Friends, the holidays are a hectic time. They can be stressful, busy, maybe overwhelming too. But even with all the busyness – Christmas is my favourite time of year. Winter is new, fresh snow falls are still exciting, cozy Christmas lights and scented candles around the tree.
But the thing that really makes this time of year special? Community. The people we share our lives and celebrations with. Big Christmas parties are nothing without guests, Christmas trees are beautiful and fun to decorate – but I love decorating mine with family. The holiday celebrations are special because of our loved ones.
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One of my favourite Christmas songs is All I Want For Christmas Is You – partly because there are so many great versions and it’s perfect for dance parties in the kitchen while you bake Christmas cookies, but also because I like the illustration that it’s not the gifts or glamour of the holidays that make it a special time of year – it’s getting to see people.
I love this time of year because I get to spend so much time with people I love and my heart is always so full when that happens. Whether you’re getting coffee and catching up with someone you see pretty often, or if you’re having holiday celebrations with family or friends from out-of-town, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a great opportunity to see loved ones, give people the gift of time and reconnect with people we care about.
Different Types of Gift Wrapping
It might seem cliché to say that what makes the holidays special is the people we spend it with – but I think there are seeds of truth in most clichés. I get so wrapped up in the stress of buying gifts (pun intended, of course) and it’s good to take a step back and focus on the things that really matter at the holidays.
I was talking to a friend the other day while I was panicking about getting all my Christmas shopping done (reading my email and realizing I missed some online “make sure your gift arrives by Christmas” deadlines was not an ideal start to my Monday) but they encouraged me to think about a different perspective on gifts. So if you’re also like me, and you stress about finding gift that people will love here are some helpful things to keep in mind this holiday season:
- Gifts should be stress free, because you’re going out of your way to show someone you care. I know people say you should avoid saying should but getting so wrapped up in the stress of gift giving takes away energy you could use in different ways. And the person getting the gift will (most likely) just appreciate the thought and effort.
- If all you want for Christmas is them, maybe all they want for Christmas is you too. A few years ago one of my best friend’s came to visit for the holidays from out-of-town and she forgot my birthday gift – but you know what? I was so genuinely excited to see her I really didn’t mind. Because, it’s the people we love who matter the most around the holidays.
- You can give people things that aren’t flashy and expensive gifts. I’ve had friends give me coupons for coffee dates or going out to get dinner together rather than a physical gift or a gift cards and I love that. Giving someone the gift of quality time shouldn’t be underrated.
As I just mentioned, quality time can be a great gift and I mean that quite sincerely. So as the holidays approach I would say that one of the best things you can do for your friends and family is make time to be there with them. While you’re with your community of loved ones put the stress of the holidays, and worries about if you’re getting people exactly what they want, behind you.
If nothing else this post feels a bit like a reminder to myself to do these things – because many of my friends can tell you this week has been hectic trying to get everything in order for the holiday season. I’ll end this week with a quote by Mary Randolph Carter, because I think the concept of it applies well:
“A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life”
Don’t worry about making your home perfect before inviting friends over to celebrate the holidays, don’t worry about making gifts perfect before you give them – they will be appreciated no matter what, don’t worry so much about your holiday to do list and focus on being present with the ones you love. Perfection isn’t necessary this holiday season – all your loved ones really want is you.