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December 16, 2020

The holiday season has sneaked up on me. Like so many things that have happened in 2020, December is here and I am not sure if I am ready for it! On top of the ‘normal’ family drama and year-end work functions, this year we’ve got the bonus pressures of social distance celebrations and how to spend less over the holiday season. Here’s some of my tips to help you on your merry way.

  1. Create spaces for more than just cheer

The holiday season is not all cheer and celebration, as much as I wish it could be. It is a tough time for many of us. Let’s not cover up our struggles with a shiny red bow. Rather, let’s create spaces where we can be real. 

2. Choose the gifts you want to give yourself 

2020 has taught me that there is so much I cannot control. But this year has also taught me that my reaction to the uncontrollable is completely in my control. Identify what gifts you want to give yourself this holiday season. For me, peace is the top of my wish list! 

3. Let go of the weight of expectations 

Is it just me or is the weight of the world’s expectations for cheer and celebration over the holiday season a bit excessive? We can decide what we want to do with these expectations. It’s up to you which expectations you wish to fulfil and which you wish to let go of. 

4. Give the gift of communication

This holiday season, I am committing to finding the balance between what I need and what is expected of me. When I am not fulfilling someone else’s expectations of me, I plan on offering a different gift this year: the invitation to have an honest conversation about how we can find the balance together. Whether this is about how we can celebrate safely, ethical and sustainable gift ideas, or how to make the holiday season vegan-friendly, I know I am going to having many honest conversations this holiday season. 

5. Bring your own food (and wine!)

Family and work events can be extra tough during the holiday season as the world is not vegan-friendly (…YET!) Although I have had many, many conversations about how to veganise the holiday season (see tip # 4), this feels like a lifelong commitment, especially in relation to the non-vegans in my life. I am going to let go of my expectations that other people are going to serve me a delicious vegan meal. I am bringing my own food (and wine) this year. I promise I’ll even bring extra to share. 

My wish for all of us is that out holiday seasons are filled with joy, peace and goodness. I hope that I even have a little extra joy, peace and goodness to share with the world. We all need it after the year we’ve had. May our holidays be merry and bright! 

Written by Claire Hart

Counselling Psychologist 

Bryanston info@clairehart.co.za / 079 653 0712 / www.clairehart.co.za

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