So here we are again, gearing up for another holiday season.
And with it comes the stress of having to buy gifts, bake and cook, and entertain family and friends — and maybe even a few unexpected guests. This goes with any holiday you celebrate (in my case, it’s Christmas) and we all can so easily get sucked into the frenzy that marks this time of year. You watch for sales. Get up at the crack of dawn to head to the mall. Fret when you can’t find the one (of many) toys your son or daughter wants. You make to do lists, spend countless hours at the supermarket finding just the right ingredients for dinner and all the trimmings, clean the house for visitors, make travel arrangements, spend more than you want, experience road rage over traffic jams, flip off the driver who stole your parking spot, drive around the entire town trying to find just the right Christmas tree, agree to attend more parties than you probably want to and, in the end, wonder what the hell you’re doing and why you’re doing it only to swear that next year will be different.
Only it never is.
I know. I’ve been there myself — even today, while sitting in traffic, watching lunch get cold in the car and letting my mind go nuts over what was still left to be done between now and December 24th. It was then that I realized we spend too much time making the holidays more complicated than they need to be. We also don’t spend enough time focusing on what truly makes them meaningful. So, in honor of celebrating the holidays and what they truly mean, I’m going to post Making the Holidays Meaningful Tips; tips that are special to me and that, hopefully, bring meaning to yours.
So, to start, here’s my tip for today:
Instead of focusing on shopping for gifts, help someone instead.
- Give an elderly person a hand when crossing the street or carrying a heavy package.
- Offer to cook or help at a food pantry or soup kitchen. There are many who don’t eat regular meals, or even hot ones.
- Know the Salvation Army bell ringers? Next time you drop a dollar or two in the bucket, offer to buy them a hot cocoa or coffee to keep them warm.
- Donate clothes you don’t use anymore.
- Donate blood!!
- Help a needy family decorate their tree. And maybe even bring a dinner. Local charities can provide information if you’re interested.
- Remember our troops. Send care packages. Write a letter of thanks. Volunteer at a local VA. It’s because of these brave men and women that we still celebrate our freedom.
- Swing by an animal shelter. Ask the staff what you can do to help animals who still haven’t found homes.
- If you have kids, involve them in any of the above. It’ll give them perspective. 🙂
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