So, what do you want for Christmas?

A new sweater? Some designer vase? New kitchen utensils?

Do you want something practical – or something beautiful? Or both?

Do you have a wish list you’ve sent out to family and friends? Are you at the same time, busy buying presents for others?

Ever since I can remember, my Christmas has been full of presents.

Opening them would be the greatest joy. Sometimes, I would help my parents put the presents under the tree, secretly feeling them in my hands, guessing what I would get.

And my favourite thing would be watching my parents and sisters open the presents from me – often handmade – and always given with so much love.

Then slowly things started to change.

The Christmas gifts started to mean less and less to me. Even though they were bought, wrapped and given with so much love and thoughtfulness – I started to realize that those were only things. Material things. Consumeristic things. Things that those that gave me – and I had before – believed that I needed in my life.

Like I’ve written about before – living abroad completely changed my view on things. And as I came home for a short visit around Christmas, two years ago, it made no sense to get Christmas gifts that I would just leave there while I went abroad for eight more months to finish my studies. So that year, I only asked for money (which my family really did not like).

Last year, I came home from Thailand the day before Christmas. I had not partaken in any Christmas preparations and I had only bought and wrapped two presents, for my sisters. I felt that something had changed in my heart. I could feel that only the deeply personal presents gave me the joy that presents had given before. I could feel that I had lost some of my connection and appreciation to material things.

And I want to make it perfectly clear that my family and friends have always given me the most thoughtful presents – and this change has only happened within myself. If anything, they know even better than before what to give me.

So, this year, I want no Christmas presents.

Not even one. I am using the opportunity for this extreme, as me and my family are going abroad for Christmas, and it makes absolutely no sense to bring presents with us there. As we are going from Iceland – to Florida – I decided that this year our Christmas vacation would be a vacation from Christmas. I can only celebrate Christmas at home, in the snow. While wearing a bikini somewhere in the heat, Christmas will be too far away from my heart.

More importantly, I have everything I need. That is, all the things that I need. And these circumstances, are simply making it easier for me to express my views. Express how things have changed.

What I want for Christmas this year is family time. I want to enjoy the time with my family. I want to play games, do puzzles, watch movies – chat, laugh and play. Because there is always room for more wonderful memories.

And next year, I want to find balance between the two extremes. Instead of getting more things that I actually need – or getting no presents at all – I want to find the balance between the two.

I want Christmas presents to move from being so many, useful things – to only being small, thoughtful things to make your Christmas even better.

From now on, all I want to get is a puzzle, a good book and a box of chocolate.

And I want to give the same to my family and friends.

I want to move Christmas presents from consumerism (let’s be honest here) to a few nice and thoughtful (hopefully handmade) presents.

I want to change how I give presents. And I want to change the presents I get.

I want to focus again on the cozy family time – that has always been the best part anyway.

What do you want for Christmas this year, yogis? Share with us below!

pbr