The “Busy” Holiday Season

I have had to drive longer distances lately.  Where I live, pretty much anywhere you drive can be considered a long distance, especially to city folk.  I tell my Oma that it takes me just an hour to drive to my dad’s place, and because she lives in Germany, she is shocked and appalled that we drive such distances to see family.  To us, in the words of Kevin from Home Alone, “It’s not so bad”.

On these drives I listen to the radio…at a reasonable volume… because all of my CDs (did I just hear you say what’s a CD?) are ancient, and I am not going to pay money for Sirius Radio!  The local stations are alright, but I prefer CBC because of all the BLAH BLAH that happens on that show; some of my friends do not understand how I can “listen to something so boring”, but often the topics interest me and get me thinking.

Recently, the word that kept popping into every station was “BUSY”.  All of the commercials refer to “this busy time of year”, the “busy holiday season”, and even the blah blahs on CBC are asking callers how they get through this “busy time”.  That really got my brain wheels turning.

Since when is Christmas, or any other holiday you celebrate at this time of year, a busy holiday?  When did the change happen?

I am talking about the change from the traditional scene: friends and family spending relaxing hours together, sharing stories, food, and just TIME.  When did that change to frantically getting a present for every person in your family, searching and tearing through all the stores, planning a giant meal all by yourself, writing endless holiday greetings, and stressing yourself out beyond belief?  When did we forget to take a breath?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like things are slowly changing, especially in the Kootenays.  I feel like we are reminding ourselves of our core values and what is truly important: friends, family, and TIME.

In recent years, when my family asked what was on my “wish list”, I said “nothing”.  We did not need more stuff, and I did not want to cause my family stress by searching for that specific something.  And really what it came down to: All I want for Christmas is yyyooooouuuuuuuu!  Truly, all I want for Christmas is to spend time with my family in a relaxed environment.  This resulted in a no-gift Christmas for the last several years.  And it has been such a relief.  Instead of running around collecting gifts, etc., we have time just to be together.

Maybe we will visit a Christmas market without buying anything.  Maybe we will stop somewhere and have a hot drink.  Maybe we will listen to the sights and sounds of the holidays, and take daytime walks together.  Maybe we will eat good food at the same table and listen to music.  Maybe instead of cooking we will go out for a meal.  Maybe we will just be.

I encourage you to take the “busy” out of this holiday season.  If you get time off from work, which I truly hope you do, spend that time with the people or animals that are most dear to you.  Don’t spend it amping up your stress levels.  Take a moment to be present, remind yourself of the challenges you overcame this year, what you achieved and are most proud of, and breathe deeply into the new year.




  1. I appreciate this post. (I also laughed at the Office Space reference…do your drives happen to occur between 9 and 11?) I still use CDs, too. I am not going to upgrade my technology to go digital at this point.
    Something I have noticed is that in spite of my attempts to simplify and slow down during the holidays, the push-back we get from extended family is its own source of stress. We stick to our values and keep things simple, but there is pressure to do what everyone else is doing. Do you also experience this?


    • OMG I was hoping SOMEONE would catch that Office Space reference – THANK YOU ❤ . The push back from extended family is definitely a thing I experienced in the first years of moving to this low impact lifestyle. Slowly, they caught on. This may also be because I have a relatively small family, and my partner's family is dispersed over a couple of provinces, so holidays are not spent together. I am quite adamant about not accepting that pressure to do what everyone else is doing. It requires a certain level of stubbornness… 🙂 Thanks for commenting!


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