A Christmas challenge. Does that sound like something everyone wants? Probably not. Christmas is challenging enough, you could say. But when you add ‘carefree’ to it, then it makes sense doesn’t it? So many women are stressed out because of Christmas. But here is something you can do to prevent that.
What’s your idea of a challenge?
When I hear or read the word ‘challenge’, I instantly think of blood, sweat and tears. I have to make an effort. So when it comes to Christmas, my worst nightmare would be that I have to make dinner for at least four people. That’s because I don’t like cooking and have no idea what to prepare.
And so I would be the perfect candidate for my own Carefree Christmas Challenge. It’s not about food at all. It’s about clear the mind, silence the head, feel the heart and letting go. If I can master that and just accept that I can only do the best I can do, then suddenly it’s not a nightmare after all. Except from what to wear of course.
You can always find ten minutes each day. And even if you think you can’t, think again. Getting up ten minutes earlier is that possible? Watching less tv for ten minutes? Or walk the dog for more than ten minutes and practice in the meantime. This challenge is perfectly designed to do while you are doing other things. This Christmas challenge is about mindfulness.
Christmas from hell and heaven
I know that a lot of people don’t have really good memories when it comes to Christmas. I had awful Christmas gatherings in the past. When sitting at the Christmas table with in law, forcing to eat, discussing politics and mothers-in-law drinking more than they ever do. Drama at the Christmas table.
I also had lonely Christmases. I remember a Christmas when my partner and I already decided to split up but didn’t want to rule the family dinner. We were sitting there knowing that we would rather be some place else. And I knew that he was thinking and dreaming of someone else. Christmas from hell.
The last ten to fifteen years I have spent most of my Christmases alone. Christmas is such a family tradition in the Netherlands, that it’s hard to find yourself a nice place to go to. But I did spend Christmases with friends and people I didn’t know, at a hostel in Albania, in the middle of summer in New Zealand and in the snow in Norway.
Since the famous song became a hit, it was my biggest dream for many years to spend Christmas in a cabin up a mountain in the snow with friends. I cried years after years when seeing this video. This dream never came true, at least not like in the video.
But my last Christmas was surely a memorable one; I spend it in Thessaloniki, Greece at a dog shelter where I volunteered. Together with someone who doesn’t speak English and did her best to make a vegan dinner. Accompanied by 15 dogs. So I had several Christmas challenges.
This year I will spend my Christmas in Prague. Probably with some expats who cannot go to their family back home because of the measures about the virus; Prague is in heavy lockdown. Or I will spend it by myself. That would also be totally fine. I love myself and I love my own company.
Carefree Christmas Challenge
My whole idea for this Carefree Christmas Challenge came from a friend who always make an advent calendar. What do I have to offer? A lot! I am practicing mindfulness for many years, meditate multiple times a day and always try to be the best person I can be.
Being conscious about how to react and interact with people. I have compassion, know how to tel go of things that no longer serve me and can love with all my heart. Because in the end, love is all we need and love is the thing that connects us.
These times are challenging enough with all the restrictions about how many people we can invite or visit, maybe you have lost some people last year (physically or mentally) or maybe you have no one to celebrate with. My Carefree Christmas Challenge can help you connect more with yourself which helps you to connect more with others.