Holidays festivities are a welcomed break from the everyday, every year.
Dressing up and going to a party makes the darkest time of year feel not only bearable but actually quite special, full of sentiment.
But as people gather together, there will be a lot of vibes going around and coming together. Memories. Fun and laughter. Dreams.
Disappointments as well, silent or outspoken.
If you are sensitive, these gatherings can sometimes be a little overwhelming.
And still, we can all decide how we choose sail through the festive season. Just because something is a tradition, does not mean you have to keep doing it, if it does not call you and inspire you.
Like with everything in life: it is what it is – and it will be whatever you make it.
Christmas can be about tradition and responsibilities but it can also be about taking time for your very loved ones – and for yourself.
Christmas food can be traditional but it can also be exotic and different and leave you feeling energized and vital.
And it can be simple.
I make avocado hummus for a night snack. Holiday or an ordinary Monday, my family loves it.
I roast veggies. The sweet ones such as beets and carrots and turnips and parsnips and potatoes are great together. I chop them, toss them with salt and oil, add plenty of fresh rosemary and roast in the oven.
Another permanent favorite is Jerusalem artichokes, cut in half, tossed with salt and olive oil, and roasted for an hour or so. They are so delicious, just like that, on their own.
And brussels sprouts, roasted with butter and thyme. Find my brussels sprout recipe here.
Christmas can be all gold and green and red and sparkling but it can also be visually silent. It can be all lively conversations but also about taking time to think, taking time to read, taking time for your favorite projects.
It can be fancy party clothes and makeup but also bare faces and skin, spending a lot of time in sauna, bathtub, pool, natural waters even, if you up for it.
As much as there is to celebrate, it is also the time of the year when most of us tend to do some kind of inventory of the past year – and become clearer than before about some things that we wish to improve.
It is the time of the year when you may find yourself thinking and feeling things you thought were long forgotten. That is part of the inventory too, so let it be.
In my life, I have found that the best way to stay sane when there is much going around is to begin every day with a clear intention to stay focused and truthful to who I am – regardless of what the day might bring.
Most mornings, I meditate before getting up. It gives me clarity.
This does not mean I do not ever get upset, but it sets the tone of the day. All things are happening for me, not to me.
This year, like last year, I get to enjoy a little Christmas spirit in Finland before heading to Italy, home, but also Milan and Venice, it is the first time in Venice for me.
I hope the upcoming weeks will be wonderful for you, even though we humans do not always notice the most wonderful moments when they are upon us. We only talk about how momentous they were, in retrospect.
What a waste.
So let’s try to catch at least a few of those moments when we can feel fully present and content in the moment. Like, now I am happy. Right now, I feel happiness. Right now I feel love.
I believe that is the only happiness there is. That said, there is plenty of it for us all. To notice, is key.