Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season
This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
My Christmas tree was always plain. White lights, red, unbreakable bulbs, and a red ribbon on top described my Christmas tree for most of my adult life. And I liked it that way. I liked its simple elegance.
I was on the path to repeat this tree decorating scheme this year. Following tradition, the day after Thanksgiving the five of us left the city and traveled to a Christmas tree farm in the countryside to choose and cut our Christmas tree, and then we spent the afternoon decorating it simply and plainly.
A few days later, I grew weary of the piles of bulbs my five-year-old and two-year-old continuously removed from the tree for play, leaving it even more nondescript than before. Then it occurred to me that this is a perfect opportunity to make this year's Christmas tree more meaningful, more original, more child-centered, and more true to its winter solstice origins.
So the kids and I began exploring how to decorate a nature-inspired Christmas tree, a tree that would symbolize light and life, strength and stamina--qualities that led cultures dating back thousands of years to celebrate the returning light of the winter solstice by decorating their homes with evergreens and other hardy flora.
We launched our new decorating mission with a trip to our neighborhood florist for some baby's breath and floral wire. As we were leaving the shop, I mentioned to him that we were on our way to collect pine cones nearby for our nature-inspired tree. The florist, thankfully, informed us that we had to bake the pine cones on a foil-lined cookie sheet at 200-degrees for about an hour to avoid our home being infested with bugs! Excellent tip. After collecting piles of pine cones, we visited the local market for some fresh cranberries to string and cinnamon sticks to tie.
As the kids helped to organize the pine cones for baking, thread the cranberries, wrap the pine cones and cinnamon sticks, place the baby's breath--and add their own handmade "ornaments" to the collection--I realized what a gift it is to celebrate this special season with a nature-inspired, child-focused Christmas tree.
And you know what? It is simply elegant.
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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Enjoying Busy Times Moment by Moment Amy at Peace 4 Parents offers a handful of simple pointers to make the most of any busy season in your life.
- Staying A Mindful Mama During The Holiday Season Terri at Eco-Crazy Mom shares her thoughts on being a mindful mama, while keeping your sanity throughout the holiday season..
- Holiday Parenting: The Gift of Natural Play Moorea at MamaLady shares her holiday plan for mindfully spending time with children in her extended family.
- The ABC's of Mindful Parenting Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama provides a comprehensive list of Mindful Parenting Resultions for 2012. In addition, she briefly reviews her mindful parenting journey for this past year.
- The 123's of Mindful Parenting Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares part 3 of her Mindful Parenting series (Link will be live tomorrow, Dec 14).
- Mindful Mama Guest Post from Hybrid Rasta Mama Zoie at TouchstoneZ is honored to share Part 2 of Jennifer's series on staying Mindful for the Holidays.
- Saying No to Plastic Toys Nada at minimomist and her husband Michael, have certain rules when it comes to toys for their daughter Naomi. Here's how they deal with well-meaning gifts that don't quite work for their family.
- Can you LOVE WHAT IS at Christmas? with so many expectations and no many people's needs to accomodate, Patti at Jazzy Mama has decided to simply accept what can't be changed and love whatever happens.
- Minimal Temptation, Minimal Gifting Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares how not exposing herself to tempting purchases, as well as having fun family traditions, helps keep her Christmas list under control.
- Choice And Consequence In Conscious Mindfulness Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her realisation that consciously monitoring our thoughts have a powerful effect on our lives, regardless of circumstances or influences.
- A Light in the Darkness Sylvia at MaMammalia writes about overcoming holiday blues through the miracle of motherhood.
- Nature-Inspired Christmas Tree Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling describes how she and her children discovered the beauty and simplicity of a nature-inspired holiday tree.
- Giving The Gift of Life Free Range Mama at My Healthy Green Family shares about teaching children how to look beyond the well-wrapped box and learn how to give. .
- Can a collection of moments be more than the whole? Tat at Mum in search asks how do you turn a holiday from hell into a series of beautiful moments?
- Flying Through the Holidays Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction discusses how a simple organizational plan has kept her holidays balanced.
- Celebrating Advent week to week Lauren at Hobo Mama finds that counting down weeks instead of days helps children with the long wait.
- 5 Ways to Stay Mindful This Holiday Season Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares ideas and photos that help her stay mindful throughout the holidays.
- Simplifying the Holidays Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares how simplifying the holidays has made them more special for her.
- Mindfully Managing the Mania Erica at ChildOrganics fights against "the gimmes" and shares strategies for staying balanced during a time of year when it's easy to overindulge.
- Six Ways to Enjoy the Holidays Without Losing Your Mindfulness Rachael at The Variegated Life shares tips on thinking less, planning less, doing less, and remembering.
- The Gift of Presence Darcel at The Mahogany Way explains how important it is to be present for and with her family during the Holidays.
- Mindfully meditating on celebrations Dionna at Code Name: Mama hosts this guest post from Child of the Nature Isle about desiring meaningful celebrations for the whole year.
- What Does It Really Mean? Staying Mindful Through the Holiday Season Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about how she stays in touch with what the holiday season means for her and her family, in spite of all the temptations to do otherwise!