SIMPLE PLEASURES, SIMPLE TREASURES #1

7 Strategies for putting the simple back into the festive season.

During a recent Christmas, my ideas for a “perfect” celebration went right out the window along with sub-zero temperatures and an ice storm.  With no heat or hydro, I certainly could not put on the much-anticipated family turkey feast.  Instead, my family and I lit a fire, made hot chocolate on the gas stove (thank goodness for gas and matches) and snuggled together, telling stories and playing games. We had a marvelous and memorable time.

This was my inspiration for today’s blog.

While you and I both love the holiday season, we need a strategy for keeping it simple so we can be truly present to receive the simple joys of this magical time of year.  Sadly, I can almost hear the collective groan rising, post-Thanksgiving, as people anticipate the deluge of seasonal tasks. How can we find calm in the chaos?

Calm has often been the only wish on my Christmas list.  A simple snuggle on the couch, with my family members, while watching a festive movie, is bliss.  Making an evening of wrapping gifts while sipping wine, makes the task much more fun.  Gathering your friends for a cookie baking session and swap, makes the job fly by. The point is, to find the quiet in genuine moments of love.  The festive season is, in my opinion, all about love.

Here are 7 strategies for slipping the simple back into celebrating.  Pick one or pick them all, but do give them a try.  And visit my site often, over the coming weeks, for more ideas on keeping the season simple.

  1. Time is the most precious gift of all.  Once it is spent, no matter how you spend it, it will never come back.  Give your loved ones your full attention, spending time with them and not your technology.  Unplug. Pull out a game, a puzzle or a deck of cards or dominoes, and play.  Your family may never remember what you gave them under the tree, but they will always remember how they felt while connecting over their play. And remember, playing is medicine for your brain.

  2. Opt not to get caught up in the snowball of gift giving. Running around shopping for people is rarely fun.  The stress of finding “just the right thing” for everyone only makes you more stressed.  Draw names so that you are only having to buy one gift for one person.  Make it a themed gift giving holiday.  Eat Clean® cooks love kitchen gadgets while fitness fans always need more gear.  Keep gifts simple.

  3. Remember your self-care habits.  The holiday season is often a time when people give up exercising, in the rush to get it all done.  Interestingly, spending 30 minutes a day, sweating at a MHR of 65% or better, is much more effective at calming anxiety than a dose of Prozac.  Stick to the good habit of exercising and you will not only feel better but you will be a more pleasant person!

  4. Redefine the holidays and your expectations.  Often our expectations about the holidays are so extreme, they go unmet and this is when frustration and upset arise.  Get clarity around what you want for the holidays - peace, friendship, time with family and friends, and focus on these, rather than the chaos of the season.

  5. The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy the music of the season.  Make a point of attending concerts given at churches, malls, and other venues.  These are often free or require a simple donation of a canned good for the food bank.  You can enjoy both the pleasure of music and give to a good cause.  Perfect, simple and beautiful.

  6. Give the gift of Date Night with your partner or spouse.  Instead of giving a gift, you can make a dinner date and then catch a movie together.  It will be memorable and a night off from cooking, for both of you!

  7. When decorating your home, embrace nature. Venture outside to cut boughs from fir, spruce and cedar trees.  Gather them by the armload and fill outdoor urns and planters with greens.  Bring plenty inside to fill bowls and vases also.  Decorate with pine cones and red berry branches and dogwood.  The smell is heavenly and the cost is nothing but the fun is priceless.

Visit my site often this month for more ideas on how to deal with holiday overload. Including my free, downloadable Holiday Survival Guide featuring 28 recipes perfect for your holiday season!

I am busy preparing for the New Year with my usual Fit Commit and Fit Boost programs, the new Juice Cleanse and much more!  

Remember,

I am always listening.

Warmly,

Tosca

PS. I would love to hear about your favourite Simple Pleasures Simple Treasures ways of celebrating the holidays. Please share your comments in the COMMENTS section below or by using #trimsimpletreasures when you post on social media.

PSS. Would someone you love enjoy receiving an Eat Clean® eBook? There are plenty to choose from and easy to order.  Gift ards are also available. Give the gift of health!