Christmas is a time that brings out the best and worse in people. Originally a Pagan holiday, it was adapted to become a Christian one. It is safe to say that Christmas has become an atheist festival and something people can celebrate regardless of these backgrounds.
Christmas gives us something to look forward to when the days get short and the nights get long. I want it to bring joy into your life, regardless of who you are or what you believe. Inspired by Charles Dicken’s classic tale, The Christmas Carol, I want to introduce you to three things you can do this year to spice up your Christmas.
Do something old
We were all kids once; let’s channel our inner child and bring back something old. Some habits we’ve worked hard to eliminate because they were unsustainable. Those can stay away; bring back are the ones you used to cherish but forgot about.
Growing up in Canada, I cherished snow and legos. Those two things have one crucial thing in common: creation. You can create infinite things with snow and legos; all you need is the idea.
Many of the things we did when we were young engaged our creativity, an aspect of our personality that often lays dormant in the day-to-day life of an adult. When was the last time you did something creative?
Too often, we stifle creativity in place of order. Our current school systems were designed to prepare people for life in a factory. This factory lifestyle is no longer the reality that awaits us when we finish school. We now need creativity to thrive.
This Christmas, look back at what creative activity you enjoyed and bring it back into your life. If you want to take things to the next level, share this activity with an old friend.
Release the inner child you have restrained all these years and allow yourself some fun. We often get so caught up in seeking pleasures or how being productive that we forget to have fun. Bring back some fun into your life and practice aimlessness.
Enjoy the now
I recently learned of the Japanese concept of Ichi-go Ichi-e (一期一会) while reading The Art of Gathering. This concept, which roughly translates to “one meeting-one time,” speaks of the uniqueness of a meeting.
No two meetings are the same. Even if you were to meet the same person, at the same time, in the same place, those two meetings would be distinct.
Let’s bring this back to highly traditionalized Christmas. Every home has Christmas traditions; these are the things we grow to expect when the time of year comes around.
While some may see the same people in the same place eating the same food every year, each year is unique. That is the time to appreciate what makes this year memorable. Be present during the festivities and, most importantly, be curious.
Curiosity is a discipline we must train. In meditation speak, this is called: “beginners mind.” Having a beginner’s mind means being able to look at the situation as a new experience. This year, look at your traditions as if they were all new to you.
This will allow you to appreciate the traditions you most look forward to and be more present. Being present has the added benefit of improving your recollection of the event. Slow down time by paying close attention and enjoy the wonderful time you spend with those around you.
Do something new
The holidays would only be complete with something new. After all, variety is the spice of life. As I said, I am Canadian, and we are all about the gifts on Christmas morning. The gift I ever received was a language.
Specifically, Rosetta Stone for Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish because I lost my reason to learn it before I could hold even a basic conversation. Still, my parents introduced me to the Rosetta Stone software, which I later used to learn German, a language I do now speak.
Furthermore, that gift introduced me to the world of language learning, something I am now passionate about and happy to coach you on if you want to learn a language. Sign up for my newsletter below for a free introductory session.
For me, it was a language; you will likely want to learn something else. This Christmas is the perfect time to start that new hobby you have always wanted to try. Let’s encourage each other to learn and grow this holiday season. Only after inspiring ourselves can we hope to inspire others.
Christmas time is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Remember that giving feels good, and enjoy the holiday season. Next year is coming, with it, endless opportunities to be your best self.
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