A contrarian holiday experience!

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I love this time of year. I really do. Why? Well – it’s a great time to connect with family and friends in a less than hurried way. But I have to be honest – I enjoy this time of year for a much different reason.

This is a GREAT time of year to get creative. I love this time of year because there is less of a pull from others on my time, so I can really focus and get creative. Every year I have a “holiday project” that I do – it’s some form of creative expression that I’ve been putting off for some time. The creation process usually starts mid-December and then goes through mid-January.

This year my holiday project is finishing my Hay House book. It’s exciting. I’m about half done and have set aside a TON of time so that I can finish it before my 31st birthday on January 12th.

I love connecting with family and taking time away from work during the Holidays, but honestly I live my life like that most of the time. I live my life like it’s Christmas. I don’t wait until December 25th to give a gift. If I see something that I think someone else will like, I get it for them in the moment. I’ve never liked waiting around for Christmas or only being “kind” or connecting with my friends and family during this time of the year.

The other sort of contrarian thing I try to do over the holidays is actually lose weight. It’s so easy to get caught up in the holiday rush and the holiday “slide,” where we easily “slide” away from our healthy eating patterns because everyone else is. Well – every year during the holidays I also go on a health kick.

So, this year I am also on a weight loss program that is a little more extreme than normal and part of what I’m giving up for the holidays is sugar – processed and natural. All vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins – that’s it for me. I will sneak ONE Christmas cookie because the Love of my life – Jenna – is making them. But that is it.

No crazy desserts. No holiday bulge. No eating so much that I have to let my pants out.

This is such a great time to actually rest and take care of my body and get creative that – at least for this year – it seems silly to use this time to get fat, get foggy and delay the things I want most – creative fulfillment and bodily health. These two things allow me to show up so much better in my relationship, for you, my daily lover, and for all those in my life.

So many years I used to let the holidays be an excuse to let myself go. Now – don’t get me wrong. I know how to let myself go. I do it all the time. But – when we talk about starting a New Year – I believe that how you end and start a year says a lot about how that year will go for you. So, I always try my best to end and start the year creating projects and health – minus of course, that one holiday cookie that my Love Jenna made!

How can you use the holiday time wisely to get a jump start on your dreams and healthy body? Do you even want to? I’m curious!

As always, the action happens in the comments below. Leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!



  • Andrea

    After almost a year of glutenfree and sugar free living, I went off it during the baking time. I love baking cookies for the children and friends, but now that I am done baking, I know it will be easy for me  to go back to my routine. I have learned that is much more important to have a great, clear mind than having that doghnut. I enjoy the new found energy I got through my good eating habits. 

  • Joanne

    I, too, do not wait for Christmas to share with my friends and family. What’s better than answering a someone’s need ? I may not do it directly, but I try to bring it to someone’s attention that can do something about it. A phone call…
    To help your neighbor gives a great feeling inside, something  you wrote about earlier. We are powerful to make change, just by that one….phone call… or act of kindness. Saying hi to someone or learn their name. That shows you care.  Think about the people you consistently come in contact with. Do you know their name? At least ask… I don’t remember everyone’s name, and I will ask several times, but it shows I care.  And people appreciate it.
    Thank you for your insights, my life is better for it!

  • Mastin – this is the first time in my 16 years of marriage that my wife and I will be spending Christmas without any other relatives. It wasn’t supposed to be that way – but that is what has unfolded.

    We are excited about how we want to spend this time with out kids – and do something special and unique to make the day memorable for all of us. Whatever it is – I want it to involve spending time in connection – or doing something for someone else. Maybe an random act of kindness – or just popping in on neighbors.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  • Thank You Mastin!!!  That was a great read that leaves me feeling empowered. 

  • Cindy Whitehawk


    I usually maintain my same weight during the holidays,
    because I make a point of it,  This
    year I have done a lot of traveling and as such, gained 10 pounds.  So this holiday, since Thanksgiving, I
    have been loosing weight. 
    How?  By simply eating less
    of everything.  Still enjoying
    holiday favorites like pie, NO cookies though, but just in smaller portions.


