I have to confess that every December I would let myself get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. Instead of being joyful, I was burning the Christmas candle at both ends. No more! This year I have drawn a line in the sand with my peppermint stick and am going to celebrate Christmas each and every day. I hope that these ideas will inspire some of your own and that you will join me in savoring this most special of all holidays.
1. Don’t let the added demands of the holiday season steal your joy
2. Ask someone you admire for a recipe
3. Volunteer to help others
4. Purchase a real Christmas tree, chop down your own tree (this is an event in itself) or purchase a real tree to plant later.
5. Do something you have thought about and talked about but have never done. (Attend a concert, look at Christmas windows, go see a Christmas lighted display, etc.)
6. Go to church. There are a wide variety of times and services during this time of the year
7. Send real Christmas cards – You can go online and have them custom made in a matter of minutes
8. Listen to Christmas music
9. With children – read Christmas stories – Don’t spend money, go to the library. Pick them out together. Add Christmas songs to your nightly lullabies
10. Decorate “green” – Use real pine rope and wreathes, cranberries to fill hurricane lamps
11. Bring some sort of decoration to your office to keep work from zapping your joy! Think good will and peace on earth – and the office.
12. Attend a Christmas concert – there are always lots of opportunities from small to grand
13. Take a walk or drive around your neighborhood at night to see the Christmas lights.
14. Reconnect with someone you’ve been thinking about.
15. Make a favorite treat from your childhood.
16. Start an ornament collection by purchasing one every Christmas.
17. Watch a Christmas movie.
18. Turkeys aren’t just for Thanksgiving! Cook a turkey for Christmas.
19. Write down family stories before they are lost forever.
20. Pray for friends, family, loved ones, our country and our world.
21. Go to any dollar type store and buy Christmas bags if you don’t like to wrap presents. If you are wrapping, make sure you save yourself enough time to wrap and don’t wait until the last minute.
22. A gift doesn’t have to cost money. Give a busy mom a baby sitting gift certificate that you make, give your own gift card for chores, foot massages, back rubs. Get creative. People want the gift of our “presence” not always a “present”.
23. Really read the words of Christmas carols and not just sing them.
24. Take in the stillness of Christmas Eve. Be still and savor some time alone.
25. Sometime between the activities of the day, take a walk and enjoy the most special day of all holidays.
I am blogging daily in more detail on how I am using each of these ideas in December on my other site dedicated to prayer, meditation and contemplative practices at http://guidedchristianmeditation.com/blog – please join me!