[This is a part of our Conscious Christmas series. Also check out our Conscious Christmas Shopping series for the traveller, the fashionista, & the urban dweller, and Conscious Christmas Celebrations: Mindful Foodie Feasts]
#MUNIonThis: While Christmas traditions, reunions, and gift-giving are fun, the days leading up to them can leave us feeling stressed, tired, and overwhelmed with all the rushing, queueing, and impossibly long commutes, leaving us feeling somewhat disillusioned about the season.
That being said, it pays to take some time to take a breath and remember what’s really important this time of year with some tear-jerking, smile-inducing reminders.
1. Remember your “why”
Always ask yourself why this season is important, and let your answers determine your goals, actions, and outlook. If you think Christmas is about cherishing family and enjoying the holidays, then this is something that we should constantly remind ourselves. When we keep this in mind, we are able to have a better outlook towards the stressful situations that come with the holidays.
Conscious Christmas Celebrations: Mindful Foodie Feasts
2. Gifts from the heart
As cheesy as this sounds, it is one of the main things that people forget during the Christmas season. We are often guilty of giving gifts for the sake of giving (“masabi lang”). So this holiday season, try to find presents that are actually useful, make gifts instead of buying, and avoid giving presents out of a perceived social obligation. After all, the people that matter will appreciate your presence more than any present.
3. Spend time with loved ones
It can become default for some of us to just buy gifts for people that matter to us and expect it to get the message of love across. The real challenge is actually spending quality time with them and perhaps saying “thank you” or “I love you”. Make a conscious effort to tell people these things, write letters, and give hugs this Christmas. You’ll find that doing this not only shows people your love, but also gives you a deeper appreciation of everything that you have.
4. Pay it forward
The cultural practice of utang na loob is one that is prevalent in our country. Naturally, we want to thank and repay people for the kindness they have showed us. However, I have found that the greatest way to show our gratitude for the life that we have is to give to the people who cannot pay us back.
“If the biggest thing we do in life is to extend love and kindness to even one other being, we have changed the world for the better.”
– K. Bartolotta, 2013
All photos c/o Nell Ng
Sam Dizon (@dizoncommasam) is a part-time sustainability researcher, part-time blogger, and full-time lover of the world. She firmly believes in small acts of kindness, world peace, cheap dates, and the efficiency of bullet points. Follow her side-street adventures here: samthingtodo.wordpress.com.