Presence over Presents this Christmas

Well, here we are! Tis the season!

I titled this “Christmas Presence” because as much as I am tempted to shop for “presents” as a distraction or escape from the hum-drum, groundhog-day-on-repeat the last 9 months the pandemic has brought us, I know that the BEST gift will be to create warm and fulfilling memories. 

My husband Bob and I are both in our 50’s and our sons are in their 20s, so Christmas for us is a little different than back in the day. In the last 5 years that Bob and I have been together, we’ve spent Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle’s and would stop by our next-door neighbor’s house for a nightcap. Christmas day is usually here at home and the day after Christmas is a family pollyanna with Bob’s side of the family. These are traditions that have been happening (independently) for “many moons” as my grandmother would say.  Nope. Not this year. #Cancelled

Sooooo…the 3-day celebration is up to us this year. Honestly, until this past week, it didn’t feel like Christmas-time for me until the holiday music channel was on repeat and we watched a few Hallmark and classic Christmas movies. This had me wondering if anyone else might be in a holiday funk and how I could help them find the mojo to enjoy Christmas this year.  

Yes, 2020 has been categorized by many as a “dumpster fire” but we can still CHOOSE to create some joy before we officially say goodbye to 2020!  Yes👏 We👏 Can👏 And it can be done without costing a sleigh load of money to make it happen! “Presence over presents” is what’s on my wish list this year. I want to make memories from the simplicity of what we have already been blessed with instead of creating clutter from buying “stuff” we don’t need or even want for that matter. If this appeals to you, read on…

If you have a pen and paper, you can create the ultimate Christmas vibe for yourself and your loved ones. This exercise is something I’ve done every year for close to 25 years, it helps me set up Christmas for success and eases the overwhelm that sometimes comes along with shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, you know…ALL the things! 

For lack of a better term, it’s a simple outline of what I want Christmas to “feel” like in our home. This year, I’m all about a cozy Christmas with a splash of nostalgia. “A cozy Christmas with a splash of Nostalgia?” Whaaaat? What it means is that this Christmas, I like the idea of a crackling fire, hot cocoa, egg nog (both spiked), and incorporating some old school traditions that remind us of Christmas past. For example, Bob told me that Twice-Baked Potatoes are something that reminds him of Christmas when he was growing up because his mom would make them as a special treat for Christmas dinner. He’s one of nine kids and I don’t think that twice-baked potatoes are something his mother was whipping up on the daily! My point is, we will have twice-baked potatoes on the table this year for “nostalgia” 

Other things checking the nostalgia bucket are putting out pictures of our sons with Santa from when they were little and using my grandmother’s serving dishes. It warms my heart remembering how my dad’s mother loved the holidays and would set a beautiful table. I’m not serving cranberry sauce, but “Gran” always put cranberry sauce in the same dish. The other thing that comes to mind is that she had celery stuffed with cream cheese and a side of black olives on each end of the dining room table. I’m smiling remembering how six-year-old me would put one of the olives on my thumb and somehow not get in trouble for playing with my food. 

I won’t bore you with all of the things I’m doing to stir up nostalgia, I just wanted to give you an idea of what I mean and how it feels more fulfilling than receiving an item that has been mass-produced or that I have no connection to.

Christmas is extra-special for Bob and me because we got engaged on Christmas Eve 2017! It was very covert and all his idea. I guess those Hallmark Christmas movies paid off because the thoughtfulness and romantic things he did were 5 stars.  Just look at him…

Oh right! Back to creating YOUR Christmas vibe…see why I need to work on PRESENCE? 

The idea is to take a minute and think about what Christmas things make your heart smile. Close your eyes and remember a time when Christmas felt magical to you. What brings those feelings out of hiding for you? Is it a certain cookie? The smell of cinnamon? Christmas trees? Bing Crosby singing White Christmas? Close your eyes and envision your home looking and feeling like the magic of Christmas. Jot down a handful of things to incorporate into your home. 

I know it’s a busy time of year and I won’t take up more of your time with ramblings from #Reginaland. Instead, I’m encouraging you to create an abundant amount of “presence” for you and your loved ones this year by taking the next few minutes to jog your memory for things that you can do this year to create a fulfilling Christmas for you and your family.

If designing your Christmas that way seems a little overwhelming, not to worry, I’ve got your back! I put together a Holiday Guide with worksheets for you so you will have an easy way to do the outline. CLICK or TAP the image to access the guide.

🎁Thank you for giving me the gift of your “presence” while reading this, I appreciate you💝

  1. Tracey Lee says:

    Love the website!! <3

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