“The people who find the most pleasure in Christmas are the ones who have taken control of the celebration and shaped it to conform to their own wishes and values. They know what’s most important about Christmas to them and they’ve found ways to make those values come alive.” – from Unplug the Christmas Machine
People hope Christmas will do many things for them. They want the holiday to renew their sense of wonder, heighten their religious experiences, draw their family closer together, enable them to reach out to others, and just generally have fun.
The list goes on and on.
But is it really possible for one celebration to be all things to all people? If you’re honest about it, probably not. But by finding out what you value most in the holiday, it’s possible to focus your time and efforts into the areas that will bring you the most satisfaction.
Today’s Exercise: Read the following list adapted from Unplug the Christmas Machine and see which statements resonate with you on some level. Then read through the list again and rank these items in order of importance to YOU:
Christmas is …
… a time of beauty and wonder.
… a time to bring peace on earth – both within my family and the world.
… a time to enjoy my immediate family.
… a time to create a beautiful home environment.
… a time to celebrate the spiritual aspects of my life.
… a time to exchange gifts with family and friends.
… a time for parties, entertaining, and group activities.
… a time to help those less fortunate.
… a time to strengthen extended family relationships.
… a time to engage in my church community.
… a time to take a few days off from work, relax, and have fun.
If you think of anything else that isn’t on this list, feel free to add it in. Remember, this is a list of YOUR Christmas values … not anyone else’s. Maybe crafts or hiking. Refer back to your fantasy Christmas for more ideas of what you value about the holidays.
Now, spend some time thinking about how your current celebrations and activities line up with your personal values about the holiday. Are there any glaring things that you see need to be changed? Is there anything missing that you want to add? Or something you’re doing that you could leave out without sacrificing your true values?
If you missed earlier sessions, click to begin: A Simple Christmas Workshop