I can’t believe it. The holidays are almost here, and for many, the hustle and bustle have already begun. If you’re anything like me, you’ve needed to plan the dinners, look at the calendar to decide on dates for the holiday gatherings, write an endless to-do list. I always make a massive one at some point in November to outline all of the shopping I need to get done and how much I’m budgeting to make it happen, and this year was no different. Then there are the dinner to-do lists. After all, everyone will hate me if I forget the stuffing or don’t have an assortment of gourmet teas. Right? Oh, and how can I ignore the random list of house chores I need to do before hosting. Gah. I’m exhausted just thinking about the multiple tasks at hand. Do I over complicate and go above and beyond what is necessary? Uh huh. Am I the one adding all of this pressure in an attempt to make everything perfect? Yup. Should I be considering making some changes to enjoy the holidays better? Absolutely. That’s why I’m introducing a new list this year. And it’s got nothing to do with what’s expected of me this holiday season.

Enjoy a quiet day reading by the Christmas tree while the snow falls

Doesn’t this sound lovely? Welp. It’s on the list this season. A slow day full of hot cups of coffee, a warm fire and a good book. You know those mornings where the snow is falling, and you want to pretend you’re living in a snow globe? That will be the mission on one of the days coming up before the holiday rush. There have been too many gorgeous days in years past that I’ve wanted to pause, but of course, there are obligations. This year, I’m making quiet time a priority.

Watch a sappy Hallmark holiday movie without my phone nearby

Remember I told you I’m a closet hopeless romantic? Hallmark does an excellent job of pulling the sappy right out of me in the corniest of ways. The tales are so predictable, but I can’t help it, I get right into the story and end up rooting for the local barista who’s looking for love. A couple of hours of distraction-free viewing will be good. And while I’ve already indulged in a few holiday movies this season, none of them have been without electronics nearby. The phone or laptop at a distance is a struggle for me most days because my work requires me to be connected, but being mindful, even for just a short film will be considered a win.

Walk down my favourite street with a hot chocolate in hand

I know this probably sounds silly, but some lovely winter days scream ENJOY ME. And since I haven’t skied since my last black diamond incident, a quiet stroll to enjoy a favourite area of town with a warm cup in hand will be a nice way to enjoy the blanket of white. Plus, the calm and quiet of the moment will be great. Do you see a trend with this list yet? It’s time to slow, things, down.

Bake something extraordinary with patience

I am not a baker. I’m kind of terrible when it comes to creating in the kitchen. It requires too much patience, and this Aries gal has none of it. However, this holiday season, I plan to find a fancy schmancy recipe and execute it fiercely making a delicious treat to enjoy. What will I be making? I have no clue yet. (Feel free to send me suggestions.) But I want to take the time to be patient and follow a recipe properly without rushing through it because I need to be somewhere or need to be doing something else.

Send a greeting card to a few exceptional people

It’s been a big year of change for me. There have been some lovely people who have encouraged and supported me through all the ups and downs of my rollercoaster ride. I think we underestimate what a genuine and authentic message of gratitude can do to remind someone that their gentleness is appreciated. I fully intend on taking some time to acknowledge these people. I’m incredibly grateful that I have them in my corner.

This list may be short and sweet, but I think this is a good way of slowing things down this holiday season. Of course, these things speak to me, and maybe none of them translate in your life, but I’d like to encourage you to make a list of this nature for yourself. It can be so easy to spend the entire month of December running like a crazy person, but if we mindfully and carefully take the time to enjoy the simple things, the season can certainly be merry and bright.

Do you already take the time to make a mindful to-do list? What do you make a priority over the holidays season?


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