I always find that December is a magical month. It's filled with joy, kindness, beauty, love and wonderment. It's usually overflowing with generosity. And if there is snow, there is that glittery, tingly Christmassy feeling in the air.
And if you haven't brought some of the old-fashioned holiday spirit into your life, my simple list of how to be full of it goes pretty much like this:
- Holiday books -- Return those holiday books to your shelves or bedside table. Reread the classic Christmas stories. Or read a new one.
- Christmas Music -- Play Christmas Music; search out noontime Holiday performances of children choirs; my AT&T uverse even has two holiday music channels. Before you realize it you will be singing along.
- Holiday Cards and Letters -- Send out holiday cards but include handwritten messages or even photos. In the world of digital; it's nice to receive an actual physical card.
- Candles, Candles, Candles -- The scents of Christmas are unlimited. There is something about lighting up your house in candle glow that is just magical.
- Decorate your home -- Decorating is a fast way to get you in the Holiday spirit. And remember it's not suppose to stress you out. It can be as simple of a branch from a pine tree, or a cluster of pinecones.
- Friends and Family -- During this month I reach out to friends and families and schedule lunch outings, movie outings; host a dinner party, an ornament making party, etc. December is always filled with family and friends.
- Donate, Donate, Donate -- It's a great time of year to show your generosity to others. Clean out a closet of items you don't need; donate food to a local food pantry; donate your time to a nursing home; there are so many ways you can donate.
- Traditions -- Do you have one from your past or present? If not, this is the perfect time to create a new tradition. After the passing of my Grandfather my Grandmother stopped having Christmas eve celebration at her house. So a new tradition formed: We always go out for Chinese on Christmas eve now. Another tradition we have in our family is hiding the Christmas pickle ornament and giving a prize for the person that finds it. And of course, it's not Christmas without watching "It's a Wonderful Life". What is your tradition?
- Stay in the Now -- Be still, be present and notice miracles around you. They are there but you have to pay attention.
- Create a Miracle -- We like adopting a family at Christmas. One Christmas we adopted a family that had 4 children. The youngest was not quite 4 years old. The mother had requested simple things like underwear, socks, jeans, shirts and some matchbox cars, etc. When the little boy opened up the package containing underwear and socks the little boy got so excited. He clung those items to his chest and ran off to show his brother. For a moment he forgot he had other gifts to open. He was just so excited about his new underclothing. Our son who was about 8 or 9 at the time began to cry. It was a great example of the spirit and love that abounds this time of year.
- Christmas Movies -- Watch some great Christmas movies. Do you have a favorite you watch every year? Also a great time to make some easy fudge, pop some popcorn and gather your family or friends to have a quite night at home.
- Snow -- If it begins to snow; take a walk (especially at night when you can see that glittery snow). Breathe in that cold brisk air; listen to the snow crunch under your foot; hear the silence of the snow.
- Bake -- Cookies; bread; holiday treats, candy -- Old and new recipes abound.... and remember to share what you made with others and see the smile on their face. Everyone loves to be appreciated and remembered.
- Make -- Last year I went to a Pinterest Party at a friend's home. A group of 10 women gathered and we crafted together. We each brought a covered dish. We ate, drank, shared interesting conversations and crafted. At the end of the night; we had a finished craft but we also had developed new friendships. There is something about gathering together to make something. Remember those old fashioned quilting bees?
- Christmas Lights -- We go to a local park and walk through their light display. We always stop to get a funnel cake; sip hot chocolate and watch the excited children as their wait at Santa's cabin. We also like to drive through the neighborhood to look at all the houses lite up.
December is a month to "be like a child". No expectations; no rushing from here to there to gather that perfect gift".... just be like a child. Look around you, notice what is happening, get excited in those little moments you might not have even noticed if you're too busy. No one wants to be around someone who is stressed out.