This holiday season is certainly going to be very different than any of us have experienced before.  I won’t be going to the usual parties and events. But I’m a lemons into lemonade kind of girl, so I have been thinking about how this holiday season can be as special as years past, if drastically different.

Prepare Your Mindset

So even if this holiday I don’t have to plan the work party or assemble gifts for such a wide circle, I know that it will still come with stress triggers.  And I know that if I am prepared, and conscious enough to become aware of stress at the first signs, I can make this season as stress free as possible.  

From Disappointment to Gratitude

One of the feelings I know will pop up for me this season is disappointment. I will feel disappointed when I am not able to take my kids to our traditional Holiday events, like tree lightings, Santa visits, parades. So having a disappointment strategy is important for me. 

 I use a 3-step process for this:

  1. Allow myself to feel the feeling without judgement.
  2. Get curious and honest about it.  What is really causing this disappointment? Am I buying into any false beliefs, like that my kids can’t have as much fun having our own intimate party?
  3. Feel gratitude and find the silver lining.  I like to list the things that I DO have.  For example, “I’m so thankful I have this group of friends to have Zoom drinks with,” instead of “I’m so disappointed we can’t have our traditional Christmas party.”

Also, very important, remind yourself that this is temporary and be kind to yourself.

Build Your Faith Foundation

Another feeling I know I will tackle is fear.  This is a time when many people are feeling fear and it seems like there is a lot that is unknown.  The greatest antidote to this fear is faith.  Faith can have so many different manifestations, but it’s generally the belief that everything is working out for the highest good. I have a confession to make:  I have a giant issue with faith.

One way I have found to cultivate faith is through a regular meditation practice.  My dear friend Rachel Mayew is offering a meditation series focusing on the Advent season. It’s a great way to set yourself up for a stress-free holiday season and get into the holiday spirit.  She also offers many free faith-building meditations and resources on her blog Holistic Faith Lifestyle.

Shop Small

Now, more than ever, small businesses are struggling.  Our planet has more plastic than it can deal with and the world needs us to shop consciously this holiday season.

At the same time, the pandemic and other recent events have a lot of folks rethinking their lives and priorities.  I think many of us have realized we don’t need more useless things and that the people and love in our lives are what is most important.  

This year, I want to shop small in so many ways.  First, I want to shop as little as possible.  Money is tighter this year, as I’m sure it is for many people.  Also, we already have so many “things” I would rather reduce my footprint and gift experiences instead of objects.  Lastly, I want to support small businesses with my purchases this year.  If these are values that align with yours this year, I encourage you to visit our Gift-Giving Guide for the Health-Minded Minimalist. We have curated thoughtful gift ideas for everyone on your list!

New Creative Traditions

Out of great challenges, amazing new things are born! This is a crazy year of new trials and big shifts.  But I know from history that these periods always lead to new innovations beyond what we could have dreamed of before.  Now, relax, I’m not expecting you to develop flying cars.  But maybe you will find new practices that bring holiday joy to your home.  In our family, we are going to have Cookie Friday, where we bake a new kind of cookie together each week. I would have never had time for that in years past.  Maybe we will love it so much we will make the time for it in coming years? I hope so!

I have friends who have started Pieday Friday, and other fun meaningful holiday traditions during this time.  Are you doing a virtual secret Santa? Please comment below and let us know about your creative pandemic holiday practices and traditions!