Have you thought about smashing pumpkins or giving someone the bird yet this holiday season?
Honestly, it starts with the excitement at the first sighting of Starbucks Christmas cups and holiday wreaths appearing in storefronts. Already, my Bloglovin’ feed is buckling at the seams with all those pumpkin-filled recipes.
But what began as a glistening moment of holiday cheer has now snowballed into an overwhelming sense of bah-humbug.
Well maybe I’m not quite there yet, although Thanksgiving has yet to even happen and I feel the holiday cheer fading fast. It’s not that I don’t love the holidays. Really I love them more the older I get. Although I wish my version of Santa wasn’t my own skimpy plastic debit card, red as it may be.
I think the problem with the holiday season isn’t the season at all, but rather how it gives us pause for introspection. At the beginning, we have that glimmer of hope and faith that the winter season quite rapidly sweeps in. We think about the memories we will make and all the joy that’s soon to come.
Only, it doesn’t come as we have imagined it. Our Pinterest boards don’t magically leap off our computer screens and redecorate our homes like woodland animals in a Disney movie. Those easy holiday recipes we’ve been storing all year just don’t make it to the table. Family and friends give greetings and words of gratitude but at times those exchanges seem mutually all too staged.
Probably the most disappointing thing of all is the belief that we will have some time to unwind, sip some cocoa, read a book, anything to curl up in a nook and let a whole year’s worth of anxiety decompress. But it doesn’t.
Instead, we run around more, spend less time with loved one, pay out more money, and to top it all off—get reminded of how much we haven’t accomplished from the previous year’s goals and resolutions.
It’s no wonder why we all get cranky by the time we’ve rounded up the family for those few special days.
So what do we do when it feels like everyone else is having a joyous holiday season and you’re beginning to feel like The Grinch Who Facebooks Everything But Never Does Anything?
Simply, do something to prove you’re still alive. That somewhere in that poor postured chest of the workaholic that you are is an explorer waiting to get out and embrace the season.
Here are five ways to prove you’re still alive, holiday season or year-round:
Ditch It for Dos: Take a Two Day Trip
You probably have holiday or sick time saved up or can manage a weekend getaway. Do it. Find a close spot to simply take a two day trip. That’s one overnight that anyone can manage. That small town over you bookmarked 10 months ago: get out there! That all-inclusive hotel and spa across town that people come from all over to try: ditch Friday at work and start the weekend early! That hike you have been meaning to photograph but just could never find the appropriate time: that’s now! We can all spare two days to treat ourselves to a mini-getaway. It might not be the grand trip you had resolved to take last January, but it sure beats spending the day at the shopping centers battling for parking and shopping carts.
Bake It, Don’t Fake It
Bake your favorite dessert or get a good, hearty portion of your favorite dessert from one of your most trusted bakeshops. Do not let yourself finish it before 20 minutes (unless it’s ice cream, in which case you have 10). But seriously allow yourself the pleasure of tasting and savoring every single so-bad-but-good-for-you bite. Why rush so much through your food? You paid for it in time or money, so let it add richness to your life. And trust me, everyone’s going to eat more than they should this season anyway. Indulge and savor.
Prompt Fresh Morning Cheeks
If you want to prove your alive this holiday season, there’s no better way than to get the blood running through your veins by bringing out the natural flush of your cheeks. Go outside early one morning. Take in the cool air and the stillness of the winter morning. Find a porch or rooftop to just have a few unspoiled moments where nature can quite literally pinch the life back into your cheeks and into your soul. If you’re not a morning person like me, simply go back to bed after a few morning moments outside. Nothing feels as good as snuggling back into the sheets.
Go Back to Basics
Kiss someone meaningfully just because. Set up that lunch date you’ve been thinking about. Seriously just do that one simple moment that has been playing over in your head for a while now. Basics never go out of style; so get back to the basics of instinct and human interaction.
Step into that coffee shop you pass by and think about trying. You can spare 15 minutes. Or go Instagram the heck out of that alleyway you pass by next to your evening route bus stop, thinking one day you’ll venture into it, but never quite seem to convince yourself to do. Just get to stepping a few feet off your normal path. A dose of courage and a break from routine never felt so good.