Remember the best Christmas present ever? Our yuletide holidays are often a time when we reminisce about years gone by – the people we shared it with, gifts given and received, things that happened for better or for worse, and maybe we even compare this Christmas to past ones. Just yesterday I found myself recalling my childhood and the best Christmas present ever (a little red cardboard vanity case), and saying that I longed for the silly card games with the extended family, including the hilarious rows about cheating. I even missed sleeping on a camp bed and sitting on a rickety stool at the dinner table! Who would have thought? As (fortunate) adults, we spend a lot of time planning what to buy, when to shop, how to wrap the presents, when to start cooking the meal, what order to do it in, what we’ll do later, what we could be doing or who we could be with instead! In other words, we spend a lot of time in our head, even on the day itself, thinking and judging.
But the best times are had when we’re not in our head but in our body – when we are fully involved in whatever is going on without thinking about it, when our attention is absorbed in whatever we are doing.
So stay mindful during this year’s festivities – play the games with gusto, prepare the food with love, give your full attention to whomever you end up with, breathe deeply on your walk in nature and take in the scenery, eat thankfully until you’re full. Leave the phones and social media, and the wishing and coulda/woulda/shoulda’s behind. Enjoy your Christmas present. Fully present in the here and now, for when you’re not paying attention, you may miss the good bits. Go on – you’re worth it!