We begin our countdown of the 12 Days of Mindfulness by concentrating on our sense of touch.

Everything we touch has a distinct texture. By feeling and fully experiencing an object we can heighten our enjoyment and senses of the item. Practice with the branch of a tree, the petals on a poinsettia, or even the plushness of a Christmas stocking.

Today we are going to really pay great attention to a Christmas decoration. Be careful to take in every single detail. What feeling or emotion does it evoke? Christmas time is a great time to evoke old cherished memories and create new ones. Make it a point to see which detail really resonates with you. You will be surprised by the appreciation you will have in everyday craftsmanship.

Many of us wince at the idea of having to wrap gifts. But by making it a mindfulness exercise, you may discover a new holiday pleasure. Treat each gift as a personal art project. Choose papers that perfectly compliment the gift and the receiver. Take note of the sounds of the scissors cutting the paper, the stickiness of the tape on your fingers, and enjoy the reflection of light on the bow you choose to attach. Make gift wrapping a gift in it’s own right.

The holidays are always filled with a bounty of delicious snacks and treats. While they all may look tempting, choose just one to truly enjoy. Take the time to really observe the treat before putting in your mouth. How does it smell? How is it decorated? And then when eating it, take your time to enjoy each bite. If it is chocolate, allow it to completely melt in your mouth. You will be surprised how just one treat can be even more enjoyable than a whole table of them.

The sights and sounds of Christmas are a definite delight, but take the time to really enjoy the scents of the season as well. To me, there is nothing that can take me back to a happier time than the smell of oatmeal cookies in the oven.  With so many candle and incense scents available you are to find a scent that will help to make your season brighter. Learn to associate pleasurable scents with fond memories and you can call upon those feelings any time you want.

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season there are undoubtedly many opportunities to enjoy a hot beverage with friends and family. Consider, however, enjoy a hot cocoa, spiced apple cider or your favorite coffee drink in your own solitude. This will not only provide a respite from your busy social schedule, it is a great way to do something just for yourself. Treat yourself to one of the delights and enjoy all of the senses involved, all by yourself.

Writing a Christmas wish list for yourself is a great way to see how much you already have. Most of us are usually so concerned about pleasing everyone else during the holidays, why not sit down and state what we would like for ourselves. Writing your list by hand is a solid way to put the Law of Attraction to use and you will undoubtedly see a pattern of gratitude develop as well.

This exercise allows you to really take in the beauty of the holiday seasons with not having to do anything but enjoy it. Allow yourself to enjoy other’s hard work by visiting neighborhoods that are decorated festively This is really a great exercise if you don’t have the time or resources to decorate as others do, you will get to enjoy the sights of the season through somebody else’s eyes. Make this a family affair, and share your observations with others. You will all notice something different and really add to your family’s enjoyment. 

Most everyone has favorite Christmas song or album. They are played in stores and on the radio months leading up to the big holiday.They become engrained in our brains that we memorize the tunes while often not paying attention to the lyrics. Take some time to listen to your favorite album and really listen to the lyrics. You will gain a new appreciation for many of the heartwarming sentiments in songs written for this time of the year.

Christmas is the season of giving. However, in some aspects the joy of giving gifts can be diminished when we are told what to buy someone, or feel obliged to give a gift out of a sense of duty. Give a gift to a stranger for the pleasure of giving with absolutely no expectancy of reciprocation. Most folks will be truly grateful and surprised by your generosity and you will experience true appreciation and gratitude.

As Christmas approaches in high gear it is now time to take a bit and decompress BEFORE the festivities begin. Take a nice hot bath, schedule a massage or just curl up and relax. Know that your holiday will be amazing so now is the time to simply let it happen. Allow yourself to enjoy Christmas in all aspects, and the best way is my starting out relaxed and rejuvenated.