As winter takes hold, the familiar desire to cocoon envelopes me. I like nothing better than to curl up with some hot chocolate or tea (I don’t drink coffee, but love the smell) and either read or write. There’s something about that whole winter hibernation thing that’s appealing, but I wonder if I can truly take advantage of it. Can I allow things to slow down so I can rest, take stock, and move more slowly so I have time to explore, think, and enjoy?

The arrival of the holidays pushes us in the opposite direction with its feelings of frenzy–decorating, buying, wrapping, mailing. But I’ve realized that I really do have a choice when it comes to jumping on the tilt-a-whirl or stepping back and letting it whirl without me.

Here are some of the more mindful things I’m planning to do this holiday season:

  • Think of the people as I buy their gifts and list all the things I love about them
  • Do the same when I wrap gifts
  • Call them “gifts” and not “presents” because gift carries gratitude and appreciation with it for me
  • Dance–often, with or without other people
  • Write
  • Read
  • Laugh
  • Listen
  • Eat things that aren’t “good” for me, but that taste good and feel okay about it

What about you?