This past weekend, I visited my Parents for a few days. I had a lovely Thanksgiving Day “feast” with extended family and spent some time catching up, relaxing, and . . . yes, a bit of shopping. I also found myself doing some thinking about the holiday season in general and what I’d like the next month of my life to look like.
Here, I have to admit my temptation to get sucked into every single possible event, decoration, craft, movie, recipe, sale, and display the Christmas season can offer – more and more. Glitter on EVERYTHING!
I’m not saying there’s anything specifically wrong with a whole lot of Christmas merriment, but I do know that my heart is craving something different this year, and I’m having to really wrestle to listen to that craving and make different choices.
I think it’s a real exercise in creativity to ask myself how I can slide past some of the things that tend to lure my attention, finances, or spirit and tap into an experience of the holidays that’s more grounded in a few key personal values. I’m asking myself some specific questions, so I thought I’d share them with you in case you’d like to ask them too.
Note: I celebrate Christmas, but I think most of these could apply to other holiday traditions.
10(ish) Creative Questions to Ask Yourself This Holiday Season:
- Am I doing something because I feel it will bring happiness, or just because “It’s what we do”? Will I have regrets (or hurt anyone) if I let certain things go?
- Am I purchasing something because I think it’s worth it and useful to me or a loved one, or just because “It’s on sale” or “It’s shiny”?
- Am I eating something because it will nurture my body or is a special/occasional treat, or am I grazing mindlessly on the seemingly endless array of cookies, cakes, and candies, pushing down stress and storing up discouragement?
- Am I filling my time up with things that just entertain me, or am I making time to build memories and feed relationships for the future?
- Am I giving gifts out of a truly generous spirit, or are my attitudes in any way reflecting pride or selfishness?
- What do I really feel when I’m in a crowded, loud retail environment at the holidays? Is it excitement, fun, festivity and glee . . . or over-stimulation, frustration, disconnection or despair? Will I take the time to actually self-check?
- When I reflect on this season come January, what will I be most glad to remember about it? What would I most wish I had done differently?
- What can I do (that I may never have done before) that would change my holiday experience for the better?
- Is there anything my heart is nudging me to do or try this season that I find myself afraid to embrace? If so, why? Will I push past the fear and demonstrate my courage?
- Do I actually believe that God came to earth in the form of a human baby named Jesus? If I do, how should it shape my choices or my joy this month?
If you ask yourself any of these questions and find that the answers improve your holiday experience in any way, I’d love to hear about it . . . would you post a comment & let me know?
I’d like to leave you with a short video I watched this week that shows some young men being “selfish” in a fun, creative way:
Wishing you a lovely holiday season that really feels like the most wonderful time of the year.
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