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Planning the traditions

Welcome to the second of three Christmas specials. Today in the hot seat is the lovely Alyce Bradbury from Peachy clean.

During this recording we look at Christmas again. Alyce describes herself as “not a traditional Christmas girl”, I wonder what is “a traditional Christmas girl”?

For me it is a version that we invented, we invented all parts of Christmas, from the pigs in blankets to the turkey for dinner, to Christmas crackers. I love a tradition, but when a tradition is internalised as stressed then I question, is it really worth it? If the fuss and hype suit you and doesn’t leave you feel stressed and shattered, then keep going, but if it doesleave you feeling shattered and stressed, then perhaps look at ways you can change it. Alyce has some great ideas around Christmas and some great ideas on how to do Christmas the way you want it.

One of the first things Alyce talks about is about gift opening. What she does is asks her children to open their presents one at a time, taking time to digest what the present is and who it is from. By doing this Alyce is creating and teaching mindfulness, awareness and also a little gratitude for what the children are receiving. The other thing Alyce does is separate out the opening of presents, some in the morning, some in the afternoon, this again createsawareness and appreciation. I’m sure some of you reading this might think this is a littlemean to make the children wait like this, honestly its brilliant and will teach the children so much more than allowing them to smash through (to use Alyce’s words) all the presents inone go.

We talked about human connection and how we are more digitally connected than we ever have been, but less humanly connected than we ever have been. Part of this comes from neve really being taught what the etiquette is around the use of mobile phones and other similar items. It seems to have become the norm that whilst in conversation with someone and your mobile rings, its okay to answer it or look at the message that has come through. Again, these are rules we have made up ourselves as time has gone on. However, I see a shift, there is a shift happening whereby people are beginning to fight back, parents are asking that there is no mobile phones whilst eating, for example. I encourage people to have digital down time in an evening, maybe two hours before bed, just allowing the mind to relax from the blue light that mobiles give off, the blue light that stimulates the mind. So,although we assume it is relaxing scrolling through our phones, it really isn’t. As adults it is our responsibility to lead the way on polite use of digital devices.

Alyce and I talked about Christmas boxes, something else we have invented and something else that places even more stress on those providing. #christamasyourway

We also talked about family. Around Christmas there is a massive tradition to visit family. Ifyou love your family and enjoy being with them, then going for a visit is great. If you don’tenjoy seeing them and are seeing them out of duty, then do it at another time of year.

I hear again the sounds of “no we can’t do that” truth is, you can. This is your life, I respectyou have duties that you want to fulfil, perhaps do the visits on your terms...?

Another subject that came up was Elf on the shelf, to hear more about this you will have to tune in and listen.

For more great tips on how to stay sane, safe and healthy over Christmas, I have some great guidance over at Guthrietherapy Facebook page, tips on how to stay physically healthy but also, as you might imagine, mentally healthy.

We have one more Christmas special happening next week before the big day happens.

We are always looking for guests for our podcasts. Those who feel they have something to say or something they would like to share, please give me a shout if you would like to find out what this involves.

Please share this podcast if you think it might help someone you know. Till next week.

Be kind to yourself and those around you. Love and peace

Kev x