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A mindful Christmas



Photographs: Pexels

Text: Ophelia Wu


Christmas lights, gløgg, Christmas markets, Christmas shopping - it's getting festive and, for some, stressful. While Christmas means differently to individuals, it's refreshing to have a mindful Christmas without much stress (or, if you want, don't give a f*ck!).


A mindful Christmas is for you and others. It can be stressful to feel the pressure whether you're a guest or a host. The idea of having a perfect festive season is so real. From finding the perfect outfit or gift to offer as a guest to planning the perfect julefrokost, putting together a great guest list and playlist, and just sorting out the schedule with about 25 people, it is very stressful. So, being mindful is having all those thoughts in your mind but staying calm and forget about the 'perfect' part. After all, it's all about spending quality time with each other and catching up on what's new in each other's life.


For your own sake, just do whatever you want and permit yourself not to feel guilty if you say no to any invitations or family traditions. Here are some ideas:


1. Really, don't let anyone decide for you.

For many, Christmas is a jolly season, but it might be the opposite for some. So when it comes to what to do for Christmas and the holiday, you should choose what makes you feel most comfortable. So often, we get pressured into attending parties or following some traditions- if they mean something to you, then hold onto it. But if you're like any expats living in Denmark with your own tradition or a way to celebrate, feel free to do whatever you want. Don't be made to feel guilty to excuse yourself from any gatherings you don't feel like attending. It is absolutely okay to set a boundary, from saying no to alcohol to how many events you will attend and a budget for presents. Do whatever feels right to you, and it will take a lot of stress off.


"It is absolutely okay to set a boundary, from saying no to alcohol to how many events you will attend and a budget for presents. Do whatever feels right to you, and it will take a lot of stress off."


2. While you celebrate, also be mindful of others.

It is a festive season where families and friends get together, but some are less lucky than others. Christmas might be a 'universal' thing, but for some, it is for religious reasons that they don't celebrate it. So, be mindful that not everyone wants to do something for Christmas and respect their wishes to spend it their way. With so much happening worldwide, it is tough for some to get into celebratory mode.


3. Buy less, buy better.

Christmas also means a time for gift shopping. Instead of making it to the bottom of the list, why not try to buy something that lasts longer, is better quality, and serves some purpose. It is also a good time to get crafty and do some DIYs. Remember, it's the thoughts that count. Also, don't be afraid to spend as little or as much as you want according to your budget, not anyone else's.


4. Just enjoy!

The festive season is all about enjoying yourself and others' company. Yes, it is magical - it is Christmas, and it is probably the one time of the year that you get to spend time with your relatives and family members. That is precisely the reason why we should all just enjoy and relax. Take the opportunity to find out what's going on with your loved ones' lives, update each other, and if you are not a big talker, just listen and nod with a smile.


But having said that, just go and enjoy your holiday the way you want, with who you want, and however you want it to be. I hope you get to spend it with the people who love you and you love.

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