Holidays are meant to unite a community, celebrate its purpose, and bring meaning to life.

They can be filled with sacred beliefs and age-old traditions that are well-respected from generation to generation, making this time of year one of the most beloved seasons of all.

But as of late, some may be finding the holidays lacking the significance they once held.

Everything from dealing with a pandemic and/or grief to extreme consumerism to unreasonable obligations can leave anyone feeling unsure, empty, and exhausted…yearning for happy in the holidays.

If you relate to these feelings, this year may be a wonderful opportunity to redefine what the season means to you and your family. Discover what matters most and then find ways to celebrate that are congruent with those ideals.

Need inspiration?

I’m sharing three virtues that can encourage authentic substance for special meaning at the holidays – for you, your family and community, and the world as a whole.

Heed Health

For many, the holidays revolve around the concept of more. More gatherings, more food, more drinks, and more spending. And while all of this can be enjoyable at times, what if it were more about slowing down and living mindfully and less about meeting expectation and doing it all?

No, you don’t have to give up that special pie Grandpa makes or the cookies the kids love to bake, but shifting some choices can allow for a healthier season all around.

Some tips are:

            – cooking and eating seasonal foods such as winter squash, pumpkin, root vegetables, and citrus as much as possible (I love to make butternut squash custard with eggs and chia seeds!)

          – swapping wine and alcohol for kombucha or sparkling water

          – staying hydrated for the flushing out of extra treats and taking a liver support supplement to assist in detoxing

          – making YOUR sweet your treat; not mindlessly eating something just because it’s there. Choosing wisely – if it’s not serving            a purpose then walk away.

In addition, I believe that the holidays are truly a time to slow down.

To do this, I recommend:

          – reflecting on the past year (what was accomplished, what are we grateful for)

         – letting go of holiday expectations that don’t serve a purpose and/or are unhealthy

         – taking time to relax and unwind from the busyness

         – getting out in nature to connect with your environment

Marking the passage of another year is important, so try to take a pause and honor the past in order to make space for the future.

Seek Sustainability

Choices that are good for the earth are just as important as the ones made for your health.

Make a difference in the world this year by:

– learning Furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping that uses beautiful fabrics. Collect scraps, scarves, tapestries, etc. from fabric or thrift stores in which the gift receiver can reuse to make something later on such as a lavender eye pillow, grocery bag, or straps for a yoga mat.

– gifting books. Able to be reread or passed along, books are a sustainable and meaningful gift. A few of my favorites are:

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

by Matthew Walker, PhD

These can be easily purchased online and wrapped using Furoshiki!

Make Meaning

What do the holidays mean to you?

How would you like to bring pomp and circumstance to this special occasion that feels in line with your values?

What would you do if expectations were not forced upon you?

These can be key questions in molding the season to what you want it to be.

Openly discuss with your family to learn what their thoughts are as well.

And to lessen the load and develop new traditions?

Ask each family member to take on one activity, meal, or responsibility. For example, if kids love baking cookies, let them find recipes, make the shopping list, and help clean up afterwards.

Even though the holiday season may always have been celebrated in a certain way does not mean they can’t change and adapt. You don’t have to lose sight of its foundational purpose from generations past, but shaping them to what feels right for you and your family can be healthy for all.

And that…is something to be merry about!

Are you in search of better health for the holidays? For naturopathic support in the Boulder/metro Denver area, please call me at (720) 340-0193 or contact me here.

Together, we can address hormone imbalance, brain health, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, pain management, stress release, and other health challenges that may be impeding your happy at the holidays.