12 Old-Fashioned Things To Do in December (Especially if the Holidays Aren’t Your Thing).

by indiecottage@gmail.com on November 29, 2015

in Uncategorized

The last month of the year always seems to be a mix of cold weather, holi-daze, and well, relative disappointment.  After all, it’s the end of the year and time to reflect on what didn’t happen this year.  It takes willpower to remember all the positive things that did occur.  During this time of year, we long for cohesive families happily gathered around us and we regret having lost or misplaced valued friendships.  It’s a time for accounting for one’s thoughts and actions and for putting to rest an entire year in anticipation of making a new and better one. 

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I find myself inspired & enlivened by implementing old-fashioned remedies, many of which are already built into our holiday traditions.  An entire month of OLD-FASHIONEDNESS can be a poignant and meaningful antidote to the condition of the world and the hustle and bustle of the season.  If you want to be hip, be old-fashioned!

Here’s the list I’m working from:

  1.  Walk in Nature.  Get close to the trees, and see the winter light on the horizon.  Feel the chill in the air and the redness in your cheeks.  Walk with a friend or loved one.  Moonlight walks and tours of decorated and lighted neighborhoods are particularly sweetened with company.  Do this at least 5 times a week!   To experience Nature in another way, take a drive in the country along the winding roads.  Get out of your environment.  Even if you don’t go on a mission for the best Noble Fir ever, or have farmer/grandparents to visit, the adventure and landscape in itself is meaningful.
  2. Reconnect with folks you have lost touch with via a holiday greeting, a long-overdue thank you note or an nostalgic phone call or personal visit to their home.  Remember when people used to just drop by and say hi?
  3. Make gifts.  These are likely to have an old fashioned element and they are a great remedy to the commercial takeover.  A prepared dish, some cookies, hot pads even!  I’m making felted dryer balls this year.  Anyone can do it.
  4. Hang out with friends in a way that isn’t about drinking and partying.  Play board games from your childhood.  Who doesn’t love a good game of Masterpiece, Scrabble or Clue?  Attend a movie, especially a vintage one, and have a quiet dinner for two in your favorite independent, cozy restaurant.  Go get handmade ice cream (or better yet, make it yourself!), or have an evening visit to a coffee house that offers music and enjoy a mug of Mexican hot chocolate.  Find a youngster and make a plan to do something special.
  5. Listen to the public and community radio.  NPR weekend story programs have an old-fashioned feel.  I never fail to laugh out load to Garrison Keillor or Paula Poundstone.   I have a friend who listens to classical music on a local station.  I see her transported to distant place and time when she’s tuned in.
  6. Practice gratitude.  I know this has been talked about a lot, but it’s because it is transformational.  It’s not new-agey, but rather an ancient spiritual practice.  Start (or continue) a handwritten journal.  On a daily basis, write down 10 things you are grateful for.  It is also helpful to include the synchronicities in your life.  Did you decide to go shopping at a different place at the last moment and run into someone you haven’t seen in awhile.  Practicing gratitude can also be in the form of saying “thank you” several times a day for all the good things in your life.  That warm shower, the homemade soup, a good night’s sleep, the story that made you laugh (or cry).  Take nothing for granted!  You’ve got to show appreciation so the Universe knows what you want.
  7. Read a book.  How about that classic you’ve been thinking of getting to?  Try to find books that tell stories of a bygone era or a simpler time.  They will still contain elemental human truths that never go out of style.
  8. Sing, hum or plan an instrument.  I love to hear people humming or singing to themselves while they are engaged in something such as cooking or cleaning.  It says to me that their thoughts are happy.  No iTunes or headphones allowed, that’s way too modern.
  9. Approach your love life in an old-fashioned way.  It will be a great change of pace if you tend to be more worldly or sophisticated in this department (particularly for folks dating).  Simpler activities can lead to stronger bonding, and better intimacy.  Consider increased doses of togetherness, cuddling and good, old-fashioned sex rather than high performance art.
  10. Don’t drink alcohol, except on special occasions, like twice a month, if at all.  Alcohol can be hard on our health, well-being and spirit.  Many of us suffer a yo-yo effect.  Eliminating alcohol or being very conscious of regulating it brings us back into the old-fashioned vibe that alcohol is for special occasions of celebration, not a regular thing to do after work.  Try 2 weeks of not drinking and observe the subtle changes.  Alcohol caused me to overeat the next day, and to feel reduced creatively and energetically.  I ran the risk of severing my good connections to others.  Sometimes, I feel like an kid not drinking, but in all the right ways.  I’m energetic and fun in more youthful ways.  Don’t we all admire the mature person who is still a kid a heart?  And that person who doesn’t need to drink to have a good time?
  11. Find your old-timey religion.  Yes, I consider myself more of a spiritual person than a religious person, but I can get down on my knees and ask the Powers That Be for light, understanding and beauty to be added to my life.  Prayers are a way of directing the course of all your potential outcomes.   And we all have a ton of potential!
  12. Do something for your neighbor or community.  Random acts of kindness fit in well here.  In times of fear and relative darkness, I have known that taking time to serve others is the remedy.  It is a divine act and there are so many versions of it.  If you already do this professionally, then possibly the solution is more self-care.

So go ahead, get into being old-fashioned for an entire month!  It’s similar to the art of simplifying, but also has elements of seasonal celebration.  When the days are the shortest, we must stay fortified with the secrets of our great-great grandparents.  Good old-fashioned solutions!

~Nina M. Jackson

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Meadow December 10, 2016 at 3:02 am

Stay with this guys, you’re helnipg a lot of people.

Reply

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