Many people feel that Xmas has become over-commercialized and that we have lost sight of the things that make it special, such as spending time with friends, family and loved ones, celebrating, resting and showing compassion and generosity.
Showing generosity is also important to us at Xmas - but you dont need to buy people lots of stuff to do this! For example, we could be generous in the amount of time, effort, attention, affection or many other things we could give them. This could involve visiting someone, making a phone call, helping out with the chores, making gifts or many other things.
In the midst of all the pressure and stress of Xmas it can be difficult for us to remember the things that really matter to us at Xmas and the steps we can take to build more of them into the festive period. We simply need to remember that we are in control of our lives and can create the Xmas we want - we do not have to endure the commercialized and rushed version of Xmas that seems to be the modern norm! Below are some brief ideas on how we can get the Xmas we really want.
It may involve going out of your way to do an unselfish act for someone else, to admit a share of the blame for an argument (even when you feel you were right) or putting yourself in an awkward position for a moment in order to raise a sensitive issue. Challenge yourself to find the courage to do it where, in your heart of hearts, you think it is needed.Many of these steps to simplify and take control of our Xmases support another important point - the need to live sustainably. Xmas can be a time of enormous waste and environmental impact, and this is often driven by our thirst for more material goods and our supply systems importing food, gifts and other goods from around the world. By seeking a more meaningful and relaxed Xmas, we may find ourselves consuming less and living more sustainably - for example, by making presents, decorations and some Xmas food rather than buying imported products that have high Xmas miles.
One important aspect of Xmas for many of us is spending time with other people, and there are many things we can do to get the most out of this, including inviting neighbours round for a drink, watching less TV and showing hospitality to friends who dont have anything arranged for Xmas. We can also give ourselves the chance to have a more restful Xmas by prioritising our time, only doing essential Xmas tasks and asking other people to help us with those tasks we have to do.