Christmas is a wonderful time of year!
The sparkle of the outdoor lights hanging from tree to tree… the smell of gingerbread baking in the oven… spending time with the ones you love… the soft sounds of “Oh Holy Night” playing on the stereo.
Back in the day when I worked in the city, the Season always started a week before Thanksgiving when the city-based department stores revealed their glorious window displays.
I would wait with excitement on that day!
It would be dusk when I left work. The night sky was just turning a winter blue. The lights from the decorated trees and wreaths sparkled in the clear night. You could feel a hint of snow off in the distance.
One of the big department stores stood on the corner across from the garage where I parked. As I walked down the sidewalk, anticipation filled my chest.
Slowly I’d come to the first window display...
Oh, what a sight! A vision taken straight from Norman Rockwell himself. I’d take my time, soaking it all in. Slowly I’d walk down the sidewalk- each window a different theme - each one with such attention to detail.
As I moved to the revolving door that took me into the store my heart would beat faster and faster with anticipation for what's inside.
Slowly I moved through the door. My heart pounding, pounding in my chest… my pupils dilated with excitement...
As I entered the store, it was all revealed...
Christmas music playing over the loud-system…bakery smells wafting down the staircase from the second floor… the large oversized Nutcrackers guarding the entrance… giant-sized ornaments adorning the different stations… lights strewn from corner to corner…
It’s Christmas time in the City!
I know you have memories like this too. The Season is filled with wonderment, traditions and nostalgia.
If not properly managed, you can quickly find yourself overbooked with commitments and activities that leave you too wiped out to enjoy it all.
As a 50+ fabulous woman, we want you to show up as your healthy, gorgeous and energetic self throughout the entire Season. This time comes only once a year. You deserve to enjoy the best of it!
This cannot be stressed enough. A good plan will save your sanity and enrich your experiences. Start with a list of whom you want to visit… What you want to do… The shows you want to see.
It is so easy to get swept away in the “holiday current” that you miss out on doing something or seeing someone that makes Christmas special for you.
Next, plan your time. Be sure to build in some “me time” so you get rested and rejuvenated. Looking ahead also gives you the opportunity to co-mingle activities with people - making it a 2 for 1!
They don’t call it the “Christmas 20” for nothing! With the fun of the season taking the wheel, it’s easy to get lost in all the holiday cheer and lose sight of those extra carbs.
Plan a little more exercise in your routine by parking further from the store… organize with your girlfriends for a morning walk… or schedule a night out dancing.
There’s no such thing as “the perfect Christmas”. This ideal can quickly send you into a frenzy trying to make everything exactly just so.
Instead of trying to make every meal or outing perfect, focus on making the moments you spend with others perfect.
Just by being in the present and enjoying life as it comes, you will build memories and stories that can be lived over and over, for years to come!
During the season of giving, it’s so easy to lose sight of your own needs. This is a great time to dust off some simple meditation techniques that can go where you go.
A favorite go-to is “deep breathing” meditation. It’s a simple process of focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale.
Here's how it’s done - the trick is to focus on your breathing but don’t alter your breathing pattern. One breath at a time, bring your focus to your breathing. As you inhale and exhale- Notice the flow of air as it travels through your body and notice how your body reacts to it.
Keep your focus light but controlled. Have awareness that you are in the present moment and focused on your breathing!
Holiday traditions give you comfort and safety during a time when anything that can happen, usually does happen.
You take pride in carrying forward those holiday treasures that were handed down from your grandmother to your mother to you. This year, be brave and mix it up a bit.
Add some spice by creating a new tradition. Find something new that you've been wanting to try… grab some besties and get to it. Having new life experiences can be the tradition you pass on to future generations!
The hustle and bustle of the season is more enjoyable when you’re rested. Plan a few moments through the week when you have some alone time to recalibrate your senses.
Hang the “do not disturb” sign on the door and take a soothing bath or climb into your sanctuary and take a little nap.
These moments leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next holiday adventure!
It’s important to maintain a normal sleep schedule. Too often you may find yourself up earlier and out later during the holidays.
This disrupted pattern disturbs your internal body clock leaving you exhausted, cranky, and a bit grinchy!
There are so many ways to overdo it that sometimes the simple way is the most enjoyable.
If you are hostessing, make it an hors-d'oeuvres party. This is a great way to blend store-bought with homemade… and it can be a lot of fun.
There are many dishes you can make in advance and heat the day of the party. Good food… good wine… good fun - this is the recipe for a memorable evening!
Schedule a special evening to connect or reconnect with the important women in your life. Life can get chaotic and no one says “I hear ya sister!” like your tribe.
You can keep it simple and go out to eat… drive around looking at all the holiday decorations... or stay in and watch a movie. There’s something magical in the air when the girls get together!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the activities of Christmas that we lose sight of what the season is really all about. In and amongst the hustle and bustle… plan time where you can give the gift of your time to someone who needs it.
You want to use caution during these times of “lockdown” but it can be as simple as cooking and sharing a meal with a neighbor who lives alone.
Or inviting someone who is recently widowed out to lunch or for an afternoon of pampering. As a 50+ fabulous woman, you are the gift that keeps on giving!
Year over year, you can’t believe how fast time flies. Well, nothing says “warp speed” like December. You planned your calendar… selected events and outings that speak to your heart… and, now it’s time to make some memories.
During those celebrations, set aside a few minutes to take it all in. Use all your senses - the smell of the food… the taste of the wine… the laughter over a silly joke… the warmth from the fire… the comfort of a friend’s arm around your shoulder.
Make it a Christmas you remember!
When you reflect with gratitude, studies show that your brain releases those “feel good” chemicals dopamine and serotonin.
And when you feel good...you look good. There’s nothing more Positive Aging than that!
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