Did you make a list of your favorite downtime activities last week? Were you able to find a few minutes here and there to squeeze some of them into your busy days?
A reader commented last week that she believes the most important thing you can do to change your attitude on life is to be grateful. I agree! Even if you are only able to find small joyful moments in your days, be grateful for those. Happiness is cumulative!
Welcome to week 4 of The Winter Project!
(What is The Winter Project?)
Finding joy in the holidays: Connection and community
The idea of gathering to “break bread” isn’t new. People have been sharing meals casually and ritually for millennia. This is Christmas week and, for my family, that means lots of gathering and sharing.
Last year on Christmas Eve, my husband, our children, and I visited three local charities to offer donations of warm clothing, toiletries, food, etc. to homeless individuals, families, and pets. Our kids are always very excited about receiving gifts, of course, but we wanted them to experience the feeling of sharing with someone(s) who are greatly in need of help as well as to give them perspective on how blessed we are to have a home and all of our comforts. We worked together to bring just a little bit of love to people and animals in our community.
This year we have plans with family beginning on Christmas Eve and continuing through the week. Gathering with people we love for a common purpose (in this case, to celebrate the Christmas holiday) can be such a comfort. This time of year provides many opportunities to connect: from family meals to holiday parties and gatherings with friends. All of these people have special roles in our lives and spending meaningful time with each of them feeds us in different ways. Some of our relationships are with family and others are with our “tribe”, or the community that we create around us. All of these connections bring rich and wonderful things to our lives.
Challenge for the week: Host a gathering of any size. Get together in a drama-free way and with a common purpose- even if that purpose is to relax! It doesn’t have to be at home and it doesn’t have to be a big production. Even meeting a good friend for coffee or a glass of wine or going on a date night with your favorite person counts! The point is to share time and space with someone who’s company you enjoy. Be present, enjoy the moment, and show up with your whole heart. As writer Jim Elliot is quoted, “wherever you are, be all there!” Who are you wishing to spend time with this week?
My plan for the week: We will be spending Christmas and the following days with family. I also hope to squeeze in a quick visit with friends.
If you celebrate Christmas, have a blessed holiday and enjoy your time with loved ones!
As we move through this project, I would love to hear about your survival skills, struggles, and success in the comments or by email (you can reach me at email@example.com)!
Other ways to follow along: