Oh my goodness, it’s Christmas Eve… That sure happened fast.
Christmas is my most favourite time of the year. I love it for all of the reasons that everyone does, the smells, food, love, family and friends. I have even noticed that since having a child that Christmas is even more special, and a great opportunity to create memories that will last forever. Here’s the thing though, it seems that the older I get the less integrity this time of year holds for me. I am finding it harder to not be distracted by the gluttony and greed that is displayed at this time of year. And I am even more bothered when I find myself taking part. Yes, even I have flaws.
So here is my plan. I am going to create a list, this list will contain things I am already doing to promote self-improvement, and it will also contain things that I hope to make part of my day to day life within the next year. I am choosing to share this list with you today for reason #1 on this list.
- Share. Share your love, time, knowledge, patience, kindness, humour, and the occasional cup of sugar.
- Pay it forward. Find $20 on the street? Donate it to someone in need. Know a friend that has fallen on hard times? Take that $20 and find a creative way to give it to them. Anonymously apply it to their power bill, buy them a gift certificate to their local grocery store, or quietly leave it somewhere for them to find.
- Try passing on the presents this year. Of course it is probably a bad idea to have your children be a part of this, but we are all adults here . You don’t actually NEED that new Ipad. Try making your gifts at home instead if you just cannot live without them.
- Go for a walk with a garbage bag. It was actually my 7 year old that introduced me to this. Yes, that’s right a small child had to bring this idea to my attention. Take a leisurely stroll with that garbage bag and pick up litter (wear some gloves please) as you enjoy the scenery.
- Don’t waste that food on your plate. Try dishing out smaller portions so you don’t end up with “eyes are bigger than stomach” syndrome. For those times where you have taken too much food, something in refrigerator has gone bad, etc, my suggestion is to build a small compost in your yard. Ask your lovely and kind neighbour who has access to a wood shop to help you. I know you’re reading this Jaime….
- Shop second hand. Not only will you save tonnes of money, but you won’t be contributing to excess waste. Who cares if your jeans aren’t name brand?
- Invest in an artificial Christmas tree. It will last you years and years (saving you dollars and more dollars), once again leading to less waste. Those poor trees are grown for 9-11 years just for them to be cut down and displayed in your living room.
- This is the one I am most excited for. My daughter is finally getting to the age where I can take her to volunteer. My mom had me volunteering for AIDS Regina starting when I was very young and it taught me so much about selflessness. She invested 40+ hours a week volunteering and expected me to help out. As a child I was in awe of her, and looked up to her kindness.
- Calm your heart. Think positive thoughts. When you inevitably brave the crowds this season and that jerk takes your parking spot or you get butted in line at the checkout, let it ride. Forgiveness is the name of the season. Bury those hatchets in six feet of snow. Someone in your life that you just can’t stand? Concentrate on their good qualities. Yes, they do have them. You just have to squint your eyes and look very hard.
Pretty extensive list hey? I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just pick two or three to work on at first and work your way up. The thing about self-improvement is that it shouldn’t be rushed and stressful. What we are looking for here is positive life changes.
On that note I want to send to all of you faithful readers my most genuine love and gratitude this holiday season. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.