3 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Spirit
We are less than ONE week from Thanksgiving! And quickly after that Christmas will roll around. THEN it’s a new year. I kind of love the last few months of the year because there are so many great holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and events all packed into a short amount of time. It’s like one thing leads into another and the celebrating never really stops.
I have to be honest though. I use to be the biggest Grinch when it came to the holidays, mostly Christmas. I was always focused on all the things that just don’t matter. It has been a long journey discovering my Holiday Spirit, but now that I have discovered it I would love to share how you can Keep Your Holiday Spirit this year!
First things first:
You need to understand that in order to have a joyful spirit this holiday season you need to stop focusing on all the things that are NOT important. If you don’t stop obsessing over the small details they will soon lead to big problems. Like causing unnecessary stress and losing your joy.
Some examples of things that are just not important this holiday season would be:
- Creating the most perfect holiday menu, whether that be Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both. And then obsessing over the execution of the menu. If you are cooking the turkey or ham it is not important if it looks good enough to be in Paula Dean’s cook book. It doesn’t even matter if it lacks the professional taste you were going for. It does not matter if someone forgets to bring a side dish to your house. It does not matter if you burn your casserole.
- Obsessing over finding the “perfect” gift. It would do everyone good to realize the best things in life cannot be bought. Sounds cliche, I know, but it’s true. I know some people just love buying gifts and they truly enjoy gift giving, or seeing the look on a loved ones face when they open something special. I love that feeling too. However, you simply cannot get caught up in materialism this holiday season. The constant shopping, price comparing, decision making, crowd dodging, bank account checking, not enough money, can’t find a parking space frustration, sold out and still can’t find the perfect gift, will kill your holiday spirit.
- Probably one of the biggest things that is not important this holiday season is everything you don’t have. I know for me this can have such a huge effect on my holiday spirit. I never had the perfect outfit for the holidays. I never got the gift I really wanted. I never had enough money to buy everyone gifts. No matter how much I had, I never had enough. Even if you have very little, you have something. How you view that realization relies on your understanding of value.
The Good Stuff
Now that we got some of the NOT so important things out of the way, lets get to the good stuff that really matters.
Here are Three Ways to Keep Your Holiday Spirit:
1. Spending time with loved ones
If you want to feel fulfilled this holiday season you need to spend time with those you love the most. Your sense of joy will be lifted when you are around the people who you find value in, and value you back. You don’t have to make elaborate plans that require large amounts of money just to be with family and friends.
If you like to bake invite a family member over and make some fun memories in the kitchen. Enjoy preparing a meal with a friend in your home, or theirs. If you have children think of the simple things. Cut out paper snow flakes or build a snowman.
I always have a list of things I enjoy doing the most during the holiday season and incorporating my family and friends into those activities lifts my spirit so much more than if I were doing everything on my own.
2. Give generously
I must admit I haven’t always been a generous giver and it is a life long goal of mine to give more and more…and more. You have to believe me when I tell you how much giving this season will change your holiday spirit. It is easy to think about all the things we don’t have and want to keep the few things we do have to ourselves.
However, when you look beyond your own hands something changes in your heart. If you know you live a comfortable life and your daily needs are more than met then look for at least ten ways to bless someone else this year. If you don’t have a lot, or feel like you don’t have anything to give all all, then look for at least one way to bless someone besides yourself this year.
Give more than a store bought gift. We all know the snow storms are coming. This is a perfect time to bless your neighbor by shoveling their drive way. Give the gift of your service and your time. I love shopping, but I love it so much more when I DO something for someone when they don’t expect it. Give the act of caring to all those you come across. Hold the door open for the elderly, offer your spot in the check out line to a struggling parent with the crying kids, bake cookies for a loved one or a person mourning the loss of a loved one.
Seriously there are so many ways to give and it goes beyond our wallets or an item on a store shelf. I have been blessed by so many people that I simply cannot repay them all in a short holiday season. But, it lifts my spirits and keeps me joyful when I intentionally look for opportunities to give.
The best way to keep your holiday spirit this season is by not worrying. There are too many things that take our focus away on what really matters. If you have air in your lungs and the sun came up this morning you can be happy.
And, more importantly thankful. There is always some kind of worry to occupy our minds but lets all just agree to give ourselves a well deserved rest.I have spent too many Christmases worrying and it only made me dread the holidays the next year that much more.
If there is something going on in your life that is just weighing you down, then I encourage you to let it go. Give your worries to God and believe in Him to do the impossible. The worries of this world are too much for one person to carry and if you allow God to carry your burdens this holiday season I truly believe your holiday spirits will be higher than if you had every last thing you could think of.
That’s a wrap!
Lets make this holiday season the best one yet. Get out there and spend time with those most valuable to you. Create memories with your family and friends that will last a life time. Give beyond what you think you are capable of and see those around you be blessed. Give more than a store bought gift and offer your time. Volunteer and intentionally look for opportunities to show others you care. Lend a hand and a listening ear this season. Don’t worry about not having enough money to bring food to a guests house, or not being able to buy the perfect gifts. I know there are so many good people out there just looking to offer a holiday miracle so don’t be afraid to accept help this holiday season if you need it. Believe in the impossible because we have a God who can go way beyond our own efforts.
My hope is that by just incorporating these few things you will be able to Keep Your Holiday Spirit This Year!
Live. Love. Learn.