Earlier this week, I was speaking with a friend who is working on a huge project. Her deadline is the end of this month.
"I hate the thought of working through Christmas," she frowned. "It's my favourite time of year. I hate the thought of missing any of it."
"Just make sure that you do one Christmas-y thing every day," I suggested. "Stop everything to make hot chocolate with your kids one night, and then the next night have a dance party in your kitchen to a Christmas carol, or whatever. Sort of like an Advent calendar. In fact," I was on a roll, "make a list of Christmas-y activities and put them in a jar, and then pull one out every day and do it until your deadline. That way you won't feel like you missed anything. Just make sure to take Christmas Day off."
"You know, that could work," she said, "Thank you!"
And I walked away feeling smug.
Smug, that is, until this morning, when I was suddenly completely overwhelmed by the things that I need to get done in December. We have a lot going on this month, including some travel, and I have so many deadlines of my own to make, not to mention Christmas shopping, and shipping packages and ...
... and suddenly I was wallowing thigh-deep in a case of physician-heal-thyself-itis.
So I've decided that I'm going to do my own little Advent calendar for the rest of this month -- do one quick thing that makes gives me peace every day (I'll even share them on my Instagram page, tagged #decembermoments, to keep me honest). Yes, it's already December 10th and I'm starting late, but I'm not going to let that stop me. And I invite you to join me: take a few minutes every day to enjoy the winding down of the year. In fact, here are a list of things you can choose from for the remaining days of the 2014 to get in the holiday spirit. (And even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I invite you to play along -- because at the end of the year, we could all do with a moment's peace, yes?)
- Make some hot chocolate. Extra marshmallows.
- Stop everything and have a 5-minute dance party. Bonus points if it's holiday themed.
- Turn off all the lights except for the ones on your Christmas tree, and stare at them for a few quiet moments. (If you don't have a Christmas tree, grab some tea lights and light them. Same effect.)
- Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate. Or peppermint bark.
- Watch a classic holiday movie (this will take more than a few minutes, but it's worth it). In our house, it's always A Christmas Story ("you'll shoot your eye out, kid!"), but any good old classic will do.
- Send someone an unexpected email of season's greetings. Delight when they write you back.
- Spend a journal page writing what you're grateful for in 2014.
- Spend a journal page writing what you hope for in 2015.
- Take a walk around your block at night. Check out the holiday lights.
- Read a chapter from an honest-to-goodness book. Bonus points if it's holiday themed (if you need some inspiration, my friend Jason is hosting a Christmas Carol read-along).
- Take a hot bath. Play holiday music while you do.
- Take a 15 minute disco nap. Because you've earned it, baby.
- Have a cup of tea.
- Listen to some calm, end-of-year music. Here, I even have a playlist for you.
What am I missing, friends? Add your suggestions to the comments, below. And here's to filling this month with just a little more peace on Earth, goodwill towards all.