Enjoying the season

I don’t know about you, but every year when the gift-giving season approaches, I think to myself, “How am I going to cut back on my expenses? I know: I am going to put a lot of thought into gift-giving, and I am going to enjoy the season.”

Then, as it approaches, I think of more people I want to buy something for. I grab the latest and greatest thing I can find, spend too much and don’t put a ton of thought into it.

I am in a hurry to get my shopping done so I can move on to the baking, then the wrapping, then the planning on where we are going to go and when to visit whom. Before I know it, the season is over, and I never enjoyed any of it — not to mention my credit card bill will be huge come January.

I occasionally go into the season thinking, “I am not going to buy for so many people this year. I will keep it super simple and just get gifts for kids.” Then, I feel sad because I have so many special people in my life that I want to give something to, but it just seems overwhelming to buy something for them all. Do they feel like they have to buy something for me, too? That is not what my intention is. I want to show people they mean something too me in a way that doesn’t put pressure on either one of us — just a nice gesture to say, “You are special, and I think a lot of you during the year. Thanks for all you do.”

Instead, I am too busy rushing around to even think about anything but rushing around.

What if we stopped all of the madness and the pressure we put on ourselves and others this holiday season? What if we took this holiday season in with more intent? What if we slowed down and really enjoyed this season for what it is? What if it didn’t have to be perfect? What if we started to say “no” to events, gatherings or obligations that didn’t really serve us? What if we started to say “yes” to those places and people we really want to spend time with? What if we took the pressure off of ourselves that our cookies do not all have to be homemade our dish to pass doesn’t have to look straight out of a Pinterest post and our gift giving does not have to cost us our January income?

Can I give you some advice? Slow down. Where are you going anyway? So what if you’re late? Then what? What would happen if it didn’t get done? What if it was not perfect? What would happen if you didn’t show up?

Think about your life for a minute. Are you enjoying it all, or are you hurrying up to get to the next thing? Are you taking it all in right now, or are you just waiting for next week, next month or next year? Are you waiting for some major life-changing event to happen for you to live your best life, or are you living your best life right now? Are you living, or are you just going with the motions?

Stop and take it all in this season. Be selective about who and what you let in. Be picky about what events you attend and who you choose to spend time with. Are they lifting you? Is this serving you? Or is it something you believe you have to do?

Your life is what you are doing right now, not what you are going to do or want to do. Your life is not when and what “they” say you can do. Your life is what you say you can do.

You are worth being selective and slowing down this holiday season. Your family is worth your presence in their lives, now more than ever. You want to change the world and live your best life? Go home and love your family. Your family does not have to be blood, but go love on the people who matter most in this world to you. If you have enough left, you can select whatever else you want to add into your precious mind, body and soul.

Live with intent and purpose to those who matter the most this holiday season, and this surely will be your best one yet.

These homemade gifts are great because they all have the same purpose: Stop and take it in.

The bird feeders are a great way to get others to enjoy nature. The salts are an amazing way to make your spa day at home. The shower melts are a way for your loved one to wake up rejuvenated in the morning and feeling like they are in a steam room with the eucalyptus oils. The face wash is a great natural make up remover.

I love that these gifts have heart to them and can make your loved one feel good and think of you when they do. These gifts are intentional and show the amount of thought you put into them. No, they are not the most expensive gift or the latest trend. But they come from your spirit, set out to lift theirs.

Addie Graffin is a freelance columnist and blogger based in Platteville, Wis. Read more at www.HealthyHairdresserAddie.com.

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