The weeks leading up to Christmas are my favorite time of the year, and I make a conscious effort to make time to fully enjoy the season. It’s easy to get lost in all the “busyness,” so today, I thought I’d offer some tips on how to make the most of this precious time.
Create meaningful holiday memories
I believe that setting aside time for family, friends, and of course, our cats, during this busy season is vitally important. It helps us slow down and create meaningful holiday memories. Research suggests that cherished memories from the past promote mental health and well-being. I previously shared some of the ways in which we make holiday memories at our house.
Holiday traditions are a way to mark the passage of the season. They give us the comfort of knowing that in this world of constant change, some things can remain constant. Most of my holiday traditions date back to my childhood, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. And of course, a lot of my holiday traditions revolve around my cats. I shared some of my traditions in a previous Conscious Cat Sunday column.
Finding holiday joy when you’re grieving
The holidays can be a very difficult time if you’re mourning the loss of a beloved cat. Grief, and the holidays, are stressful at the best of times. But even though it may seem impossible, the holidays can also be a time of healing, even in the middle of grieving. It is possible to feel grief and joy at the same time if you allow yourself to open your heart and experience the fullness of life. Last week, I offered some suggestions to cope with pet loss during the holidays, and they apply to dealing with any kind of loss or grief.
Make time for quiet reflection
Christmas Eve has always been a day of reflection for me. To me, that day, with all its promise, and its magic, is an opportunity to take a spiritual deep breath. And perhaps it’s an opportunity to reflect on how we can make the promise of Christmas last all year long. Read Christmas Eve Reflections for a little more on why it’s such a purrfect day for quiet time.
What helps you make the holiday season meaningful?
This post was first published in 2014, and has been updated.