What’s in your stocking this year?

Gleah pic 2uest Post by Libre Leading Light Leah Goard

Leah Goard is a soul searching, strategic business and lifestyle consultant, speaker, author and woman in hot pursuit of the multi-layered answer to one very important question… “What does it truly take to thrive in business and life?”
The holiday season seems to come upon us faster each year. Rows of fuzzy, red stockings quickly appear, stuffed with the promise of a holiday filled with peace, relaxation, joy and the warmth of the festive season.

However, the stress of over- extended schedules, pressures to spend, and outgrown traditions can leave you frazzled, and wondering what it’s really all about.


Added into that mix for some, the holidays may bring awareness to challenging changes in their lives over the year gone past.


With each new invitation, social obligation, gift to purchase, and memory to process it’s easy it is to lose grasp of the true meaning of the season, endeavour to zone out and bury ourselves in the turkey and wine.


So, how do you cultivate more presence and create the kind of holidays that you most desire?


To start, here are three simple yet profoundly effective ways and I’ve created a Holiday Presence Worksheet to help you on your way to more blissful moments.


  1. Define how you want to feel and what you want to experience.
    We can spend a lot of time focused on what we don’t have or want instead of getting crystal clear on what we do have and want which is really important considering that what we focus on grows. It’s also easy to get a bit too caught up in what other’s want or what we think we should want. Yet,  we are truly all unique snowflakes!You may want a festive season filled with lots of connecting, late night parties and fancy dance shoes or you may be drawn to spending most of the season wrapped in a cozy blanket by the fire – refueling your body and soul. What you want matters and getting crystal clear on how you want to feel, your desired experience and honouring this, is your very first step in creating an amazing holiday.
  2. Design your road map to ensure you have a plan
    Once you know how you want to feel and what you want to do then creating a very clear holiday plan is your next step. Specifically map out your holidays focused on the activities that are going to make you feel the way you want to feel. Get specific about how much socializing you will do, the people you want to see, how much time you need on your own, how much money you are going to spend and how many gifts you will purchase.
  3. Align your thoughts, decisions and actions to support your experience.
    Alignment is a practice. It’s the moment by moment decisions you make and actions you take that will support your desired holiday experience or take away from it. It includes the habits and boundaries that you activate daily. For example, if you want to feel amazing in your body then you will need to design a strategy to help you by committing to exercising regularly and being mindful of your holiday eating and drinking. In order to bring this into alignment you will want to make this a non-negotiable priority, keep it top of mind and put into practice boundaries around your sacred time and those holiday chocolates.

lea goard 2
My world changed dramatically this year and when I initially started contemplating the holidays, the truth is that I immediately started searching hot destinations to escape to so I could skip them altogether.


However, just like with every other season, holiday or moment, we have the opportunity to take responsibility for our experiences, cultivate presence and create what we most desire – even if it doesn’t end up looking like we thought it was going to.


So, here’s my personal invitation to join me in stuffing your stocking with presence, gratitude and joy.


Download your Leah – Holiday Presence Worksheet – PDF and enjoy experiencing moments worth remembering!



Leah Goard


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Comments (24)

  1. Kim


    I’ve downsized my holidays. I’ve felt very guilty over the past years as I stopped giving gifts to way to many people because I didn’t want to be rude, such as old bosses, distant old friends in other states, etc. Now I enjoy just my small family and send handpicked cards to special people in my life.

  2. Amanda Alvarado


    We are only attending family get togethers and only buying presents for our kids. My husband comes from a family of 5 other siblings and it was just getting to stressful financially to buy for all of them and their children. We tried just the kids and even a family present but even then it put a big stress on our budget. So this year we are giving them the gift of spending time together!

  3. Aaron


    I cultivate more presence by keeping the holiday season simple and by practicing the spirit all year long.

  4. Dianne Messina


    I try to find time to do a relaxing yoga routine before everyone gets up or after everyone goes to bed. It’s a way for me to take a few minutes and clear my head.

  5. Keya Millionie


    We are only doing a small amount of gifts and they have to be useful and practical, not just another thing to create clutter.

  6. lee dixon


    I keep my holiday very low key and just enjoying people’s company. I prefer to have gift someone rather than receiving a present.

  7. loriag


    I focus on Advent in the Christmas season. Advent is preparing for the birth of Christ. He is my joy, my presence, and my gratitude. Advent for me is not the business of Christmas, it is taking time each day to focus on what is truly important. Advent is not about more stuff, stress and parties, it is about putting your heart and mind on what is important.

  8. Kona Lynn Sankey


    This year will only be stockings…

    We have more gifts, but the way we’re giving them helps support the building of memories and downplays the gift being the importance. Gifts are spread out through the month, and given at a set period in time, or when is most appropriate – should a special occasion arise.

  9. Nicky


    i take the time to rest and relax at home, instead of always rushing from place to place. which is easy to do during the busy holiday season.

  10. Chris


    I am tring to stay in the moment and enjoy the special time with my family and friends. I am trying to focus on the little things and not the commercial aspect of Christmas.

  11. Kathy Davis


    I spend 10 minutes meditating each morning, and when I’m finished, my tea is perfectly steeped. I also, spend time talked to my family about what we are thankful for, each and every day.

  12. stacey h


    i’m downsizing all of the social commitments and just enjoying some ‘me’ time. of course there will be family and friends, but i also really need some time to breathe and some time off from a stressful job.

  13. Reply

    Lists are really helping me simplify. I have menu plans for company meals, I’m making and freezing soup this week so I’ve got quick meals when we are busy, and I’m making each family member their favourite Christmas goodie rather than making a selection to choose from. So looking forward to Christmas this year!

  14. Angela Mitchell


    I really love the holidays because we both get time off work and it’s such a great time to relax, play, and have fun together as a family. I try to put the emphasis on experiences rather than things. We keep the gifting simple but we do a lot of family activities: walks, games, baking, movie nights — and it seems to work for us.

  15. Amanda Felton


    I don’t give in to the pressures that everyone around puts on themselves this time of year. If I don’t get the house decorated, so be it. If I don’t get all the shopping done, that is ok. If I can’t find the time to send everyone cards, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. This is a time to be happy and enjoy the season. Everyday you should treat as special and precious.

  16. Claudia ellis


    We were at that point a few years ago and made the decision to put our focus back on the real meaning of Christmas and not being stressed out over how to afford buying gifts for everyone. We bought some plain Christmas ornaments and each day in December leading up to Christmas we read a bible story together about the different names of Christ. Our daughters then wrote the name and bible reference on an ornament and put it on the tree. So now every time we walk by the Christmas tree we are reminded of the reason of the season and don’t get stressed!

  17. Emily Solis


    I stay in the presence by relishing my time out of school with friends and family, the people who help me stay grounded and “in the presence” during my hectic semester. Could not make it through without the people I love.

  18. Ameirah


    We are making more items than buying. not putting up all kinds of glitter & glam just simple. Thanks

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