I don’t know about you, but for me the holidays typically feel hectic and rushed. Between last-minute gift shopping, visiting friends and family (or hosting them), and finishing up a bunch of unrelated end-of-year tasks, the last two weeks of the year can feel like a blur.

Love this sentiment.

Love this sentiment.

To counter the crunch, this year I’m going to slow down in the following ways:

  1. Get up earlier than usual, but not to make a bum rush for presents like I did when I was a kid, but rather to spend a few quiet moments alone. I may even meditate. I’ll definitely drink some tea.

  2. Listen to classical Christmas-y music, without comment or snark. I know people love to complain about holiday music, but, honestly, once you get past the Frostys and Rudolphs, there’s some really good stuff there. Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio—those are dope! I’m going to listen, and do nothing else.

  3. Sip/nibble something slowly. My mom typically makes an awesome brunch on Christmas morning. This year I’m going to focus on savoring every bite. 

  4. Use the gift exchange as an opportunity to practice genuine, in-the-moment gratitude. I will unwrap presents slowly, and I will watch other people unwrap what I gave them. I will take breaks, because it’s not a race.

  5. Count my blessings. I’ve got to say, being Jewish has never stopped my family from doing Christmas right. It’s not hard to get into the spirit when the spirit means being grateful for your family and friends, practicing kindness and generosity, and feeling abundance. I’m going to take a moment to drink it all in.

How will you slow down during Christmas (or whatever holiday is your jam)?