I’m sitting at my desk, writing this, after a full day at work, trying to keep up with deadlines.

9 days before Christmas.

I have barely scratched the surface of holiday merry-making standards. I have my tree up and decors out but the area under the tree is still bare. I haven’t shopped for gifts yet. I haven’t thought about what to serve for Christmas Eve dinner (It’s the first time we are hosting it at home). My mind hasn’t switched to holiday mode yet but I’ve been stung by the holiday frenzy aka I want to buy this-and-that.

Yet starting today, I’m slowing down.

I’m choosing to slow down.

I have no intention to go to the city, even if the only gift my child wants is available in a specific branch (fortunately, this hasn’t happened). I have turned down most social events up until Christmas and have every intention on just staying at home, working on year-end deliverables, doing last-minute tasks to wrap 2014 up and planning and dreaming for 2015.

I’m choosing to savor the season.

While it can be easy to get caught up with the holiday frenzy especially when you are a grown adult having the best intentions of not ruining the perception of Christmas magic for the kids, I think we also need to choose to slow down and savor – “taste” or go through and enjoy and appreciate – what the season brings.

  • For me, that means I get to enjoy the bed cuddle weather we have. I have brought out thick comforters that only get unearthed during December.
  • For me, that means hitting the snooze button more times than the usual to sleep in (up until I can’t afford not to wake up because my daughter needs to go to school).
  • For me, it’s taking little bits of time for myself to reflect on what this year has given me, dream of what I can do further and plan on taking action. This merits the biggest chunk of savoring the season for me – being alone and reflecting. This often involves staring into space and praying.

I’m not a Grinch, mind you. I’ve just been caught up in the holiday rush that I failed to even enjoy the season in the past. Sure, I had fun – I can still remember the moments of Christmas past – but it was like waking up with a severe case of holiday hangover that I don’t get to start the new year right. And that’s something I am choosing not to do this year – going overboard with everything: gifts, holiday food, holiday cheer (or what you can call parties) and the commercialism of it all. I choose to give meaningful gifts to people I love and know and appreciate – and that includes the helper that stays out and comes in and takes care of my daughter when I’m in the city. I choose to focus on holiday conversations that is set to happen during Christmas dinner with my siblings. I choose to focus on spending time with my husband, who I’ve only realized I’ve missed so much this year with our work challenges. We’ve worked ourselves to the ground this year. It’s time to intentionally choose NOT to work and just be together.

I’m slowing down, savoring the season, letting it fuel me to face the new year with bright eyes and a big, hopeful heart.

While everyone’s rushing to enjoy the holidays, I’m slowing down to savor the season.
Whatever works for you, I hope you don’t forget to remember the reason for the season.

Aggie Aviso