It can be easy to dismiss our adrenaline fuelled Christmas anxiety by justifying that ‘Christmas is all about the children!’ but, is this a good enough reason for us to allow ourselves to become diverted from the real meaning of Christmas? It can be bitter sweet for many of us; undoubtedly there are struggles, the fretting about finding the perfect gifts and the sadness of not spending it with the people we wish we could. Sadly, the expenses, social expectations and commercialisation can sometimes highlight our insecurities and ignite our anxiety with the slightest clink of a jingle bell. The pressures of living up to the expectation of it being ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ can literally suffocate the whole festive cheer and dissipate the true meaning of what Christmas is all about. Instead of letting these feelings overwhelm us we can decide to be mindful of our feelings; a good dose of mindfulness can keep us riding the waves of the festivities. When we recall our childhood memories, it’s easy to feel the anticipation and connect to our inner child. Reliving the excitement from our younger years, can help us to live in the feeling of joy. Listening to the excitement in our children’s voices or the seeing the sparkle in their eyes when Santa is mentioned, will help us to really feel the infectious cheer of Christmas. So take the time to pause, be aware of your thoughts, and absorb the magic like a child. When we are in this heightened state of festive joy, everything will be easier.
Christmas inspires us with fantasy, magic, make-believe and wishes. It’s easy to feel a childlike wonder when there is so much enchantment around: sending letters to the North Pole, looking for Santa’s sleigh through the twinkling stars, ice-skating and dragon breathing in the frosty air, the brightly lit windows, and making wishes come true. Use this opportunity to allow our children to believe in miracles, open the gateway to their own imaginations and inspire them to absorb the festive magic, and then follow their lead. Just a sprinkle of imagination and belief will allow you to see the beauty and the happiness in all the Christmas splendour and hold the magic in your heart just a little bit longer this year. I am choosing this year, to try to see Christmas through the eyes of a child.
Finding the perfect gift can really muster up a state of panic in our frenzied shopping sprees, but we sometimes become disconnected from the real reason why we are buying the gift. Christmas brings moments where things feel deeper, so use this opportunity to think of why you want to buy this person a gift and feel thankful that you have the opportunity to give a gift that comes from the heart. We can get carried away with the receiving aspect of Christmas but use the opportunity to show the next generation gratitude and giving. Children naturally find joy in the smallest of things, so be more like them. The most meaningful gifts are the ones we remember, not the ones with the big price tag. We just need to see the smiles on their faces when they make a lollypop stick decoration, or create a glittered handmade card. Thank your children, remind them how kind they are and remember that it really is the thought that counts at this time of year. Be appreciative that you have the opportunity to share and show your love to the people around you. A big squeeze of gratitude will allow you to feel the joy and empower you to give a gift given from the heart, without the stress.
Undeniably, time spent with our nearest and dearest is one of our key ingredients for a perfect Christmas, and it’s easy to be more compassionate at this time of year. However, sometimes our ego can get in the way of truly experiencing it. The umpteen errands and impossible social demands can cause us to have an uncomfortable smile masking our real feelings. Instead of exhausting our energy in doing the right thing or making things LOOK perfect, challenge yourself to put the energy into making things FEEL perfect. Children are experts at only doing what they want to do, so try this yourself, set new boundaries and release the feeling of trying to impress. Listen to your heart and do things that come from a place of authenticity, your energy will be magnetic, and no matter the amount of food or how beautiful the tree is, your captivating sparkle will be worth a whole lot more to those you choose to have around you on Christmas day. Delight in the dark nights spent playing Christmas games, watching festive films, and creating traditions. Deliberately do something that will make you smile, cherish the time celebrating with the people that matter, but most importantly feel good in whatever you are doing. Being loving and compassionate to others is easy, but remember, a scoop of compassion and love for yourself will mean your Christmas is spent from a place of real joy. Being authentic, particularly at this time of year is the gift that keeps giving.
So what is the meaning of Christmas? If it is about our children, then this Christmas, find your inner child. As the countdown begins, so does the anticipation. See Christmas through the eyes of a child and you will you remember the magic of Christmas. I am thankful that my own little elves and the children around me leave little opportunity for me to forget; they remind me to smile at the pink frosty skies, look for the naughty elf, dance in the twinkling lights, make snow angels, and always pull me back into the magic…
Wishing everyone a magical Christmas xxxx
About Gemma Baird
Gemma is the Mini Me Yoga advanced Ambassador for Cumbria. Gemma’s experience of working with children in a school setting allows her to support children’s wellbeing, something which she is extremely passionate about. Gemma lives in Carlisle with her two children, and is on a mission to bring yoga and mindfulness into every school setting and home. Her sessions focus on creating a fun and engaging environment where children can develop their confidence and awareness of self. She also offers workshops to educators or any adult who is interested in using Mini Me Yoga (no experience necessary). She invites you to get in touch to find out more about her services and how to discover the magick of Mini Me Yoga. Contact Gemma at: