What does it mean to truly be present during the holidays? Being present on a daily basis is hard enough as is, but with the added stress of the Christmas season, we can often feel at a loss. Time passes quickly and we are all too familiar with the post Christmas slump. It’s nice to have that last push of festivities with New Years, but once it is over, it’s over.

At Jackie, we want to push past what is expected of us. We want to uncover something truly meaningful and inspiring regarding the nature of the holiday season. Transcending religious views, social preferences and politics, the holidays are a time of togetherness; a time for people to unite, to collaborate and to openly express love. If we remove that from Christmas, we have lost that childlike joy that we are all in desperate need of, especially during the holiday season.

It is all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. With shopping, baking, cooking and entertaining, there is hardly any room for simply enjoying the moment. What Christmas requires of us is a deep breath and a step back. Stress must be left at the door, and joy and peace must be welcomed in with open arms. Christmas requires that we take small moments to relax and enjoy. No matter the event you are hosting or attending, to fully understand the depth and meaning of this special holiday, you must create space for small moments of clarity, where you feel truly alive and fully present in the moment.

Maybe you start each day by naming some of the things for which you are grateful. Maybe you take it a step further and share that gratitude with those around you. Christmas gives us an opportunity to be a positive light without questioning; that is just the nature of the holiday. Be patient, be kind and expect great things to happen this Christmas. When you take the time to express gratitude for even the craziest of moments that often come with the holidays, you open yourself up to the true potential of Christmas.

A little bit of advice? Give love freely this Christmas. Life is too short to spend time hiding behind genuine emotion. Be expressive, be yourself and make sure that others know what they mean to you. Christmas is about more than the gifts under the tree. It is about who you share those special moments with. Push bitterness and negative thoughts aside, for Christmas is a time to enjoy and a time to share. No matter your preconceived notions about Christmas, create space to be a positive light this year and to truly soak in each and every moment before it slips away.