Be Present for More Peaceful Holidays

Woman admires christmas lights while sipping a hot beverage.

Did you know that we are just 12 days away from Christmas?!  The radio announced that this morning. What happened? Wasn’t it Thanksgiving just a few weeks ago?

But here’s the thing. Have we already forgotten thanksgiving? I don’t mean the holiday. I mean the practice of giving thanks.

When did I stop expressing my daily thanks aloud? Leading up to Thanksgiving, I started and ended my days with at least 3 things that I was grateful for. I felt stupid when I began the exercise and shocked when I realized that I liked doing it!

Where did that habit go? I know. Sadly, it ended only the Monday after Thanksgiving.  And with its cessation a very grounded peace, a contentment in each moment, a joy of being, and a freedom from expectation went with it. It’s tragic, but this morning as I pondered this blog I realized that rather than being present and pleased by the precious moments heading into Christmas, I was actually looking back and missing Thanksgiving.

The Joy of Choosing to Be Present

Our lives are lived one moment at a time. So rather than just singing about Christmas being ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, let’s fill our days with the peace-filled joy of gratitude, and choose to cherish all the moments this season brings.  

So when you’re stuck in traffic, running late for a meeting, accidentally double-booked, or when you pull into your driveway and realize that you forgot to buy the eggnog – laugh and enjoy the moment you’re in.  It will never come again and the gift of choosing to be present is so incredibly precious!

There is much that we each have to be uniquely thankful for, and even if we feel that we are lacking there is much that we can uniquely give to others by just being fully present with them in our moments.  So regardless of the circumstances, I encourage you to: sing the songs, greet the people, attend the parties, open the presents, cook the food, and, as you do, enjoy this and every moment!

On behalf of ArborWoman, we hope your holidays are filled with joy and peace. And we wish you a very, very happy New Year!”

Iris is the director of ArborWoman.