How are you feeling now….after the Christmas rush? Are you feeling satisfied, at peace, happy with the way your holidays unfolded? Are you feeling sad that it’s over, guilty that you spent so much money, disappointed with the way it turned out? Or are you exhausted?
How do you feel about the commercialism that Christmas has become? It isn’t new, it increases every year. Now there is Halloween stuff on one isle and Christmas stuff on the other. It’s all about consumerism. We get so stressed out over making sure that we buy enough stuff for everybody. What to do if someone gives us something and we don’t have a gift in return? Are we spending as much as the other person spent on us?
Somewhere in the final days of the Christmas season, I hit a wall. I felt dizzy with my to do list, the hectic, frenzied shopping, the insane traffic, who I still had to shop for and how much I should spend. Every-day-life didn’t stop, I still had to work, call the cell-phone company, go grocery shopping, get the brakes fixed, etc. My mind was all over the place, just not present. God knows how I got from one place to the next with my thoughts playing this crazy game of chase.
So I stopped!
I literally stopped doing anything, sat down and meditated. It was not an easy thing to just sit and get quiet in the chaos. But on the other hand I couldn’t add one more thing to my plate either. The anxiety and stress were making me sick. I couldn’t participate with the craziness anymore. I wanted to enjoy the season! I wanted to experience the moments.
I didn’t want to be a victim of consumerism and the resulting frenzy.
Some things were easy to change, like remembering to breathe and staying calm, smiling at others, becoming a nicer driver….letting people in, not getting upset when I got cut off, and driving a little slower. I cut back on the gifts I chose for only the immediate family. I didn’t send any Christmas cards; I sent facebook messages or emails instead. I chose to bake cookies and plan a nice dinner. Grocery shopping became calmer and more focused.
It was wonderful, as if time obeyed my command and slowed down.
What hurt was that I couldn’t get gifts to my daughter on time. She lives on the other side of the country and I was too late. I felt stuck and confused about how to approach the topic with her. So I was amazed when we resolved this with lots of love on the phone. (I sent the presents late and some money via paypal).
I can say this Christmas season was wonderful! We enjoyed the food and the cookies (I shared with others); we appreciated each and every gift, my family and I loved our time together and all without stress. The miracle was that we even resolved some family issues that normally cause pain and anxiety.
How do you want your Christmas to be next year? It is your choice! You are in charge; make it as crazy or enjoyable as you want. As a matter of fact, this applies to everything in your life. You can start right now!