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Why I Decided to Why I’ve Decided to Embrace All the Cozy and Tranquil Vibes This Holiday Season

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Thinking towards the close of 2021 and the beginning of a new year just around the corner, I find myself craving a new way of being. I’m beginning to picture how a different viewpoint could better serve me,

especially through the holiday season when simple joys can often be clouded by the stress of planning holiday parties, beating the holiday rush to get the perfect gift, or the chaos of holiday traffic or travel. Each year turns into an exhausting race to the finish line that I need to recover from.

Create a Gratitude List

In a life of constant go-go-go, I’ve been learning to more fully appreciate the joy found in slowness and take the time to express gratitude. I hold dear to my heart a book that was introduced to me by my pastor years ago – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She beautifully writes of fully living life through the practice of eucharisteo, a word with roots in grace, thanks-giving, and joy. She takes you on a journey as she creates a running list of the gifts that she begins to notice as she takes this “dare” to live more fully in the present. She notes the beauty in the colors of reflected light in a soap bubble while she’s washing dishes, the crunch under her feet as she walks through frosted grass, the wind rushing through her car window, whistling of the tea kettle on a chilly afternoon.

After reading the book for the first time, I immediately created my own list – my eucharisteo, or gratitude list. For some reason these past few years I had forgotten about this practice, but it’s crept back into my mind again more recently. A gentle reminder to return to a more joyful and present way of living.

Last weekend I found myself in my yard, soaking up the golden rays of sun, sipping my hot cup of coffee, when I caught sight of a leaf falling from a nearby tree. I have never before taken the time to so intently notice a leaf fall. I watched it swirl gracefully through the air, getting caught up in the wind, almost dancing towards the ground. The corners of my mouth turned up into a smile and I recalled my eucharisteo list and mentally added this moment to it.