As winter approaches I eagerly anticipate the changing energy of the season and gladly commence my usual hibernation routine. October's changing leaves, November's perfect hiking weather, December's first dusting of snow- there's plenty to celebrate. But as the holidays inch closer, despite my best efforts, I wake up one day and it's December 22nd and I don't know where the month went. It seems I just can't slow things down enough to really enjoy the season.
So this year I took a different approach. I wrote a list of what I love about the holidays and distilled it down to one illustration, so I could post it on the refrigerator as a reminder. 
For me, I want:
  • to bake my favorite holiday recipes that remind me of my grandmother
  • to gather my family around me and cook together
  • to be present and aware. I don't want to be so busy that I don't have time to pause and reflect and appreciate how blessed I am
  • to spend time in nature
  • to be conscious of the needs of others. As I retreat inward during this season of rest and renewal, enjoying the warmth of my cozy home, I don't want to forget those who are struggling to meet their own basic needs. 
  • to donate to my favorite charities
  • to make time for rest (and yoga) in the holiday rush
Please feel free to print this and enjoy it yourself at home. But if you'd like to create your own list here are some tips for making it personal to you and your family:
  • Consider each of the senses. Do you love the scent of spiced apple cider or the soundtrack from Home Alone or your great grandmother's spice cake recipe? 
  • Think outside the box. Go beyond the typical holiday experience and note how you want to feel
  • Consider how you might be able to help others this season. 

No matter how you plan to spend your holidays, or what the season stirs within you, may you be blessed with good health, a grateful heart, and people who love you.

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