5 Reasons to Choose JOMO This Holiday Season
by Kate Saffle
A year ago
If you’re familiar with the concept of the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), please meet the gentler version this holiday season: the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). Instead of fretting about the ways in which our days and homes are lacking, we can take pleasure in choosing to opt-out of the frenzied, all-consuming nature of the commercialized holiday season. As we begin the month of December and feel the weight of all of the gift-giving, school activities, and special occasion expectations piling up, consider embracing the spirit of JOMO as you set boundaries for your precious time, resources, and quality of life.
Here are 5 reasons to take the leap:
There is no greater gift we can give our children than to be present with them either in the heart of our home or experiencing the world together. Children are so easily overwhelmed by chaotic and busy schedules that pull the family apart and add unnecessary daily stress. Additionally, kids don’t need all the latest gadgets and toys, but rather the comfort of the family being together and connected with one another.
Here’s How To Do It: Grab your calendar right now and choose one day per week that you’ll intentionally block out for quality family time. Don’t fill this time with busyness, but rather leave room for heart-to-heart conversations, snuggling, book reading, or other quiet activities that bond you together as a family.
Bonus: Turn off your cell phones and leave the television and computer turned off as well.
For some reason, the holiday season tends to shine a bright light on our values. Are we normally conscious consumers during the rest of the year, but then go on a big box shopping spree to stock the pile under the Christmas tree? Or we typically value slow evenings and weekends at home as a family, but once December rolls around we find ourselves saying yes to every invitation? This is the month to use your values as the reason to embrace JOMO.
Here’s How to Do It: Review your values as a family and intentionally decide how you will practice those values this holiday season. What will you say yes to? How will you handle gift-giving and commitments outside the home? Draw the line in the sand using your values so you don’t unintentionally fall into FOMO during this busy season.
Bonus: Create a new holiday JOMO tradition that also honors your values.
Joy of Missing Out gives us permission to opt-out and choose instead to enjoy the warmth and comfort of our own homes. We can embrace the Danish philosophy of hygge, in which being cozy and connected at home, with family or friends, is the norm throughout the winter. So often the holiday season encourages the opposite: lots of shopping trips, activities and socializing outside the home, and filling our schedules to the brim.
Here’s How to Do It: Choose an evening that the whole family slips into their pajamas early, light a few candles, and snuggle in for read-alouds and passing a bowl of popcorn or some other comforting snack.
Bonus: Make mugs of hot cocoa, apple cider, or tea to warm your hands and hearts as you enjoy the Joy of Missing Out. Invite neighbors or good friends over to enjoy a cozy and low-expectations evening with your family.
The holiday season promotes heavy consumption and consumerism because the media sells an idealized image of how the holidays should be celebrated. Even if we are consciously trying to live simply as a family, it can be hard to ignore these messages that find us on our televisions, our social media, and in stores this time of year. The Joy of Missing Out is an “excuse” that allows us to purposefully say no to indulging in excess, single-use plastics, and gift-giving of throwaway gifts.
Here’s How to Do It: Purchase intentionally and slowly, focusing on goods that have longevity, use eco-friendly materials, and are from small family owned businesses.
Bonus: Host a round-table discussion with your children on how you’ll opt-out of the normal consumerism this time of year and instead choose sustainability. Seek their ideas for how to make this a new part of your family holiday tradition.
5. Slow Childhood
So many of us wax nostalgic of how simple the holidays were during our childhood or that of our parents or grandparents. We lament that we don’t know how to say no to the busyness and expectations of the holiday season. Let’s embrace our power as parents to create the holiday experience we desire for our families and give our kids the gift of a slow childhood. The Joy of Missing Out is the missing link to carving out time for our kids to simply be children: playing outdoors, getting lost in creative and imaginative games, and perhaps even being a bit bored.
Here’s How To Do It: Don’t schedule your children for playdates or extra activities during the whole month of December. Block out time on your calendar for them to be activity-free and to experience JOMO on their level.
Bonus: Slow time down even more by choosing an old-fashioned craft to complete as a family, such as making popcorn garlands for the Christmas tree, crafting a gingerbread house, or making ornaments from found items around the house.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel less pressure and guilt this time of year? We only have so many holiday seasons with our children before they’re grown and leave our homes. Don’t allow FOMO to dictate the way you celebrate this year, but rather create new experiences and expectations by choosing the Joy of Missing Out.
How will you use the Joy of Missing Out to guide your holiday traditions and experiences this year?
You can catch more from Kate by visiting her at https://thestreamlinedlife.com.