Whether you are in your forever home, are in a place of transition between homes– leaving one behind to begin new memories in a new space, or are away from home during the holidays visiting loved ones, there are some simple ways to help orient yourself to special holiday feelings, no matter where you may find yourself. Below are five suggestions:
Make Your Entertainment Festive
Listening to holiday music, finding a Christmas playlist on Spotify, watching Hallmark movies, or even reading your favorite seasonal novels, help to make your entertainment festive and spark a feeling of holiday bliss. Go see a local production of the Nutcracker in your town, participate in a neighborhood parade, go look at Christmas lights with friends and family, or visit a place of worship with a live choir singing carols.
Taste the Flavors of the Season
One sure way to experience all that the holiday season encompasses is to make good use of the tastes of the season. Whether it is adding a few extra seasonal items to your grocery list like mint teas, decadent desserts, mulled wine, or your favorite holiday cookies, plan to enjoy some festive treats this year. Also, check out your favorite local restaurants as many offer speciality holiday menus and seasonal treats.
Get Around Other People
For some people, what is meant to be a festive time of year can also be a time of loneliness and unmet expectations. Whether you are unable to travel to spend time with loved ones, are estranged from a family member, or are dealing with grief during this season, don’t stay isolated. Find neighbors or others in your community to spend time with. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Reconnect in person with a former classmate from school. Find a local meetup for people with a shared interest or hobby. The holidays can be a time of sadness for some, but don’t go it alone.
One way to really get into the holiday spirit this time of year is to look for opportunities to give back to others. There is usually no shortage of needs during the holidays. Find a local organization to volunteer your time with. Give financially to a project that could use some extra funds. There is almost always someone who is less fortunate than you are that could use a helping hand during this season. Giving produces a heart of gratitude and allows you to focus on others over self during a holiday season that tends to focus on material things and overconsumption.
Something Old, Something New
Finally, if you are wanting to increase the holiday spirit at home or away, think about doing something old and something new, or put another way, celebrate a time-honored tradition and also, try something new that just might become your next family favorite activity.
Some examples include keeping an Advent calendar, baking homemade treats for neighbors, finding a fun holiday movie to watch every year on Christmas Eve, getting your dog a festive sweater, having a Christmas lights scavenger hunt, drawing names for gifts, foregoing gifts and taking a destination vacation instead, putting up outdoor decorations, sending a family holiday letter, hosting a special dinner or breakfast with neighbors or friends, hiding an elf, wearing ugly sweaters, exchanging ornaments, going ice skating, taking funny photos, sponsoring an underprivileged family’s holiday gifts, participating in a Secret Santa exchange, or attending a local holiday event… to name a few.
The holidays can take on many forms depending on your level of interest and involvement. There is no one right way to celebrate or enjoy this time. Make it your own. Make it special. Enjoy it with those you love.