A case for Slow Christmas: 1. aim for personal peace, 2. write the No-Wish list, and 3. adopt The Game Changer rule of Slow Christmas.
The weeks before Christmas here in Germany, elsewhere in Europe, Canada and the States (as far as I know from my friends there) put us all in a state of artificial cognitive dissonance: we are trained to await a blissful time of contemplation and “peace to the world”, while in reality all we do is check off never-ending gift and to do lists.
However, there are three major things that have elevated, or rather: catapulted, my personal Christmas experience from “God, let it be over!” towards “I wish it was Christmas everyday” and I want to share them with you today. Don’t worry, they’re all very simple, efficient steps. I call them my Rules for a Slow Christmas.
Slow Christmas Rule #1: Joy & Peace For Everyone
Enjoy whatever you enjoy doing.
It’s as simple as that. Christmas time is the last resort of the modern wo/man where we can be offline without shame or regret. Use the Force! Withdraw, unplug, go skiing, partying, SPA-ing, sleeping in, seeing your Grandma, maybe you’re as good as walking animal shelter dogs – just do whatever genuinely, deeply gives you so much joy and peace you could cry.
Slow Christmas Rule #2: The No-Wish List
“What do you want for Christmas?”
Can you answer this question right away?
I have started to hate wish lists. Sure, they are a convenient, sensible way to avoid exchange and/or long faces but let’s be honest: haven’t they truly gotten out of hand?
However, I get it – we’re all busy and chronically not listening to our friends, and I’m no exception. I have a trick though, I (try to) take notes and oh my, does it get hairy when I fail to do so. But I’m trying and evolving. Anyway. It can be complicated to really unwind and tune into the magic flow of “perfect gift ideas” in today’s world.
So my way to try and shift the reality is write (and ask people to do so) No-Wish Lists. This can go something like:
My No-Wish List.
Dear X., please don’t give me: knitted sweaters. Socks. Gift certificates, except for iTunes. Cookbooks. Baking forms. Cookbooks with baking forms. Yoga DVDs. Frog figurines of any kind (I’ve never been collecting those!) Anything made of or with leather or fur. Anything white, pink, or neon coloured. Uh – no zebra prints.”
– I think something like this works great to just list all those things you somehow keep receiving, maybe out of a hoax or due to a misunderstanding, but have come to detest.On a personal note: I don’t want STUFF. I’m trying to get all ascetic at home, so I can’t use anything I can’t eat or drink or read on an e-device of any kind or hang on a wall/ a Christmas tree.
Slow Christmas Rule #3 AKA The Game-Changer:
Engage In One Thing
If you can pull off a wonderful dinner (or even dinners) for your family and friends, do just it.
If you know you can find crazy inventive and gorgeous gifts that people will adore, go for just it.
If you can write splendid, wise, original Christmas cards, get the best stationery and just write.”
I am not afraid to say this word: outsource 😀 Wisely, of course. We all have busy schedules, and to split tasks (in a fair and respectful way) among family members or a group of friends can be pure bliss, trust me on that. Just don’t do everything yourself.
Keep rule #1 in mind and try to get all the joy’n’peace you can celebrating Christmas.