes on. With the cost of living, groceries, gas, etc. having increased astronomically, there may not be a lot, if any room in the budget for Christmas gifts this year. You may feel like a failure and / or a horrible parent by not being able to provide your children with the bells and whistles. (Hello #MomGuilt) but I’m here to tell you that is completely okay!
As I reflect on my life over the years, more specifically the holidays, the moments and events that stood out to me were the ones where I received less materialistic things and more experiential ones. The times when I was with the people I loved, having hot chocolate huddled around each other, dressed in comfortable pyjamas, wrapped in blankets and telling (funny) stories. While your children may be young and may not be able to appreciate the full depth of this experience now they will one day (speaking from experience). I’ve learned that material things fade, but memories don’t. They last forever and we can access them at any time. It helps to memorialize these moments with photos or videos, but if we can’t or don’t, our memories are the next best thing.
This Christmas, I invite you to redefine what it means to you and create a tradition that you all can look back on for years to come, maybe even something that outlives you; a legacy being passed on for generations to come. Your new tradition may look like a quiet one at home, that consists of milk, cookies, and a Christmas movie marathon in your coziest pyjamas with your (extended) family. Or you can take it outdoors and do a family activity. Or instead of buying your children multiple gifts, you get them one thoughtful gift. Do not feel the pressure to conform to what everyone else is doing or what you did previously because it’s not necessary. Don’t let those pesky thoughts win. You’re not any less than for not buying into whatever the capitalist machine is trying to sell you. There are other ways to enjoy life that don’t involve spending money on material items. Remember what is really important to you and your family. Engage in something meaningful based on your unique family needs.
Mama, this holiday season, breathe easy. Release whatever ideas / traditions / ways of being that are no longer serving you. Remember you can say “no” to whatever is not a “heck yes” for you! You don’t have to say “yes” to hosting the family dinner or planning another party / gathering. You are completely within your right to do so. The past few years have been draining for many of us, if this holiday season, you want to have a low key experience, then do that.
Wishing you and yours a restorative holiday season.
Take deep care of yourself, stay warm, healthy, and be well.