The Christmas Spirit All Year Long- How to Get in the Mood for Christmas
Are you tired of the holidays!
Does the thought of the holiday season approaching get you down? Do cheerful shoppers and bumper to bumper traffic get on your nerves? Are you feeling kind of grinchy this year?
Well, don't cancel Christmas just yet. There are several things you can do to try to get yourself in the Christmas spirit. Start working on yourself early in the year to get your heart and mind ready for this Christmas season.
Even the Grinch's heart "grew three sizes that day!"
Start paying it forward
You're probably heard the phrase "pay it forward." The idea behind that is to simply do something nice for someone, and, in turn, that person will do something nice for the next person, and the kind act will continue on from person to person. Getting your mind's focus off yourself and instead thinking of someone else is something that can bring a joyful feeling to you as well as the one you are helping.
This person that you choose as your recipient of paying it forward does not have to be someone you know. It's actually way more meaningful if it is a stranger, as it's even a more significant random act of kindness when you do something unexpectedly nice for someone that you have never even met.
The most common idea I hear for paying it forward to a stranger is paying for the order in the car behind you in the drive-through area of a restaurant. If you don't eat fast food, though, you're out of luck! So let's look at some other options that may be more your speed.
- Donate warm items such as coats, hats and gloves, shoes, and blankets, to the local homeless shelter
- Contact a nursing home to set up visits with a resident who gets few visitors.
- Volunteer at a center for special needs children.
- Take food to someone you know is a shut-in.
- Help an elderly person carry his or her groceries.
- Offer to help your elderly neighbor with taking our the trash or other chores.
- Help out at a soup kitchen.
These are just a few ideas of things you can do with people you know or not, to show that there are still generous, caring people in the world. Hopefully, the ones you touch will also pay it forward when they can.
This Dancing and Singing Grinch Should Get You in the Spirit!
Make up with an alienated family or friend
Has a rift between you and a family member kept you from seeing each other for years? Do you think about the special times you used to have with a long lost friend? Even if you can't make the relationship what it used to be, wouldn't it feel good to get rid of that sad, perhaps ugly, feeling in your gut and get some closure?
Do what you can to contact that person to release the sadness and bitterness that you've been harboring all these years. Try mending relationships with people from your past--or present--and start with a clean slate. Whether the break-up was your fault or not, you will feel better knowing that you did what you could to "fix it."
There are a lot of sincere ways to say that you're sorry. Just sending a note to let the person know that you're sorry about what happened to your friendship, even if you don't acknowledge fault, could mean a lot in alleviating past hurts. Who knows? You might have a surprising reunion that will bring joy to you this holiday season and all year long.
Keep your shopping simple
Shopping for Christmas gifts can be one of the most stressful--and expensive--things at Christmas. There are those shoppers who thrive in the midst of a holiday crowd of shoppers. If you're not one of those, you still have many options.
- Shop online. Besides avoiding the holiday crowds, you can often find excellent--or even better--deals at online stores.
- Shop early: Buy presents at after-Christmas sales for a fraction of the original cost. Keep your mind open for Christmas gifts throughout the year. Pick up a gift item here and there as you see something that would be perfect for a particular person. Start a "gift closet" (a shelf or even a drawer works) for these gifts that you collect all year long.
- Don't be extravagant: Don't feel that you have to outdo anybody else. Keep it simple and thoughtful. There is no reason to go into debt over a holiday that comes every year.
- Think (or shop) outside the box. If going to flea markets is something you enjoy, pick up a present or two while you're there. Many people collect at least something, and where better to find a gift to add than at a flea market or antique mall. Flea markets have all kinds of neat gift ideas.You might even find like new items at a quality garage sale in the summertime.
- Making easy homemade Christmas gifts is not only less costly than store-bought presents, but they add the personal "I really thought about you" touch. Get the whole family in on this as you exchange Christmas presents from the heart. If you knit, crochet, or sew, work on projects throughout the year as you sit to watch TV or just relax. Give homemade baked goodies in an attractive dish. String beads to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or other jewelry. Use your skills! Decorate a frame and put your own drawing, picture, or special photo inside. Make pillows or cloth napkins. There are many ideas out there, so get started early!
Get in the Christmas Spirit All Year Long!
Keeping your shopping affordable will take a lot of stress off you this holiday season. Spreading out your buying throughout the year will ease the frantic shopping during a hectic time of year. Making the gift yourself will add a personal touch and bring more joy to the gift-giving experience.
Pay it forward all year long, and see if you don't feel better by the time Christmas comes around. Chances are that you will!