Reconnect with Friends with a Christmas Gathering
Whether you believe in the religious message of Christmas or not, there’s no doubt that it can be a wonderful time of year. Nurture your relationships and connections with others by hosting a Christmas gathering that focuses on what’s truly important in life: not gifts and decadent luxury, but the interactions that make us real, human, and vibrantly alive.
Make it about connection, not consumerism
It’s easy to get swept up in the pressure of becoming ‘the hostess with the mostest’, especially at Christmas time when people’s competitive spirits can run high. Make sure your gathering is about what’s really significant – reestablishing connections with the people you love and value. Research has found that being with loved ones makes for a merrier Christmas. Try and make a point of inviting people that you used to be close to, but grew apart from and haven’t been in touch with for a while. Including neighbors and acquaintances who don’t have family and may be feeling the sting isolation at this time of year is also a great idea as you grow new connections as well as nourishing existing ones.
An excuse for creative decoration
Not that you need one, but hosting a fabulous Christmas gathering is the perfect excuse to get creative. Start with your decorations, which can be as quirky or traditional as you like. Think about exploring nature for ideas and resources – armfuls of beautifully scented pine with (safely placed) clusters of white candles are a simple way of transforming a room if you’re short on time or energy. Natural autumn collages in russet tones with the addition of fresh fruit and cinnamon and cloves are another way of scintillating all of your guests’ senses as they enjoy the event.
The mass consumerism that can grip the developed world at Christmas takes away from the potential of the true tenets of the festive season: connection and generosity. Bring this back into the equation by encouraging guests not to bring you gifts, but instead letting them know that you’ll be taking a collection for a charity. Think about sticking to simple seasonal food and donating the money you save to your local homeless shelter so they can enjoy a hearty Christmas meal – it doesn’t have to be the season of eating to excess! Aside from the benefits you’ll bring to those with less than yourself, enlightened altruism brings its own special reward which means your guests will leave feeling both spiritually and physically replete.