I think it’s a sign when I start hearing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” on the radio and think of crazy shoppers and cookies gone wrong rather than what the song is really about it—how it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to church but the message I heard today at the service was exactly what my family needed to hear. I think it’s a good reminder to us all—to spread peace, joy, and love this time of year rather than stress, madness, and franticness. Christmas isn’t all about cookies and presents and decorating and on and on. But it is certainly part of the spirit so why not enjoy it and see it as a delight instead of a hassle?
Here’s a few ways to enhance your holiday season:
1. Say “yes” to making plans: You don’t have to do everything on your list this year, but encourage yourself to celebrate with friends. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting out the door—once you’re there, you’ll be grateful that you participated. Don’t miss out on the festive fun.
2. Say “no” when it’s too much: This is a good time of year to practice our restraining muscles. Whether it comes to that third cookie or the 10th holiday party, there are limits to how much you can do. As I, and thousands of other people say, “it’s all about balance.”
3. Think like a child: Christmas can lose its magic when you start seeing it like a grown-up—aka a lot of money, money, and oh yeah, more money. But if you start seeing Christmas like a kid—a Christmas with wonder and surprise—the holidays will take on that same excitement you had when you were little. Listen to Gloria Estefan’s “Christmas Through Your Eyes” to see what I mean.
4. Keep the traditions: I think you’ll find yourself looking forward to the season more if you have the comfort of knowing what to expect. In our home, we always have the classic tree decorating, the formal Christmas Eve dinner, and the Christmas day spectacle of watching everyone open their presents. Traditions don’t have to be elaborate but knowing that you have something to look forward to and count on makes all the difference.
5. Be open to change: This was the hardest one for me to accept. The transition from childhood to adulthood can be a tough one when it comes to Christmas. Santa stops making his “appearances” and the cookies don’t go to Santa—they go to your thighs. But there is always a way to find joy in Christmas—it takes a new shape every year. Find out how this year is special to you.
I hope you have the most wonderful week as Christmas is only seven days away. I have to scurry off to buy some more Christmas presents but in the meantime, I really hope that this is “the most wonderful time of the year” for you and yours.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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