Semi-well-known fact – I’m not a big fan of the holidays. I’ve written about that a few times over the last decade: You Have Permission to Be A Scrooge, Coping With Grief During the Holidays, When You Hate the Holidays.
Last year, I spent Christmas in the hospital after my partner went in for back surgery and a few days later had to have emergency surgery on Christmas Eve to fix something that had gone wrong. I spent the entire day crying.
And you can not discount the last 17ish years that I worked in retail. So this month is usually something I’m trying to get through rather than something I’m trying to enjoy.
This year I’m trying to find the Holiday Spirit.
I’m now self-employed. This will be my first December where I’m not coming home every day exhausted. No extra overtime. No skipped days off. And no cranky customers.
Don’t get me wrong – I love winter. I love the cold and how it’s darker. I love that many of us seem to collectively turn inward. I’m usually more creative. I’ve just spent so many years dreading this time month (and Thanksgiving) because it’s always been such a hectic time at work. I think Retail Holiday Burn-Out is a real thing and I’m trying to heal from it.
My mission this month is to intentionally enjoy every day in December while doing something that makes me feel jolly.
Step # 1: Figure out what the holidays mean to me.
It feels like everyone knows what the holidays mean but me. For a lot of people, it’s about spirituality, tradition, kids and family, or baking, or festive gatherings, or snowy days – something. I don’t really have that. I love giving, but I give all year round. My family is tiny and we’ve never been big on gathering. My brother is all about gifts and my partner feels much the way I do. And I’ll be lucky to get one or two days of glorious snow.
So I’m asking myself where can I find the festive holiday spirit?
Step #2: Appreciate the little things.
My answer is small, simple, coziness. Put on a cheesy Christmas Romance, give me a warm blanket, and let me rest and enjoy. And you know what? That sounds absolutely perfect to me.
Here are some other things on my to-do list:
Walking around enjoying lights
Putting on a winter scene to read to/go to sleep to
Watching classic holiday movies I’ve never seen like Miracle on 34th Street
Lighting the firepit and sitting outside enjoying the cool weather
Putting up holiday decorations
Baking my mom’s famous Christmas cookies
Step #3: Intentionally making the time.
And that’s all great in theory but the key component in everything is time – and making the time. My goal for this month is to check off everything on this list. I am a creature of habit. I like having a routine and doing the same thing day after day so sometimes finding time feels difficult (even when it’s not).