3 ways you can celebrate Christmas 2020 mindfully
This has been a long year and many of us can't wait to disconnect, leave 2020 behind and enjoy a well-deserved Christmas break. But this year, we may not have so many opportunities to travel, plan or attend big parties, or go out to restaurants or cafes.
Don't worry though, we still can - and should - enjoy this time to the fullest, and do our best to end 2020 well and celebrate it mindfully, so that in a few years' time we will be able to look back at this “special 2020 Christmas” and be proud of how we handled it.
So, let me inspire you with some festive ideas and three mindful tips that will make your Christmas a real celebration of gratitude, hope and meaningful encounters - whether they be face to face or digital.
Pause and savour
“The feast [party] is in the first bite," is the famous Chinese saying summarising the concept of savouring. So, how do you savour? Think about your last wine-tasting trip or experience and apply it at the Christmas table.
When about to enjoy your Christmas meal, take a moment to pause and smell, taste, and enjoy that first sip of wine, champagne or bite of cake on your plate. This will help you savour that moment and make a mental impression of it through your senses - keeping it as a wonderful Christmas memory.
You can do it together with your loved ones and family - inviting them not to rush, but instead to take it moment by moment, bite by bite - sharing how it tastes and what you all enjoy most.
Take a moment to appreciate and write a note of gratitude
This has been a tough year that no one was ready for. So, who are the people in your life who supported you through it all? I invite you to take an appreciation moment: sit back, take a breath and list three people for whom you are grateful.
Write down what makes you feel that way, and why you are grateful for having them in your life. Be specific in your answers - this is what develops and nourishes your feeling of gratitude. The support network you have may include, for example, your parents, your siblings, your besties, your loved ones, your kids and your colleagues.
You are also welcome to take it to the next level and write them a note expressing your gratitude - a simple “Thank you for being part of my life." You could even pay them a "gratitude visit" and deliver this note in person.
Perform a small act of kindness
Did you know that the level of happiness coming from a spontaneous act of kindness and expression of friendliness is super high, powerful and long-lasting? So, do not hesitate to follow your instinct and, when the moment strikes you, perform a small act of kindness.
It can be anything you feel like in the moment without expecting anything in return, like buying a meal for a homeless person or sharing a smile with a stranger when queueing at the supermarket, or sending your colleague or manager (why not?) a “thank you” note. Then, take note of how you feel after the gesture and how your day may become so much more meaningful and positive. Give it a try - make it spontaneous and enjoy the Christmas magic that it can bring.
Celebrate a mindful and merry Christmas
Happiness is truly found in the small things - it is in the HOW, not necessarily the WHAT. I invite you to fill this Christmas with mindful moments of savouring, gratitude and appreciation for what you have and who is by your side, and small acts of kindness - these things are what make us human.
What are your Christmas traditions and rituals that make these times so special and long-awaited? How do you plan to celebrate these festive times? We would love to hear from you - so feel free to share and spread Christmas magic and mood!