Tis' the season! Happy Holidays! Joy to the World! Christmas time is upon us. So is Solstice, Hanukkah, and many other holiday celebrations worldwide. Whether religiously motivated or otherwise, the end of our calendar year brings a general sentiment of happiness and elation, which we revel in!

In North America, Western society has followed a mostly Christian influenced holiday calendar, at least when it comes to widely publicized festivities. However, many Christmas observers do not necessarily ascribe to any particular faith, but still participate in traditions seeped in religion like putting up a tree, exchanging presents on December 25th, singing carols. These otherwise agnostic celebrators can't help but being caught up in the spirit of things. We get it!

 

 

Regardless of faith, we can agree that a season of giving, kindness, and love does us all some good. The tricky part is that for some of us, we also get swept up in the pressure of gifts and visitations and hosting. It can all culminate in a lot more stress than is really necessary, taking the enjoyment out of a time of year that should be fun and positive. 

For some families, tensions run high with the stress of entertaining, or even just being thrown together in what may not be a natural setting. We need to give each other a bit of a break and do our part to alleviate some of the strain, be is perceived or otherwise. Be mindful of your triggers, and those of others. If you have a family member who is often pushing your buttons, take a few minutes to open up to them and let them in on what you're feeling. You might learn something about each other that you never knew. These small gestures turn gatherings into opportunities to connect, instead of clash.

Take this time of year to reflect together on what you are thankful for. With everyday gratitude being a practice widely endorsed by high achievers, its undeniable that it is good for our emotional and mental states. With the theme of a year coming to a close in mind, challenge everyone at your family gatherings to make a list of their Top 10 grateful moments of the year. It could even become a tradition!

 

 

The true spirit of the holidays, especially Christmas, sometimes gets muddled up with the ideas of fast fashion and overconsumption. Presents are not a measure of quantity, but quality. Be conscious of your purchases, choosing lasting gifts that will really count, and look for other small ways to be giving. Offer to take an item off an overwhelmed family member's To Do list. Volunteer time to put smiles on the faces of those less fortunate. Surprise and delight loved ones in meaningful ways, just because! 

However you celebrate, what matters most above all the presents and twinkly lights is showing kindness and appreciation for those around you and what you have. The greatest gift we can share is love, given freely and genuinely. 

We at SALT are grateful for all the support and love we have been shown this year. We appreciate every purchase, kind word, shout-out, and connection we have received. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of it. Happy Holidays!

 

December 20, 2017 by Jessica Wilson

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