As the 2013 holiday season comes to a close, and the promise of new beginnings beckons and calls, it’s a great time of year to reconsider what truly matters, and how we can distill the essence of these more meaningful elements of life into our daily rhythms–and next year’s holidays. For many, the often over-commercialized, saccharine ideal of how we are supposed to celebrate can leave behind a bitter aftertaste. From trying to choose the right gifts that will please everyone and preserve family traditions that no longer serve you, to feeling trapped in some perceived expectation of Martha Stewart perfection, the holidays can leave us feeling a little threadbare, peaky, and empty.
Now that the Christmas merch and swagger has been discounted and swapped out for Valentine’s Day sweets in the seasonal aisles, perhaps you’ve already started to think about how you want to do things differently–and how these changes might reflect a more fully integrated effort to simplify on a larger front.
Whether for Christmas or Hanukkah, a birthday or special treat, we fret and wring our hands over what sort of gifts to buy for our children. A new Lego set? Painting easel? The latest tech-toy? It can feel trickier, still, as our children get older, and the go-to gifts of their childhood no longer have any appeal. And sometimes we don’t feel particularly good about getting them what they’ve asked for. Or circumstances have changed, and it’s hard to to justify spending so much on the bigger price items. Or maybe, we have chosen to simplify, enjoy a different kind of scaled-back celebration, whatever it is, and tap into the riches of just being together. Take heart; the essential gifts that come from the heart remain relevant no matter how old your children might be.