The holidays and especially Christmas is my favourite time of year. But as I’ve gotten older it’s felt busy and hectic and I’ve noticed some of the magic of the season has been slipping away. I’m determined to regain some of the magic this year by making an intentional effort to slow down, minimize my to-do list (and with Covid that’s going t be easy!) and really take in the joy of the season.
Here’s how I’m practicing slow living during the holidays:
Because of Covid this year, the amount of engagements and gatherings happening has been reduced significantly. But regardless it’s my intention in the years moving forward to learn how to say no to events to make time to just be and soak in the holidays.
It all moves by so fast and saying yes to every party and engagement ends up feeling more like a chore or another tick on my to-do list. I’m learning how to prioritize the people and gatherings that are most important and also learning to not feel bad for saying “no” to others.
Another way I’m trying to take it slow this holiday season is with food. I’ve been on quite the journey with my relationship with food that I won’t go into detail here, but I’m learning to enjoy food, and Christmas treats without hating myself for it.
Taking things slow is also being more gentle with myself and not living in constant guilt for enjoying the indulgences of the Christmas season.
But probably the biggest way I’m practicing slow living during the holidays is taking a step back and making room for some festive activities!
Slow living Christmas activities:
Drying oranges just makes it feel like Christmas. I love hanging dried orange slices on the tree, making garlands from them, and tieing them to gifts! To dry orange slices simply cut an orange into thin slices and place them on a baking sheet. Bake them at 200 degrees for 3 hours, turning every half an hour. Then let them dry and decorate your heart out!
Make salt dough ornaments
Salt dough ornaments are another easy way to decorate and get festive. To make these ornaments simply combine 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of salt. Knead until it becomes a dough and then roll out and cut out the shapes you want! Before you bake them made sure to punch a hole in the top to string your ornament.
Bake them at 200 degrees for 2 hours, let cool and then paint and decorate to your heart’s content!
Have a Christmas movie night sans phone
I know we’re all addicted to our phones but having an uninterrupted movie night especially at Christmas just takes me back to my childhood before I had a phone! There’s just something so magical about it. So pour some hot cocoa, get cozy and put in your favourite Christmas flick!
Play board games or do a puzzle
Speaking of phone-free activities, take the time to sit down and do a puzzle or play a board game with your family!
Take a drive to see some Christmas lights
A lot of events are cancelled this year but I’ve been noticing people have been decorating a lot more. Which makes for some scenic views! Pack up your household and take a drive to see some pretty lights.
Make a simmer pot
There’s nothing quite like a simmer pot going to really smell like the season and make your house all warm and cozy.
To make my go-to Christmas simmer pot, combine 1 sliced orange, 1 sliced lemon, 1 tsp whole cloves, and 3 cinnamon sticks in a pot and add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Then just bring to a simmer and niff away! If you’re planning on having your simmer pot going for a few hours you may need to refill the water a few times.
Make gingerbread cookies
Gingerbread cookies are arguably the staple Christmas cookie. You don’t really see them around any other time of the year. That’s what makes them special. And there’s something even more special about taking the time to make and decorate your own gingerbread cookies.
I hope these ideas inspire you to take a step back this holiday season and embrace being slow. I promise you won’t regret it, and hopefully, it’ll spark some of that much needed Christmas magic.
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