Blogland is quickly starting to fill up with all sorts of “Gift Guides”. “Gifts under $50”, “Gifts for the Man in Your Life”, “Gifts for the Diva”… ok ok maybe not the Diva but you get my point. Everyone on the internet seems to be starting the shopping craze that happens around this time of year and to be honest it kinda bums me out. Now, I could totally attribute my glum mood to the insane weather change that has happened in Texas. We basically skipped fall and went straight to winter with crazy cold, grey, and overcast days. That’s sure to put anyone’s mood into a slump. But I think what’s really getting me down is that instead of enjoying the holidays with family and friends and showing love, the majority of folks are stressing over the best gift to get someone. However I do know that to some, showing love does mean giving gifts, I just think that the gifts we give can be more than just a materialistic item.
The holidays are indeed one of the most stressful times of the year. Everyone is hosting and planning and trying to have the most extravagant holiday party that every existed. The pressure we put on ourselves is insane and sometime I really do feel like “skipping the holidays”. Has anyone seen “Christmas with the Kranks”? It’s honestly one of my favorite holidays movies, but it really did get me thinking that it would be great to skip Christmas. The amount of money put into trying to please others just boggles my mind. Why can’t the time spent together be the gift we give each other? Time away from computers and phones, and honestly just connecting and talking with people again. Sit near a fire, with a drink in hand, and just talk.
While I’m sure there are plenty of people that will disagree with what I’m saying, I believe the one true gift you can give anyone, including yourself, is to care. To care for others and care for yourself. Not only showing that you care but actually taking care of one another and yourself. How can you do that you say? What can you do to show someone you care? It’s not about the lavish gifts you buy or the price tag attached to a certain item that’s been wrapped. It’s the genuine connection you can make with an individual and that may change from person to person. I read long ago about love languages, and while I’m sure a few of you rolled your eyes at that, let me just say that I’ve definitely pinpointed certain characteristics in my friends and family members that fit those love languages to a T. If you haven’t heard about that or want to know more about Love Languages pop over here for a quick summary.
Ultimately I believe that November and December are the months when people should really focus on the care they take with themselves and with others. It’s ok to prioritize yourself. It’s ok to show yourself some love by doing whatever it is that makes you happy. I can’t express how much a weekend with no plans – where all I do is block out the world, binge on Netflix, clean the house, or cook up something delicious – has completely reset my mood and outlook on life. That may not work for everyone, I mean cleaning and cooking are ways that I de-stress because I’m in control. But for others to unwind that may mean reading a book, having a little shopping spree, pampering oneself with a haircut or a massage or a mani/pedi. I believe taking the time to do what pleases you most is absolutely necessary during the holidays. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed after all, so do something that brings joy to your life.
The way to do that for others is quite similar. Have you noticed as you get older the more you appreciate the simple act of having company? Instead of spending nights out at bars and clubs I find myself wanting a quiet space to actually hear the person talk, because I’m genuinely wanting to hear about the on goings of my friends’ and families’ lives. But as mentioned before, it changes from person to person. Some folks really do just want another person to listen to them. Others appreciate a simple act of someone bringing or sending them food so they don’t have to cook. Many times I’ve seen folks not taking care of themselves and so I extend the offer to take care of them for them, like sending them to a spa for a few relaxing hours because god knows everyone deserves that every now and then. It’s the thought behind you thinking of them and what’s best for them that will come across no matter the act.
So to everyone out there as we enter this holiday season, please be sure to take care of yourself. We all want to have some happy holidays, so be sure you’re in a happy place to begin with!