Take the Present Challenge

It’s no secret that I love the holidays. Yet, every season I stumble across as much distaste for the holiday season from other people as I do enjoyment. Why?

The blame frequently falls on the many stresses of the holidays – gift shopping/giving, parties, travel, family, finances, corporate greed, expectations in general, etc. Short list, right?

It’s easy to agree – there’s simply a lot to become overwhelmed with each holiday season. So, how does one find joy in the supposed “most wonderful time of the year?” Andy Williams sang it, so it must be true, right?

I think it comes down, in large part, to slowing down enough to enjoy the traditions you love about the holiday season and just be present. Thus, my #PresentChallenge!

I break it down in this video if you want watch…

For the speed readers who don’t have time for that newfangled video nonsense, I’ll boil it down for you.

We live so much of the holiday season lost in lists and planning, that we frequently can forget to be in the moment and experience what’s right in front of us. This is truly a different way to live (heck there are loads of books out there about living in “the now”) and it’s not always easy, especially for those of us who don’t practice it throughout the year. The holidays, however, are the perfect time to really give it go.

No other time of year seems to spin past a fast, or be full of as much fun, activity and festive joy. You want to truly experience those favorite traditions and events. It’s when you get caught up thinking up what’s next, or what’s already been, that you miss the moment. Then you’re left on January 2nd wondering where the heck the holidays went.

So I challenge YOU to take my Present Challenge and make a point of being 100% present and in the moment during those favorite holiday moments. If you can do even more, then go for the gold!

If you need a little extra help in identifying those key moments for your Present Challenge, spend a few moments and write down your absolute favorite holiday festivities and traditions. Everything from sipping hot mugs of minty hot chocolate to attending holiday shows like the ballet.

Take your list and as you slot them into your jam-packed calendars, put a star there to remind yourself that you need to focus truly being present during those experiences. Try to take in as many details of each of them as you can, trying to make a mental video or slideshow that you can later playback and enjoy.

The point is not to add any layer of difficulty, but just to remind yourself that the holidays are a spectacular time of year, to be enjoyed, to be celebrated and to be present for. It’s really a gift unto itself and after a long busy year, you most certainly deserve the celebration.

I hope you try the Present Challenge for yourself. Let me know if you do!

And above all else, enjoy the holidays!