I am not sending out Christmas cards this year. No last-minute family photo, scanning card options, or making my own. My soul is craving simplicity and minimalism coupled with meaning this year, and the cards aren’t making the cut. On another year, they would have, but this time, no. And that’s okay.

 

It’s important to listen to your soul during the holidays.

 

In her podcast episode “Quit Something”, Emily Freeman says, “Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it forever.” I have been good at over-decorating, over-buying, over-planning and offering too many traditions. Sometimes we think that our Christmas might not be “meaningful” or special or magical if we don’t offer all the things that we have always offered.

 

Here’s some good holiday grace: You are never stuck.

 

There is no rule or judge that will deem you a failure if you step away from the Elf on the Shelf, the Christmas pajamas, the handmade gifts, or the Advent readings. You have great freedom to change Christmas for yourself and your family according to your health, your season of life, and your personal sanity. No one will fall apart or have the worst Christmas ever or have a scarred psyche if you change things up.

 

There are no holiday rules. Repeat that 20 times.

 

The best parts of Christmas for me are the coziness, the twinkling, the candles, the smells, the warmth, the music, the games + puzzles, reading, and connecting. I need more of that with my family and less shopping, creating, wrapping, and mailing. Every year looks different. Our capacities change with age, season, and health. We don’t need to grit our teeth, power through, and make merry happen when our hearts are filled with dread.

 

What is your soul telling you about Advent? Where do you feel stuck? What “tradition” can you let go of this year to make space for peace? What honest conversation do you need to have with your family about where you are and what to expect? 

 

Today is December 1st. Let’s begin this month with clarity in our souls and peace on our agendas. May we move to a holiday rhythm of lightness, restraint, and simplicity. Let’s offer ourselves to others, our best selves, not the cranky, stressed, perfectionistic versions that don’t do us or anyone else any good. May our next right thing be to offer our presence, filled + overflowing, kind + wise, joyous + generous, all the best parts of us, to everyone we meet, starting here in our own little homes.

 

 

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