This Christmas, choose to be kinder: 5 ways to embody the festive spirit

Understanding self-care inside out

By Delna Mistry Anand

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Published: Thu 22 Dec 2022, 10:03 PM

I have the good fortune of being in Manila Philippines, this week leading up to Christmas. Living in Dubai, we know the Filipino community to be kind, courteous and ever smiling. But to be in their land, experiencing their hospitality, has been nothing short of heartwarming. “Kindness is never wasted; it always makes a difference. And we don’t know who needs it the most,” said Alberto, my wise young attendant at The Farm at San Benito where I’m staying (more on this later).

Christmas means different things to different people across the world, but eventually it comes down to one thing: love, and it shows up in so many ways. Families gather, some go off on a break, some enjoy decorating the house and the tree, or making charitable contributions. Love is what holds it all together for us. If you’re around people you love this Christmas, there’s so much to be grateful for. There has been enough grief, loneliness and anxiety in recent times. But if we allow ourselves to marinate in this heaviness, there will be nothing left of our spirit. What we choose to feed our mind with constantly, consumes us. So, this Christmas, let’s choose better, let’s choose to be kinder, to ourselves and world around us.

Here are a few ways to embody the Christmas spirit, no matter where you are:

1. Share your blessings, big or small:

There’s no better time to share your blessings. A festive jumper that no longer fits? A bedspread that was gifted to you but is just sitting in your shelf? Pack a box for your favourite community centre, and let someone enjoy the goodies. Emirates Red Crescent Authority, Dubai Cares are a few places to consider; or ‘Pay It Forward’ on Facebook.

2. Connect with loved ones:

Get in touch with friends and family who are afar, send them a personalised greeting card, or just call and say hello. Catch up with friends, sing, dance, eat and celebrate life.

3. Give meaningful gifts:

We often give gifts to reconfirm or establish our connection with others, which means that gifts are a reflection of both the giver and the receiver, as well as their unique relationship. Take the time to think about the person you are gifting, what they love and what they enjoy. And watch their smile when they receive it.

4. Home-cooked treats:

Food lovers can’t get enough of the holidays because it’s a time of endless feasts. Spend time cooking and baking for the family, or enjoying home-made treats. It’s the perfect time to get nostalgic in the kitchen and cook up your childhood favourites.

5. Take time to rest and recover:

Though the holiday season is always buzzing with activity, they’re also an opportunity to retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Take some time for yourself — to rest, reflect and recover, before the new year begins.

No matter what you choose to do this season, lead with love — and have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

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