NOTE: Updated for 2015! It’s a few days away from Christmas, but that doesn’t mean everyone has that holiday glow. We’ve all been there at one time or another. I know I have. It’s silly really, because it all comes down to one day out of the year that magic and miracles are supposed to happen. It has to with all the sparkly decorations, the chilly weather, the cuddling, parties and gift giving – it just feels special!
Truth is, magic and miracles can and do happen all year round. We have to make ourselves believe that every day is Christmas. Every day is the time to be cool, understanding, patient, to have faith and hope, to open our senses, and give unconditionally. Easier said than done, right? Regardless, this time of the year should be lively.
My holiday ‘happy’ alternates every other year. Right now, my heart doesn’t feel as heavy as has in the past when my dad passed. This weekend, I’m using his recipe to make tamales for the family, and while we don’t have traditional decorations up, we do have lots colored lights strung around our front patio! I’ve been giving little gifts this week for Random Acts of Kindness and I really do feel the holiday spirit. Overall the BEST way to feel the spirit is to give unconditionally, spread the happy!
If you are feeling the slightest bit frumpy, lonely or sad, I’m sending love and light your way to lift your spirits. Based on my past experiences, here are some ideas for pick-me-ups to help add more zing to your gingerbread that is your life!
AND – if you have any ideas to share, please add them in the comments!
1. Watch happy holiday videos. Something that will make you giggle.
2. Write down happy fortunes and hand them out to strangers. The power of words is very strong, imagine being able to change someone’s day or mood just by delivering an uplifting sentence. You can make up your own quotes, or cite your favorites. It feels soooo good to do something nice to someone who is not expecting it. Ideas: “Good for one lucky break!” “Go for the whipped cream today, you deserve it!”
3. Remember that gift giving is about the sentiment, not the monetary value. If you can’t afford fancy gifts, drop your pride and stick within your budget. You’ll have less stress, and less resentment toward the person you splurged on! Gifts are not a scorecard, they are a symbol of personalized thoughtfulness. Think priceless. Here’s an idea – print off photos (of you and the person) you took and put them in a painted frame. Another thought – write or use a fancy font to print a poem and do the same.
4. Participate in your local Christmas Angel program. This is where you go to the mall and take a tag off the tree and buy a gift for a child. Before you turn it in, slip in a handwritten note wishing them a happy day! If you miss the deadline, just get a gift and take it to a shelter or a drop off box.
5. Watch a cheesy holiday movie on cable. Hey, don’t judge! It does wonders, trust me! You can even watch one online at Hallmark.com – HERE. I watched Farewell, Mr. Kringle the other day and loved it so much I baked gingerbread cookies right after! (Classic holiday flicks are okay too, but they are on every channel these days, so they don’t seem as special).
6. Read a holiday book. Here is a list of Amazon’s choices for 2015 holiday books! This book, Christmas Joy Ride is at the top of list, I’m going to start on it tomorrow! Here’s a suggestion of mine from last year, My True Love Gave To Me.
7. Cookie bomb your workplace. Buy a roll of cookie dough, bake it up and bring it into the most unlikely of work meetings – or even to a department other than your own. Smiles abound! Better yet, bake these Potato Chip Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies!
8. Light a sugarplum candle. Don’t wait to buy a gourmet one. Act now, Christmas is Saturday! Next time you are at the grocery store, pick one up and light ‘er up! (Never leave a candle unattended) You can even make a cool candle holder from embroidery thread and fabric stiffener!
P.S. And if it makes you feel better to skip the season altogether, it’s cool too. I totally get that – been there…sometimes you just have to duck and cover!