I made it through another Christmas. Whew.... bring on January!
While Christmas is a favorite time of year for many, it is not on the top of my list. It just doesn’t really fit with my personality.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my Nova Scotian grown Christmas tree with its decade old ornaments, balsam fir scent, and glow of pretty multi-colored lights. I also wrote and received Christmas cards with pure joy. But this year, I approached Christmas differently than in past years.
This post contains photos of how I spent Christmas; leading up to, during, and following December 25. Instead of shopping, wrapping and socializing – I hiked with my partner Al. I soaked up as much nature and winter weather as I could fit into the 4 days we had off work together. We enjoyed three beautiful hikes, with just the birds and the trees. And each other.
You see, Christmas doesn’t really fit with my extreme introverted, minimalist, routine-driven personality. And it doesn’t really fit into my respect for and passion about nature.
I chose to have Christmas the way I wanted to have it this year, which was the bare minimum required. I received a few strange looks when I told people I didn’t want gifts. But honestly, ever since I watched the Story of Stuff, I’ve felt differently about gifts. So I decided that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, and aside from a couple of items, I didn’t buy or receive gifts.
You can watch the short video The Story of Stuff here if you are interested. I encourage you to do so; it is a video that really changed the way I think about things.
I told people I didn’t plan to visit or have any more people around me during Christmas than my partner Al. Some of those people invited me to their home. Join me they’d say, I’ll have a house full of people and it will be wonderful. Those people are extroverts who can’t possibly understand what a nightmare that would be. (Please, let there be one other introvert reading this who understands what kind of nightmare a room full of people making small talk is!)
I did enjoy a nice meal at my in-laws on Christmas Day – after an invigorating hike through the snow. But over the course of the holidays I had just one excessive meal and very little candy or cookies. I have worked hard to keep myself and my partner healthy this past year and I am so happy to have avoided a spike in blood sugar levels, or the need for stretchy pants on Boxing Day.
There were other benefits to the way I spent Christmas this year. This post is full of photos of the wonderful nature I enjoyed outdoors over the holidays. They are the largest benefit of all. Others include: a healthy bank account and no additional trash in the bin on Christmas morning from wrapping paper, plastic packaging, or dreadful curly ribbon.
For those reading this whose favorite time of year is Christmas; who love more than anything a house full of family members and friends; who enjoy all the treats that are a luxury this time of year; and for those who delight in buying and receiving gifts, I honestly and sincerely hope that your holidays were everything you wanted them to be. We all deserve to enjoy the things that make us most happy. My holidays were the way I wanted them to be, which is the exact opposite of what I just described, and Christmas 2013 was one of my best holidays yet.