    I am like you, too. 
    I see something for someone and I get it.  Am so excited I cannot wait for a special occasion to give
    it.  Or maybe it is that I live
    every day as a special occasion.


    And I too have recently been working furiously on my
    book.  About 80 percent
    complete.  Will finish in 2013!  Yeah!

  • I am doing what you are doing (except the sugar part…sorry, not there yet). I have christmas wrapping paper all over the floor, and LOUD humidifiers drying out the torn up ceiling from the $10,000 flood  I created (because I was NOT present). AND yet, I am still…writing. I love when you said, “how you end and start a year says a lot about how that year will go for you.” Well, I am submitting my bios, pic, and blog entry for the “Contributor” section of  “The Daily Love”  tomorrow. On Christmas Eve Day! Needless to say, I  wanted to get it in earlier. The Uni-Verse  had other plans. Now, I couldn’t be more thrilled. Why? Because the day of Christmas Eve  happens to be my mentor, Cinnamon Lofton’s, BIRTHDAY! Coincidence? I don’t think so. Thanks again for the opportunity to get my Love Song out there. I have no doubt that my words will be mirrored by your community and serve!  PS A friend of mine, Julie Moore, wrote a blog about being the change in this world. The CT massacre inspired her.You may want to check it out. 

    The Daily Commenter,
    Kathleen Chelquist

    • Kristijojl

      Thanks for this great article, Mastin! I began my “new year” on Dec. 1 when I began a new blog (www.justonethingeachday.wordpress.com) chronicling one thing I do each day to help myself and at least one other person. I did this to cope with the holidays and to end the year on a positive note, and I wanted to kick off 2013 already in a good space. It’s never too soon to start dreaming and doing!

  • Brent Slings

    I have started my new year already as well, biding on a new job, started writing again…not as earth breaking as your blog, but the chance to put out there on Facebook the things on my heart. I have been looking for the beauty and creative essence in everything, everyday. Thanks to TDL, Supersoul Sunday, and added meditation time I hope to capture my dreams and goals this year. Have a Blessed Holiday Season….

  • Bardial

    Love your article. I no longer set up a tree or go crazy at Christmas. I don’t want to be ruled by society’s pressures and advertisements. I agree with giving anytime and no day should be above another. Love is an everyday affair.
    Weight is a lifestyle, so I eat pretty much the same all year..otherwise it’s a yoyo thing..
    Anyway, that is my two cents.
    Relaxing and stress free 🙂

  • Dee

    I’m taking the middle ground…I’m pretty happy with the way I have eaten & taken care of myself through out the year…so on Xmas day, I will keep my portions small but will enjoy a bit of everything…dessert & all. Salmon, turkey, cherries & mango are particularly good for you and are all in season where I’m from! Lots of great salads too – I’m making two of the desserts & I’ve replaced refined sugar with Xylitol where I could. I’m not going to feel yuk about it and am certainly disciplined in my portions but I will enjoy the food before in moderation & not in excess! I may do a detox in early Jan…there is this really great company where I live that does SUPER detox packages and I may just do a one week one as it’s all I need and did enough this year for my health. I love cooking & there are so many great ways of cooking food without missing out on nutrients & taste.

  • I’m with you.  I’m trying to end this year as close to how I plan to start the new year…sticking to my vegan-ish diet, starting yoga, and trying to kick my Diet Mt. Dew habit (this is my biggest vice, and the hardest to kick).  I’ve tried unsuccessfully this year, and attempting again now before the new year to substitute green tea instead, but I miss the carbonation or the fizzy-ness!!  BADLY!!  If anyone has any suggestions for this problem, PLEASE let me know…I am open to any suggestions.  Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and thanks Mastin for sharing the LOVE!

    • Shannonsalonga

      Try pelligrino water with a splash of juice.

  • I definitely share the sentiment of not waiting till the holiday to share gifts.  My typical maxim is to share it immediately (probably helped by me being an impatient person too :).)  While I’ve long since stopped attempting any sort of resolution I do try to connect with the season’s energy of slowing down and reflecting.