This year, we are all working hard to make our holiday celebrations feel as full and joyous as years prior. For some families, upholding age-old traditions will be extremely difficult to maintain this year – for others, it will be a breeze. We propose that we all take the time to recognize what a difficult year this has been, and make space for new traditions to be welcomed into our holiday celebrations.
The one thing that we can ensure, this season, is that we do our best to pass on the gift and wishes of good health and wellness to our loved ones. We can prioritize sharing an experience that is geared towards wellness in order to shift your traditions towards giving back to your community; adjust your traditions to include this, and observe how you can still find fulfillment from afar through giving this gift.
This week, we had the privilege of talking with a local super hero and mom, Shelby Shah, about how she’s celebrating the holidays with her family this year – what things are staying the same, what things are different, how to give meaningful gifts, and how to stay afloat amidst the chaos. Take a look!
Interview with Shelby Shah
Q: What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?
A: Growing up in my small town of Jackborough, every Christmas eve, Santa got on an old, vintage fire truck and went through every street in town and gave everyone a stocking filled with fruits and nuts and gum. Rain, shine, snow, hail – they’d always do it. Unfortunately, there’s nothing like that where we live now, so I’m still trying to figure out my own traditions. Of course, we always go to see Christmas lights one night; we always do the matching Christmas pajamas for the kids. They wear them to go see Santa, and on Christmas eve and Christmas morning. I also make a pioneer woman orange-vanilla monkey bread recipe – it makes the house smell delicious.
Q: How will your family be celebrating the holidays this year?
A: We are staying home, but that’s not unusual – this could be our tradition! When we had kids, my husband and I decided that we will always be home on Christmas morning. With family that lives in other places, we will always happily go there, except for on Christmas morning. We’ll be staying home this year, and it’ll be staying small, but that’s kind of the way we like it. We’ll definitely do phone calls and Facetime. Of course, I always prefer to see people in person.
Q: In your opinion, what are the most meaningful gifts to give?
A: I prefer personal gifts. I know everyone loves a good gift card, or a good candle, or the stereotypical mug, and I do give those out – but I pick them out for the person. If i’m going to give a gift card, which is an easier option, I always try to make sure that it’s to a business or a place that someone actually enjoys, and that it would be a special treat for that person to receive; not just something you can get at the grocery store counter. I do also love gifts that grow. I am a big fan of Gardenuity, the gardens and the gifts are always fun to give and receive.
Q: What are the most meaningful gifts to receive?
A: I really like the gift of experience. My husband knows that for anniversaries and birthdays, we don’t really do gifts; we go and do activities together. We’ve done cooking classes; we’ve done a lot of concerts; we love to go and rent a house in Austin, be on the lake, and find new places to eat. I do appreciate receiving tangible things that I can hold in my hands, but really, I really love to experience things. One year, for our anniversary, we were in Europe with the family, and we went and saw Elton John in Paris. We had really good seats, but over there you sit for the whole concert, and only stand up at the last 20 minutes of the show. That’s just the way I like it!
Q: How are you sharing the gift of health and wellness with your loved ones this year?
A: I love to give the Gardenuity gardens to the teachers in our community. Last year, I gave one to my son’s kindergarten teacher. She put it together at her house, and she was able to teach the kids all about what she grew! She also had something to nurture at home – I gave her the Caprese Salad Grow Bag. I intend to give Gardenuity gardens to the teachers this year too; they really are the perfect gift.
Q: Do you have a daily wellness practice? How are you staying sane this holiday season?
A: I actually would not say that I’ve stayed entirely sane. It has been a rough season; it truly takes a village. I’ve definitely utilized babysitters, I’ve utilized family. One thing that I do every day for myself, is I wake up every morning and have a smoothie, vitamins, and a cup of coffee. It’s my daily ritual.
Share the Gift of Growing Good
This year, you may not be able to uphold your traditions in the way that you had originally intended to, but that only creates the perfect circumstances to start new, meaningful family traditions. If you’re looking for a way to make the holidays just as sweet and warm this year, consider how you can give back to your loved ones and community. Give the gift of growth to share with someone endless hours of meditation, groundedness, and fulfillment. Many people have been sharing the benefits of growing through gifting one of our garden kits – give them a look yourself there’s a garden for everyone!