Ah, the holiday season is upon us. I’ve struggled for ideas to write anything enlightening on the subject of holidays that hasn’t already been said a hundred times. I could talk about how to beat holiday stress or how to be your best during the holidays in order to avoid January resentment, but I’m guessing we all know what to do and what not to do in order to feel our best come January 1. Or at least January 2.
Stumped as I was, I started typing and let my thoughts flow. Christmas. It’s here again. It’s sad really. As the years go by this important holiday slowly evolves from total festivity for children to total stress for adults. How to bring back the joy?
As a child Christmas was very traditional for me. An eight-hour trek up to snowy Northwestern Pennsylvania to visit family. Lots of sledding, hot cocoa, endless chocolate chip cookies in Grandma’s tin treasure chest on the kitchen counter, hours of fun with cousins, pizza on Christmas Eve, Grandma’s homemade biscuits, turkey dinner and pies, oh her pies. And alas, my thoughts are wandering toward food. I guess as a chubby kid and now a healthy chef it’s no surprise my most vivid memories center around food. Do I eat like this now during the holidays? No. Would I eat my Grandmother’s pie, cookies or biscuits if she were still with us to treat me to these family delicacies? You betcha.
And it hits me. The perfect Christmas themed wellness blog isn’t one of how to’s, to do’s and not to do’s. It’s about cutting ourselves a break and finding joy. Kind and gentle are words many of us strive to achieve during the holiday season in this cruel world. What better place to start than with yourself? Be kind, gentle and slow down. Be present. Family and friends make much effort to express their love and gratitude this time of year. How about expressing a little love and gratitude toward yourself?
What kinder act to your spirit than to relive a childhood holiday memory through your taste buds? Or maybe it’s not your taste buds, maybe it’s spending an hour reliving the memories of your handmade ornaments from childhood, or skipping the office party in favor of a quiet date night with a loved one. It’s about feeding your soul folks.
Now then, kind and gentle doesn’t mean eating every cookie or candy cane that crosses your path. But maybe it does mean allowing yourself a piece of fudge, a glass of champagne, a morning of sleeping in or a skipped workout without guilt. Find YOUR kind and gentle. Where do you need to lighten up on yourself? Refocus the guilty energy on time with family or friends, take a deep breath and enjoy the freedom and gratitude this moment gives you.
Go ahead, be bad. Give yourself permission once or twice this holiday season and don’t even think twice about it. You can refocus and reshift goals come January, and for that I can help. But while we’re at it, let’s make a resolution to be more kind and gentle to ourselves all year long.
My gift to you is one of my favorite treats year round; especially tasty during the holidays. The perfect desert for cocktail or dinner parties. Recipe compliments of my dear friend Jill.
Healthy Nut Butter Cups
- 1 package of medjool dates, cut in half, pits removed
- 1 jar organic almond, peanut or cashew nut butter
Spread nut butter into pitted dates. Arrange on a plate, garnish with love and enjoy.
Happy Holidays my friends.