We have so much to celebrate this time of the year! Think about what really matters to you… people, not things, right? Many of us get nostalgic this time of the year and a little more sentimental than usual. Go with it. That’s the good stuff in life. It’s the people in our lives that give it meaning. So, it got me thinking… everyone, no matter who you are, what you believe, or where you live, is very much alike. Whether you celebrate Christmas, St. Nicholas Day, Three Kings Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, any other holiday, or nothing specific, remember we are more alike than different. Whether they are religious, these special traditions share similar meanings. Christmas is a Christian holiday, the story of the Nativity, and celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Christians give gifts like the wise men brought gifts to their savior. St. Nicholas Day honors a man that gave all of his money to the needy and was known for his compassion for children and all those in need. Three Kings Day celebrates the day the three wise men first saw baby Jesus and brought him gifts. Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration in remembrance of an ancient miracle in which one day’s worth of oil burned for eight days in the temple. Kwanzaa celebrates ideals such as family life and unity. Do you notice a theme? All celebrate giving to others, helping one another, compassion, love, honor, and family, no matter what your religious beliefs or traditions. How amazing and wonderful is that?!
So, keeping with the theme of this time of the year, let’s talk about how we can give of ourselves. There are many ways to give: your time, using your talents to benefit others, donating to charities, helping those in need, meaningful gifts that show true love, and much more. Acts of kindness, especially to strangers, are a sure way to brighten your mood and lift someone’s spirits and yours this season.
I’ve come up with a list of ideas. I’ve done a couple of these myself and plan to complete new ideas this year. Maybe you’d like to try one or more of these ideas.
1. Collect donations, from family and friends and or buy scarves, hats, and gloves for the homeless. (We tied them to the poles or trees down the main street of our city. The gift tag read: “If you’re in the cold and don’t know what to do. This is a Christmas gift of warmth from me to you. (Stay safe.) Love, A friend.”)
2. Serve food at a local soup kitchen. As emotional as that was for me, they were so grateful and I was happy to help.
3. Bring gifts to a Children’s Hospital, for sick children, and self-care baskets for the parents.
4. Cook and or bake for an elderly neighbor.
5. Go Christmas Caroling.
6. Donate gifts to needy families so they may give to their children. If you have children, it’s wonderful for them to learn the value of doing for others. What a great lesson for our children to experience the joy of helping those in need!
Spending time with your loved ones is one way to make the holidays even more special. Keep your old traditions alive. Enjoy making memories with those you care most about. We’re all very busy and not everyone has been off from work for more than a day or two. In the season’s spirit, I believe we should all make our family, love, and close friends the real priority. Remember the feeling of excitement and joy when you were a child and allow yourself the opportunity to feel like a kid again. Renew your spirit this time of year. Remind yourself of what’s important. May you experience love, peace, and joy this holiday season. So go ahead, my friends, Live Your Best Life!