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Creating your own DIY Christmas Retreat

bed tentI’m in my forties, and for the first time in my life I’m not going home to my folks for Christmas.

I’m staying put.

Staying in my own home, possibly alone—and I’m relishing the very thought of it.

I’m not knocking the traditional family Christmas day; I’ve enjoyed a great many and hope to enjoy many more in the years to come. But this year, it’s not for me. And for those who will also be alone—whether out of choice or circumstance—I want to say: Embrace it!

Because the tradition is to spend Christmas with family, we have become socially conditioned to believe that spending this day alone must be sad and lonely. The reality though is that this idea is no more true than a fairy tale. And I’m not buying it.

“Christmas alone is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” ~ William Shakespeare (ish)

This Christmas is going to be my mini-retreat.

In fact, it may be very mini. I’ll have the company of my housemate for a couple of hours in the morning and a friend may (or may not) join me for dinner. I suspect though that she’s not going to come. I suspect that she’s happily plotting her own hibernation—spot the kindred spirit—and so I’m anticipating spending most of the day with just my cat for company.

And this idea is just as delightful to me as sharing the day with a good friend.

To be honest, if she comes, it won’t really change how I’ll spend the day in any way. We’ll eat some nice food, enjoy a few drinks and relax in front of the fire. Go for a walk. Maybe watch a film. Maybe just chat. Maybe just sit and stare into the flames. Probably a combination of all of these possibilities.

If I’m alone, I’ll do the same.

I am completely unattached to either outcome; either way I’ll be relaxing and completely ignoring any expectations others may have around what I should be eating, wearing, watching, listening to or otherwise doing.

I’m rejecting the hype around the kind of Christmas we should be experiencing. Because this is just a story. A glitzy, glamorous story. A story that stresses many people out as they try to live up to its associated expectations. A story that we are not obliged to live out. At all.

We get to choose and create our own Christmas experience. This year, I choose to view Christmas as a spiritual retreat. A total chill out day to set me up in body, mind and spirit for all that the new year has in store.

Care to join me?

If you’re going to be alone this Christmas day (out of choice, or otherwise), here is a list of things you could do to create your own DIY Christmas Retreat: (Click here to read the rest of this artice on Elephant Journal)


Photo via Pinterest (can’t find original source)

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