How are you doing in the run up to Christmas? Some people find this “the most wonderful time of the year” (my kids would certainly be in agreement!) while others find that there is absolutely no Christmas magic but only stress in the air at the moment.
Pre-Christmas Magic, where are you?
The other day, I was in the gym. I have a pretty regular schedule that I only deviate from if I absolutely have to. Usually, I meet the same people twice a week, have a quick nod or chat but last week, it was eerily quiet. I’d just come out of the shower and was wondering where all the people I usually see that day were. Just when I started asking myself whether I’d missed the fire alarm or something, an elderly lady came out of the shower and we smiled at each other. We then got chatting- reassuring each other that we hadn’t missed an emergency!- and she said that how saddening she found it that so many people were running around like lunatics (missing out on their gym time ;)), trying to “tick various Christmas boxes” and thereby completely missing the point of this time of the year. Missing an opportunity to take time out to contemplate, reflect and wind down. She told me how she observed a mum with 2 young kids in November (!), ushering them into Santa’s grotto, desperately trying to “get that photo with Santa done”. But where’s the Christmas magic in this, for both adults and kids?
There IS an alternative
I’m glad and grateful that my children are going to a school with very clued-in teachers who are focused on calming them down, allowing the least stimulation possible (because they get more than enough of this outside school in December!) and spend time in a candle lit room reading stories. This is what I call pre-Christmas magic!
Hopefully you get to experience some quiet time in December, too. I’ve really taken the past few days as an opportunity to catch up with friends- both on the phone with far away friends and face-to-face here in Dublin. I’ve also made a point of putting lots of thought into the (admittedly very few) presents I’m buying or creating for my loved ones. And also to write.
Don’t get me wrong: my mailbox is overflowing (sorry to all those I haven’t got back to you yet!), the phone has been ringing and my to-do-list is as long as ever. But I’ve given myself the luxury of time this December, also because of the results of my latest check-up.
Ideas for last-minute gifts
Are you running around looking for Christmas presents? Or have friends and family asked you what you’d like and you know you want something educational that can help you on your keto path?
I’ve received several e-mails and been asked in the “Practical Keto” facebook group whether I can suggest keto-related Christmas presents. And I realised that many people don’t know that I recently added a “Recommended” section to my website where I list some of my favourite resources. This area of the website is far from complete but might give you some inspiration– especially in the book section. You can also read one of my old blog posts (or this one here) that I edited a little bit for some more ideas.
But you know what? One of the nicest presents is still something “homemade“. A nice card, a painstakingly coloured in mandala in a beautiful frame, homemade chocolates or cookies, a nice hazelnut bread or crackers. There are various recipes that lend themselves perfectly to be nicely packaged or wrapped and then gifted! One of my favourites is homemade heart-shaped chocolate.
So, if you don’t feel like manic last-minute Christmas shopping in stressed out crowds, swap the “n” in manic for a “c” in magic: Take your time to craft, bake or write something for your loved ones. I bet you they will appreciate this a lot more than last-minute bought presents! And it will relax your mind and soul.