I think it’s a tragedy when people rush through Christmas and identify the holidays with traffic, gift wrapping and over-eating. I know I have had past Christmas seasons like that. Buying gifts becomes one more thing on an endless to-do list. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the extra obligations, but what happened to our child-like anticipation? What happened to the Magic?
Well maybe we don’t believe in Santa anymore, but we can bring some merriness back by slowing down instead of speeding up.
Here are some ideas for relishing the holidays and making sure it is a time off, treasured memory instead of just a “Kodak moment.”
~Watch an old Christmas movie with your family. Remember the original Rudolf cartoon, or “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Sure, you’ve seen it a hundred times, but this time make a night of it. Mull some cider to make it extra special.
~Even if you don’t have children at home, stuff stockings for your spouse or roommates. You can pack them with little inexpensive items or even gag gifts from the thrift store. Go ahead, be a child again! Make sure you wait until Christmas morning to open them up.
~Get a group together one evening and go caroling in your neighborhood. Who cares if you sing off key? It might be the only time you see your neighbors in their pajamas!
~Make sugar cookies and decorate them. You know, the ones with the sprinkles and red frosting from the tube? Get creative. Be wild. Make a mess for once.
~Donate some canned soup to a homeless shelter. You will feel good knowing you’ve made a difference and warmed someone else’s heart and belly.
~Go to a Dickens Fair or a craft show. They have original gifts and foods you would never find in a mall and you get to feel the holiday spirit all around you.
~Put antler ears on your dog or cat. Ok, that’s just funny—I don’t care who you are!
There are many ways to invite the spirit of Christmas into your heart and home. The key is making a little space, even if it’s only breaking bread and toasting to a glass of eggnog.
Winter has its share of inconveniences, but when we purposely make room for wonder it very often shows up. I wish you all the warmth and love you can wrap your arms around. Christmas only comes once a year. Don’t forget the magic!