This is a guest post from Dan Garner of ZenPresence. Enjoy!
For many adults the holiday season has lost its lustre. Commercialism, financial stress, and busy schedules kill much of the joy. By taking the following steps you can reclaim the joy of the Christmas season.
1. Reflect on Christmas past.
Recall your fondest Christmas memories. What was the source of those memories? Use your memories to determine what is important to you and focus on bringing more of that into your holiday routine.
2. Add something new.
Start a new holiday tradition. Use your list from above and establish a new tradition. It could be hosting a party, a tour of lights, or even working in a soup kitchen.
3. Subtract something old.
Remove one thing from your holiday routine that causes you stress or otherwise dampens your Christmas spirit. If you hate shopping in the malls consider ordering gifts online and having them delivered straight to the recipients.
4. Give to a charity.
Gift in the true spirit of Christmas. Consider donating to a charity in a loved one’s name. Often you will get a nice card to give to the recipient informing them that the donation has been made on their behalf.
5. Reduce your spending.
Let everyone know that you don’t plan on buying meaningless gifts. Give homemade items, food, or host a dinner. Emphasize fellowship over money spent this year.
6. Make handmade decorations.
Tree ornaments, wreaths, and garland can easily be crafted at home. You will build memories and save money at the same time.
7. Make decorating a family affair.
Schedule an evening dedicated to decorating. Include snacks, drinks, and holiday music.
8. Attend a religious service.
You don’t have to be particularly religious or belong to an organized religion to appreciate the magic of a Christmas service. One of my fondest Christmas memories is attending a midnight Mass, and I’m not Catholic.
9. Go Caroling.
Go caroling or join a Christmas choir. You don’t have to be Adele to share the holiday spirit.
10. Send homemade Christmas cards.
Homemade cards or letters are much more personal and meaningful than mass produced Christmas cards. Share your true feelings to those you love.
11. Bake for someone.
Nothing says Christmas like holiday goodies. Involve a friend or family member. Give cookies or treats to neighbors, take them to work, or surprise a total stranger.
12. Set aside time for yourself.
Spend some time appreciating what Christmas means to you. Use a journal or diary to record your thoughts and memories.
About Dan Garner:
Dan writes about living a meaningful life at ZenPresence.com. He is an outdoor enthusiast, Zen student, and advocate for simple living.