How to keep the magic of Christmas alive as an adult
Christmas has always been my very favorite holiday, in that it is a perfect opportunity to treasure your family, friends, and other things we have while celebrating the year that has passed and the sacrifices made for us by those we love. There are a lot of things that I associate with Christmas and that help me get into the Christmas spirit each season.
However, I feel that as I have gotten older, it has been more difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit. I attribute this difficulty to more work, less play, and also perhaps the matter of whether or not Santa does or does not exist.
Nonetheless, there are still a number of things that I do each year to help ensure that Christmas continues to hold meaning for me. I know that this meaning differs from person to person, and so the following list pertains to my personal beliefs and values. Thank you very much for reading and I hope that if you do believe in Christmas, that the holiday will forever hold a special place in your hearts!
- Take time off from work. When I first graduated from college and started working, I worked all the way up to Christmas. By the time it passed, I realized that I completely missed doing everything that makes Christmas special to me. I didn't have as much time to spend the holiday with those I loved and to look back on the things that I had. I vowed that from that point on I would save vacation hours during the year for the holidays - if only a day or two - so I can savor the season and all that it brings.
- Bake cookies. This seems trivial, but to me, baking Christmas cookies has always been a chance to show people that I care about them and am thinking about them. To me, Christmas cookies are very personal and have a lot of love in them :) And delivering them is a way to connect with people again during the holidays if only for a short time!
- Write cards. Similar to the cookies, cards allow me to show others that they are on my mind. I like to write a lot in my cards and let people know that I appreciate what they mean to me and everything they have done for me.
- Watch favorite shows and movies. My mother recorded old TV holiday specials on VHS in the '80s and early '90s. We ended up watching those shows every year and it didn't feel like Christmas if we didn't watch them. Sadly, those tapes were stolen (who steals VHS tapes?!), but fortunately we were able to recover some of the shows on Amazon and YouTube. We watch our shows and movies as a family and laugh over them together. I couldn't imagine Christmas without them.
- Listen to favorite music. For me, Christmas music is very important because of the memories that I share with my mother listening to our favorite holiday albums. We start our holiday season driving an hour to go Black-Friday shopping (it has become a holiday tradition, even if we don't buy anything), and we listen to our favorite Christmas music the whole way there.
- Visit favorite holiday spots. In the Bay Area, there are a lot of places that have grown special to me over the years as holiday hot-spots. This includes Union Square in San Francisco and Christmas in the Park in San José, to name a couple. It is a great place to sit back, enjoy the scenery, and watch others do the same during the holiday.
- Volunteer. It is important to me to volunteer and donate during the Christmas season, whether it is for a food drive, family giving-tree project, or soup kitchen to try to help others better enjoy the holiday.
- Make gift-giving special. I don't believe in token Christmas gifts. If I am giving a present to someone for Christmas, it is because I care about them, not because I have to give a gift. My gifts are always very personal and meaningful, not just something on sale or something re-gifted. When finding or making a gift, I think about what the person means to me, the memories we share, and the things I would like for them to enjoy now and in the future.
- Spend time with family. There's no question: Christmas wouldn't be the same without those you love. No matter what kind of disagreements I have with family during the year, I still take the opportunity to see them, give them a hug and tell them I love them. Though my family gatherings have grown smaller over the years, I feel fortunate for the time I do get to spend with my loved ones during the holidays.
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