We all dream of holidays to be stress-free, leisurely and idyllic times, before somehow getting wrapped and caught-up in all the chaos, hustle and bustle they bring. We need reminders to take it slow and easy. To have a meaningful holiday true to the spirit of the season!
This got me thinking! What better way to do it than to lay out reminders in an ‘Advent Calendar’ style. Advent calendars are all about counting down to the big day. And they pack little surprises – a cookie, a chocolate, a mint, a card, a toffee, a joke, a knick-knack, a small gift – for every morning, for 24 mornings, leading to Christmas.
How interesting would it be if we can borrow this idea and create a calendar that is meant especially for us? A calendar that reminds us to keep the focus on important things and not get carried away (or dragged unwittingly)! Like that voice in our head, just way cooler, with notes, jokes and treats just for us!
Here’s how we do it:
Draw a sketch
Begin by imagining all the days from December 1st leading to the 25th! Think about all the things you will be doing, and what type of reminders would serve you best.
Do you tend to overcook? Or spend time in the kitchen away from your family and friends? Are you a perfectionist, always cleaning, trimming and endlessly chasing chores? Will you need a reminder to call a special someone who can’t visit? Or book tickets to a concert you enjoy?
Think of everything! And, lay it out on a simple piece of paper. This is your sketch.
Fill it in
Now that you know what reminders you need, put them all on colourful pieces of paper (or on white paper using colourful pens). Get creative and have fun. If there are days when you need no reminders what-so-ever, write a silly joke for yourself that will make you smile or opt for an activity such as 15 minutes of meditation!
If you are an energetic person who tends to get overexcited, your reminders should be such that calm and soothe you. And if you are an anxious person who is dreading the holidays, make your reminders about simplicity, faith and belief.
Overall, your notes should uplift you. Give you all the confidence in the world. And, they should be filled with warmth, love and that special kind of attention only you can give yourself!
This is the most exciting part of the activity! And I am sure you ladies (and gents) are simply going to love it! It is a bit different from your usual shopping but no less fun, I assure you. Let me explain how.
When you go shopping for your advent calendar, buy small treats that will go with your reminders. For example, if the reminder is to care for yourself, a petite sachet of bath salts or a pretty pair of earrings is a nice buy. Similarly, if the reminder is to take a pause and breathe, a floral incense or a small bottle of perfume can complement that. If you’ve decided to be more conscious of your food choices and stay away from unhealthy sugary treats, buy a single-serve packet of organic quinoa or a jar of herbs and toppings you love.
The idea is to give your little treats some thought and shop for some simple things that will bring you great pleasure.
Now, combine your notes together with your little gifts, and wrap and number them. You can also put them into small gauze or linen bags, depending on their size. Choose a Christmas stocking, a large mason jar or simply lay your calendar out on your counter!
Don’t forget to unwrap, read and use each little gift starting 1st December!
As a final thought, creating a calendar for yourself is definitely satisfying, but if you can do gift a calendar to someone you care about. It will make their season a little less stressful and a little bit happier, and they’ll love you for it!