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Zen family gatherings for the holidays

Tips for staying zen, grounded, and grateful during the holidays  

The holidays are a beautiful time to gather together and celebrate the joy of family! Having a dedicated time to sit around a table and share laughter, stories, and delicious food reminds us of the value that family can add to our lives. But it can also be a hectic time with all the preparations, travel, gifts to buy, mouths to feed, and personalities to manage (We all have that one crazy uncle.). Organizing a holiday get together or party takes finesse!

family gathering for the holidays

Keeping your cool when the pie hits the fan is key for hosting a successful holiday season. After all, the crux of gathering together is to celebrate what each person brings to the table, whether we agree with it or not. Acknowledging our differences and similarities strengthens bonds and gives us tools to work together to create a more meaningful world. When we recognize this, we cultivate gratitude for each other.

At The Horse Shoe Farm, we practice being in a state of gratitude on a daily basis. It’s part of the core of who we are and how our staff operates. This extends to how we interact with our guests, our surroundings, and each other. Whether it’s stopping for a moment of reflection, as we take in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, or having heartfelt conversations around the campfire, we try to bring a sense of zen into our interactions. To us, this means having a togetherness of mind and body- letting the two coincide in harmony and bringing balance to our being. We believe this can be achieved through a regular self-care practice. That’s why we offer daily meditation, yoga, organic meals, and spa treatments aimed at grounding and realigning the body and mind.

As such, we’ve found the following tips helpful for the holiday season.

Take mindful breaks

Our first tip is to schedule breaks for yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, which can lead to burn-out if not properly managed. It’s okay to take time out of your daily schedule, errands, and even when you are at a party, for a moment of solace. Give yourself permission and know that taking a moment for yourself will lead to a happier, more energized version of you!

Our guests like to steal away for a moment of meditation in The Silo or take a peaceful walk in The Labyrinth when we need a break from it all.

Stay active and explore the outdoors

Don’t let the tryptophan from the turkey keep you on the couch all day! While it may be easy to get into a sleepy slump after eating, staying active will boost your energy and mood. Exercise increases endorphins and your overall well-being. You don’t necessarily have to hit the gym, either. Taking long walks in nature is an easy and enjoyable way to get some fresh air and move your body. It’s also a good way to get folks out of the house when it gets too crowded or while waiting for the food to cook.

Being in nature can improve one’s vitality. Natural light helps normalize your sleep schedule, fresh air lowers blood pressure, and spending time in nature decreases stress. We’re pretty positive there’s nothing nature can’t do to boost the body! Here in the Asheville-Hendersonville, North Carolina area, we like walking the Asheville Urban Trail and taking in all of the unique sculptures and history of the area.

We also have miles of stunning nature trails here on our property, that our guests love exploring when staying at The Farm. Nature is an integral part of the experience at The Horse Shoe Farm for the very reasons listed above. We’ve seen firsthand how healing spending time in nature can be.

Pause before digging in

While it may be tempting to dive into the food set in front of you, pausing for a moment of gratitude can make the dining experience even more enjoyable. Bringing a bit of mindfulness to the table is a great way to set the tone for the evening. Start the meal off with a gratitude circle and invite everyone to share what they are grateful for. If someone isn’t sure of what to contribute, provide them with some of our favorite prompts like:

    • What brings you joy on a daily basis?
    • What can I do to cultivate more happiness?
    • Describe what you love about yourself or about the person next to you
    • Describe a family tradition you love
    • What’s something you are looking forward to celebrating?
    • Who made you smile today and why?

Prep as much as possible beforehand and ask for help

Often we get caught up in wanting to curate a perfect experience for our friends and family. While it’s important to put your best foot forward, it’s equally important to take it easy on yourself. Game out how you want the day to flow and prepare as much as possible beforehand. Staying organized can decrease stress caused by last-minute mishaps or changes.

Another way to stay grounded is to ask for help, especially if you are in charge of setting the organizing a celebration. Choose the tasks that you truly enjoy and delegate the rest to folks who are wanting to lend a hand. Having others pitch in contributes to an overall good feeling and allows you to relax a bit and enjoy the process.

Cooking with family

If you are staying with us at The Horse Shoe Farm, our Silo Cookhouse is perfect for hosting and prepping your holiday meal. And when you don’t want to deal with cooking at all, one of our private chefs can take the workload off your hands, so you can spend more time with your family. We’ll even take care of the set-up and break down!

The Silo Cookhouse at The Horse Shoe Farm

Indulge but don’t go overboard

Yes, ‘tis the season to indulge but that doesn’t mean you should throw your health to the wayside. Eating too much can lead to poor mood and sleep quality. Moderating your intake can make the appreciation of what you eat, that much sweeter and enjoyable. Everything is about balance and finding what works for you as an individual.

For example, we like to start our day with a fresh juice our Juice Bar!

The Juice Bar at The Horse Shoe Farm

From all of us at The Horse Shoe Farm, we wish you a peace-filled and joyful holiday season. We hope these tips bring you comfort and ease as you head into a month full of festivities. If you’re looking for a place where you can unwind with your family, we invite you to celebrate the season with us. Our charming and peaceful vacation homes are yours to enjoy fully- as if they were your own. You can cook in The Silo Cookhouse, play games in The Farmhouse, and roast S’mores together around the fire pit. The only difference is, we’ll clean up the mess!

The possibilities for exploring the Farm and our offerings are endless. It’s an automatically zen experience because of the surrounding beauty that North Carolina offers. And one that we think you and your loved ones will remember for years to come.

Contact us for availability and to learn more about bringing your group to the Farm for the holidays or a family reunion.