The Spirit of Christmas

We are in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  From mid-November until January 1, we tend to run from party to shopping to eating to worrying about what we ate, what we spent, and what we said.

I wish we could refocus on how we view the holidays.  The most precious gift we each have is our very limited time.  More important than spending money (which can be replaced), spending time (which is irreplaceable) on our loved ones is such a luxurious gift.

So often we try to create a perfect holiday for our families.  In the process, we worry about a lot of things that really don’t matter in the end.  A homemade cookie made with our kids is so much more of a treat for those kids than a perfect cookie that you spend hours working on alone or purchasing.

Ideas for holiday fun:

  1.  Craft together.  For a special holiday memento, read this blog.
  2. Make and decorate homemade cookies.  Deliver plates of cookies to your neighbors.
  3. Go caroling at a local nursing home.  Be sure to call ahead for permission, the best time, etc.
  4. Volunteer together as a family at a local soup kitchen, meal-a-day, food pantry or Blue Santa or Toys-for-Tots.
  5. Spend time with the older adults in your family.  Get them to tell you stories of their youth or teach you how to cook their signature recipe.  See if they will let you film or photograph them telling the stories.
  6. Reach out to those who have lost family members during the year, especially those who may be lonely.  Be sure to invite these folks to join you for Christmas day.
  7. Sponsor a family in your community, such as an angel tree or through your church.  Share food and/or gifts with a family in need.
  8. Create a family tradition (or revive a lost one).  Maybe a game night or gingerbread house competition would be something your family would enjoy.
  9. Spend time crafting with your kids helping them make gifts for their friends and family.
  10. Bring back the old school tradition of visiting people.  Call a friend you haven’t seen in a bit and ask if you can visit them.
  11. Teach your children to sew, crochet, knit or cook.
  12. For those who enjoy multiple trees in their home, make one a tree of blessings (ornaments that represent the blessings) or all homemade ornaments. Let each family member’s creativity shine.
  13. Load up the family and drive around town enjoying Christmas lights.  If you have room invite friends to go too!
  14. Set aside two hours to sit around the dinner table and do nothing but talk to each other.  No phones, no distractions.  Just pure sharing.  What a rare treat for all!

I love Christmas, but I worry about the emphasis our society puts on spending this time of year.  I think we all agree that the best gifts in life are our children, family, spouse, and/or friends.  Why not celebrate these blessings while focussing on the people, not the purchase?



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