Magpie Moment: Rush

The Holidays aren’t always easy. That’s why we’re doing a few shots of holiday soulcare here at Magpie Girl. Last week we talked about avoiding that swell holiday tradition, The Family Feud. This week we’ll look at the Holiday Rush. What holiday connundrum are y.o.u. chewing on? Let me know. I’m happy to help.


Today, while sneaking in a little Grey’s Anatomy on Hulu, I was attacked by that dreaded seasonal tradition — The Kmart Christmas Commercial. Overly-cheerful synthesized pop oozed out of my computer speakers, promising my family joy, Joy, JOY…but only if I put all the perfect presents on lay-away.

(Le sigh.) I’m not ready for Christmas. You know why?

Because it’s not time yet.

“To every season turn, turn.” It’s not just a pop song. It’s actually wisdom from the ancients. And it’s the piece of advice most likely to be ignored in our commercially-driven culture. Do you know when I first saw Christmas decorations in the shops? When I bought back to school supplies, the last week of August. I sh*t you not. (Target, I’m looking at you.)

Our mind-body-spirits are not designed to move at some artificial speed-of-shopping. We are connected to seasonal rhythms, to the way the earth moves around the sun. This is deeply ingrained, friends. We cannot speed it up, nor can we slow it down. The year unfolds the way it does, one day at a time. That’s why we feels so much discord when the shopping malls and grocery stores shout at us to HURRRY UP. We know we aren’t supposed to. (Our instinct tells us so.)

So how can we practice good soulcare in the midst of the Holiday Rush? Here are some tips that work in our house:

  • Avoid the stores, shop on line. I stay out of the shops as much as possibly. Avoiding the holiday glitter keeps my soul at peace. Plus, it’s fun shopping on Etsy for handmade gifts.
  • Set Limits. We’ll talk about this more in the upcoming weeks, but setting limits around what you’ll do during the Holidays will help you move at the earth’s pace, not the store’s timeline. Let each kid pick one cookie recipe. Go to one holiday event or show. And talk with your family about how many gifts you want to exchange.
  • Schedule in free weekends. Even when it’s not the holiday season, we tend to have a pretty packed calendar. Recently my 13 year old daughter Eden asked for a free weekend — one weekend a month where we don’t schedule anything. This gives us wiggle room to catch up, to do something creative, or even to do nothing at all. (I read The Night Circus on our free weekend. Delish.) Go ahead. Go get your calendar and block out at least one day each weekend during the Holiday season as a no-schedule day. Dont’ book anything on those days, Give yourself room to breathe.

What about you Magpie? How do you live counter to the holiday-rush culture? We’d love to hear how you practice sanity and soulcare during this busy season. Leave your ideas in the comments below, “Cuz’ there ain’t no where to go but together.”


Magpie Moments is our Monday morning series this Fall, featuring a single shot of soulcare from me, your Magpie Girl. Join us each week and toss back some nurturing goodness. Need a double shot of soulcare? Click here for previous Magpie Moments. Thank you for being here today.


Diane Hamlyn November 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

I think I’m very old fashion, but every time I read about “shop online”, I realize that every time we do this we forget our own community and the importance to support right here…(in my case Sacramento). I especially think the small businesses that often focus on handmade, women co-op etc. need our support right in our own communities.
I also think that we become so sole focused that it becomes increasingly more difficult to go out and interact…..especially for someone like me who tends to be intraverted. Just takes more & more energy to get out there.
And try to have unscheduled time to just hangout!

The Creative Beast November 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Thank you for this post Rachelle!! I dread the holidays every year for the reasons you stated – the season is FORCED upon us way too early!! >=-[

As for gift shopping, I tend to make many gifts for my friends being an artist and crafter. I do like to find gifts on Etsy and support my fellow artists and one can search for Etsy-ians that are local so if you are concerned about supporting local small businesses, you can find locals on Etsy if you search =-)

One of my big concerns about this time of year is about being an artist/crafter that sells through Etsy, but I’m just not comfortable with the concept of “cashing in on the holidays” and my Etsy shop is closed at this time because of those concerns. How can an artist that creates lovely and meaningful gifts find a way to sell that doesn’t feel like it’s “cashing in” on what is, for many, a sacred time of year???

Any thoughts you have about this would be eagerly welcome!! Thank you!

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