Hello Friends! Earlier this week I turned to instagram and facebook and asked our community what everyone wants for Christmas. This year the two top answers were experiences and peace! Which, makes sense following 2020, right? I have been blessed with both this year, through creative solutions, and my community so I want to share a few ways that I have found both experiences and peace, and ways that you can both give and get them for Christmas this year!
Finding Peace in 2020 – Wake Up an Hour Early
This doesn’t have to be an extreme routine change, you can wake up 10-15 minutes early and find the same results. I LOVE my sleep. I can sleep anywhere, at any time, but this year I realized it was time to start building time into my day, for myself. So, over the last few months I have been waking up earlier and earlier. I open a window to hear morning sounds (for me its birds and trains), get a breeze, and I meditate.
Finding Experiences in 2020 – Try Something New
Trying something new can be scary! Sometimes I think we find excuses for ourselves too, “its too expensive” or “I don’t have time.” The reality is with no social outings, we have more time on our hands than ever before. And, something new doesn’t have to cost money! All you need is a good attitude (So maybe eat first so you are not hungry). I have tried yoga (free on youtube), painting (spent $20 at the craft store), going on walks (also free), finding a new grocery store (this one was a bit weird, I just wanted a change from routine and found so many yummy foods because my routine changed), going to parks to play sports (also free, unless you count a 5 minute drive and gas $), and watching a new sport (what better year to do this, than the year the Dodgers win it all!).
I think a key in finding new experiences, is to romanticizes your life a little bit. Take your normal evening routine and add music, drink some extra caffeine and be a little hyper, try to break a daily habit with something different and fun.
Giving Peace in 2020 – Stress Less
Easy, right? Pshhh heck no! I am the queen of stress. But our bodies don’t need that from us. When we stress, it triggers our “fight or flight” systems in our body and we don’t actually have something physical to fight or flee in 2020 modern day society. I don’t think constant stress about things that are out of our control is that good for us. (I do believe it’s how we grow, and we can chat on that at a later date). 2020 has been completely out of our hands. So let’s give peace to our husbands and wives, children, and friends by being people who stress less. Let’s be the friends that gossip less, discover the good in others more, and enjoy the lives we live – even if the situations totally suck. Let’s give peace through a meal together. Let’s give peace through meeting others love languages. (Write a card, do a chore for someone, spend quality time together, say something out of the ordinary but kind and thoughtful).
Giving Experiences in 2020 – It’s Christmas, so let’s give gifts!
My favorite part of the winter holiday season is getting to give gifts, and the cheerful attitude that I see others have when giving gifts. I absolutely love it! This year, budgets are tighter than others, and many are less inclined to be in group outings, so giving experiences is going to be a little different. BUT, it is still possible. Here are some fun ideas for experiences to give, with about how much money they would cost, and are all do-able in 2020 *weather depending*
- Picnic on a beach – bundle up in warm clothes, grab your family/friends favorite foods, a deck of cards, and watch the sunset on the beach
- Day trip to the snow – I don’t think many places in California have snow yet, but it’s coming! Lot’s of people think that a trip to the snow has to include a ski pass which is usually $100+, but you can have tons of fun in the snow without skiing or snowboarding. Craig and I try to get away for a day each winter and have snowball fights, and drink hot cocoa together. If you are a budgeter, and like skiing/snowboarding, budget that in! Maybe ask for it for Christmas from your family members, and then give your significant other/best friend/ kiddo / sibling a day date in the snow
- A “no going home day” – these are fun to me. I am a planner, but I love to “plan to not plan” and then go with the flow! Craig gifted this to me earlier this year and it was so fun! The $$ range can be whatever you decide it is. Give yourself and your adventure buddy $20, $50, $100 (or whatever you can), then the morning of – clear all plans (or do this ahead of time in secret for your adventure friend), and set only this rule: You can’t go home until the end of the day. Most likely this means no screen time, chores, or “to dos” so it is a relaxing day of a meal out to eat, maybe some window shopping, being a local tourist, and spending time outdoors.
This year has been hard for all of us. I hope that this can serve as some encouragement to you that while the things out of our control are hard, we can only control our attitude in those times, and sometimes choosing to find silver linings can transform how we go through seasons. In 2020 we have experienced job loss, death, relationships ending, and all the other emotions that come from isolation. So when I say I get it, I really do! Nothing quite compares to what this year has been, but my hope for myself, and for you is that the last 60ish days of the year, we can find the joy and hope in the holiday season, give peace to those around us, and have some incredible unique adventures too!