This year I celebrated the Christmas holiday in a way that was nontraditional for me. My partner and I flew to Mexico to spend a week together followed by his oldest boys joining us for five more nights.
It was a lovely & fortunate way to spend the holiday. We ate our fill of chips, guacamole, and Pacificos. We went to the beach most days. Christmas Eve dinner was spent on the beach, our feet in the sand, enjoying a beautiful dinner while a mariachi band sang “Feliz Navidad” to us. Christmas morning we Skyped with those that were missing the celebration in Mexico, opened locally sourced presents, and gleefully hit a Santa piñata filled with candy and souvenirs. It was an exciting way to celebrate and enjoy this time of year together.
There was nothing usual about the way we celebrated. I didn’t do any of my usual activities. I didn’t bake cookies. I didn’t cook a gourmet meal. I didn’t spend time in reflection or prayer. I didn’t go to church. I didn’t drink too much. I didn’t rush about. I didn’t worry. I wasn’t anxious. I also didn’t lament the absence of any of these usual things (well except for drinking too much).
I was present. I was in the moment.
Sure I missed baking and eating too many cookies. I missed seeing other family members. It felt strange to be on the beach at Christmas instead of inside by a fire. I missed the act of sitting around a Christmas tree, eating sweets and coffee and watching everyone open presents. I noticed my spiritual piece missing and contemplated the importance for me.
But what I loved about this Christmas, and what I hope it brings forth for me moving forward, is the notion that incorporating the nontraditional in our lives – whatever that may be – can be a springboard for other areas of our lives. What I mean is, how can I do things differently in other areas of my life? How is the same old way of doing things not serving me anymore? Where else in my life do I need nontraditional ideas? Where else can I make a leap to a different approach?
You’ve heard it a 1000 times. If you want different results, you need to do things differently. I’m looking forward to doing things differently in 2016.