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Intentional living during the month of indulgence

If this year forced one positive thing it was to slow down, breathe, pause, and be with one’s family. For many of us that sparked a renewed appreciation for intentional living and minimalism... This is all very well January through to November but what happens during the month of absolute indulgence and I’m not just talking about gifts, but also food, home decor and the way we choose to spend our time? After 2020 I now appreciate quiet time and the value it brings to my family so much more, I am more intentional about how I, and we as a family, spend out time, what we spend our money on, and the way that I define self care and simple pleasures. Now that December is here, I am really making a conscious decision not to fall into the over-indulgence trap of “too much" the entire month. Here is how I am doing it:Deciding one’s priorities This year I have really looked at my priorities for the holiday season and our time off work. Family time and time with special friends is so important to me and without a doubt a priority for me at this time of year. I love nothing more than having friends and their kids over for a lazy lunch and swimming which turns into all the kids hopping into the bath together and the lunch leftovers turning into dinner. I also value the time away with my family - it’s a chance for us all to reconnect together and enjoy our time together without a cut off of school and work the next day. But that doesn’t mean that I have to attend every invite we receive or invite every single friend over so that every night is packed. It’s good to have a glass of wine with my love and put my feet up - that too is an indulgence. When I say “decide one’s priorities” what I actually should say is “decide who is your priority” and then allocate those people and yourself time. Time is so valuable so make sure you spend it with people who really add value to your life in a stress-free and happy way. 2. Relook at your gifting mentalityGosh, nothing actually makes me more sick that an abundant, overflow under the Christmas tree. Let’s be honest, so often we get things that we don’t like and certainly don’t need. As for the kids, I am a firm believer in two things: 1. They do not need to get every single item on their wish list and 2. I am dead set on bringing up my girls to appreciate minimalism, intentional choices, appreciating one thing at a time, and being conscious of our environment - don’t even get me started on all that plastic crap that appears at Christmas time! I am a huge supporter of small, local businesses for gifts. I really feel that there is no better place for my money to go than a fellow woman hustling to make her dream, and income, work. I love it and I will do anything to support these proud woman. Secondly, my family and I limit the gift-giving for adults. Almost like secret Santa, we each get one gift. I can’t tell you how much thought goes into the item and I always love what I get. For me this is intentional living. For the girls: yes! What is Christmas without gifts? But again I support small businesses, I buy items with longevity and open ended playing that will be loved for years, not a quick fix that will be forgotten by Boxing Day. 3. FoodOkay, here is where I let myself off the hook. I am all about great big, over flowing meals at this time of year. I don’t want one salad on the table I want three. I like the indulgence of a family meal, all sitting down together, sharing food and stories and love. Again, my intentions come in via how I buy my food and where I buy it from. Again, I am all about supporting local. Yes, I may have three jars of jam, but they are from the local farms that we have visited and I even love the labels! I am not saying go on a crazy diet during December but be conscious of what you consume. 4. The joy of quiet timeOf course this is the month of celebration and I am not undermining that but at the same time it is the month to relax from a crazy year, reflect on the year past and look at the year ahead. I like less screens, more books. I like to start thinking of my intentions for the new year, and lessons learnt from the past year. I like to reconnect with my partner by carving out time together - where neither of us are quickly answering an email or where a date is dinner at home. The same goes for the kids - I place a lot of importance on the holiday being time to slow down again, lie in, pyjama days, lunches lasting all afternoon and ice cream before bed. 5. Traditions and memories that lastBetween Pinterest and Instagram I often find myself overwhelmed with the amount of ideas of Christmas traditions and ideas to embrace during this fun season. Elf, Advent calendar, holidays, trees, wreaths, decor, carols, lights, cookies, baking, family visits, present, parties, lunches, trips… etc., etc. A few years back I suddenly found myself in the middle of doing every single idea I had ever seen online and realised it all rolled into one, my girls didn’t seem to thrive in it either, and often I found myself overwhelmed with everything I was trying to fit it. Now I have edited my approach: we don’t do every single Christmas activity advertised, we prioritise our trips and our Advent calendar is a combination of things to do, books to read, things to open and fun, family memory-making moments like a candle lit garden picnic for dinner. Less is more! I wish you a magical break lovely gals. Take deep breathes, enjoy the little things like wine and beach views, wear sunscreen, read your book, enjoy the gifting process - from choosing to wrapping to giving, hug your loved ones, and remember it’s okay if you go to bed before midnight on the 31st.
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