The holidays have changed immensely for me in the last ten years. I believe it is a combination of moving to different countries, challenging my core beliefs and just growing up. There is less church and less shopping. There is more time with music and experiences. Quite honestly, the joy that I felt as a child I feel just as much today because the expectations I put on myself are few. Some years I make cookies and give them to people. Some years I send Christmas cards. Some years, I do little in terms of gift giving. I realized that just because I had an urge to give one year doesn’t mean that the world expects that I have to do the same thing every year.
The nice thing about dropping some of the things you have always done is that it gives other people permission to do the same. It’s even better when you warn the people in your life that you are backing off, so that they don’t find themselves scrambling to make the eggnog cookies they know you love.
We all want permission to give time rather than things.
As much as we pretend that people expect our behaviour to remain consistent, in truth, a lot of this comes from ourselves. The holidays would still remain in tact if you did less and chose to snuggle more and see the friends that you can be in your pyjamas with rather than the ones that you feel the need to deck the halls for.
I have to admit, I love the Danish concept of hygge – warm cozy socks, hot chocolate, warm fires and blankets. The things we remember from the holidays are togetherness and laughter – not perfection. Plus, we each have the details that matter to us. Food-wise, I need holiday stuffing, while my partner needs twice baked potatoes. The rest is nice, but non-essential.
In honour of respecting what helps you to feel bright, I have put together a little restorative yoga sequence that is designed for anyone who has felt overwhelmed by the pace at the end of the year. Get hygge-fied and as cozy as you possibly can. I look forward to practicing with you in this virtual space.