Some of you may know, that earlier this year I lost a family member. So this holiday season seems a little flat and perhaps a little less shiny. However, losing someone can also bring into focus those things that matter most. It can clear your vision and give you better focus. Here is a list of my personal Holiday mantras I try to keep in mind to bring meaning to the season.
- It’s really all about the people. Really. This year, I find myself trying to be mindful of the time I have with those around me and I focus on trying to be present. Sometimes more successfully than others.
- It’s all about the children. Obviously. Christmas can be such a magical holiday for little ones. They love finding gifts from Santa and having their stockings filled. There is an endless supply of treats to be consumed. All in all, the holiday season can be a fountain of delight for children and we can help create that magical experience for them. This is particularly true for children who are less privileged. Every year, I always donate toys to Toys for Tots and find other organizations where I can give gifts to children. After all, it is Christmas.
- Take some time to cook something that makes your whole house smell great. Then go outside for 30 minutes and walk back into your house. It’s amazing! Step aside scented candles! Here are some ideas for “cooking” the smell of Christmas into your house; cranberry sauce, cookies, hot mulled apple cider, and hot chocolate are just a few items that come to mind. You can also brew up the smell of Christmas by filling a pot with these items and simmering it on the stove.
- Walk or drive through a neighborhood to look at all the Christmas lights people put on their homes. It’s magical. We only have 4 short weeks to enjoy the magic of tiny lights strewn on homes, bushes, light posts, and garages. Go enjoy every minute of it. Those sparkly lights will be gone in short order.
- Watch or re-watch Christmas movies. There are so many classics that I can’t list them all. You know what you like – go and watch it. It’s worth it.
- Make something by hand. Seriously. Even if it doesn’t turn out. You will gain some spiritual solace from the process. There are endless ornaments you can make by hand. Just do a search on Pinterest or the internet. Here are some ideas for you. There are paper Christmas Stars to make out of lunch bags. Heck, if nothing else, make a paper chain to decorate a mirror, window or tree. Of course, you can also make yourself a wreath.
- Say “no” more often. Truly. This time of year its easy to over-commit and it’s easy to burn out. There are times when it’s better to say “Thank you for the invite but I can’t attend” and stay home in your pajamas, watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate. Needless to say, you should do this after you walked through the neighborhood and admired all the Christmas lights.
- Even if you don’t have a Christmas tree, put some mercury glass ornaments in a bowl on the dining room table or coffee table. It takes 5 minutes and is the easiest way to decorate for the Holiday season. Of course my favorite mercury glass ornaments are those from the 1950s and 1960s. Bonus, it takes about 5 minutes to put them away when January arrives.
- Check on someone who you think needs some extra attention during the holiday season. Call them and say hello. Send them a text message. Send them an email. Send them a Christmas card. The most important thing is that you take the time to reach out and let them know you are thinking of them.
- Make some Christmas gifts. People generally appreciate those items that are made by hand. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It could be a batch of cookies. Make a wreath for your neighbor. Sew a Christmas stocking. Make some ornaments. One year I made these salt scrubs for my friends.
Below are some photos that I hope inspire you to implement some of my the ideas above.
Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you found that this reflection on the Holiday Season has brought more meaning into the few remaining days of this month. Hey, maybe I will see you around the neighborhood looking at all the Christmas lights! Happy Holidays.