It’s that time of year again. Time when the air is crisp and the hustle and bustle point out that the holidays are right around the corner. Are you ready? If you’re like lots of women, you’re stretched a little too thin. That’s exactly when you need to slow down, take a little break, and bring a little holiday joy into your life.
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Ideas to help you experience holiday joy
- Play a game with the whole family (or at least the ones you can get to the table since sometimes tweens or teens are…shall we say, moody and withdrawn). Board games like Monopoly and Clue are old favorites, card games like Uno and Skip-Bo are quick moving, and the new favorite at our house is a game called Chicken Feet that you play with a set of Double 9 Dominoes. The folks at my house range in age from mid-20s to mid-70s, and we all enjoy it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it even more once I actually manage to win, but that’s another story!
- Pop in a holiday movie and eat popcorn. There are old traditional Christmas movies like It’s A Wonderful Life (my personal favorite) and Miracle on 34th Street. The younger generation probably likes any of the Home Alone movies or Christmas vacation. And for the action fans at your house, there’s always the original (and best) Die Hard. After all, sometimes the holidays makes you anxious to see someone fall off a building (I’m kidding!).
- Put on some Christmas music and have a dance party or just some soothing background entertainment. It’s hard to beat classics sung by Tony Bennett or George Strait. My family’s favorite Christmas cd is Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time. It’s a collection of fun and silly Christmas songs. We still sing “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” every year. After all, if you can’t act like a kid at Christmas time, when can you?
- Invite some friends over and spend the afternoon doing some Christmas baking. I have a friend who has had a tradition of spending a day baking with her daughters and friends for 21 years now. It’s something they all look forward to and I bet the house smells heavenly!
- Curl up with an afghan, a book, and a cup of hot cocoa.
- Take a nap. I know you’ll feel decadent and like you don’t have time. Do it anyway.
- Take your dog for a walk and enjoy the sunshine or crisp air. If it’s snowing, you can laugh at your dog as he either scampers and enjoys the snow or you can pull him along behind you. Fluffy probably needs a break from the indoors as much as you do.
- Attend worship services or a Christmas cantata and reflect on what the season means in your life.
- Go for a drive after dark and enjoy the lights and outdoor decorations. We used to have a neighbor who put lights in every tree and bush, wrapped every light pole, an outlined every section of his yard. You could see the glow from his house a block away. I always wondered what his electricity bill was for the month but we enjoyed the fruits of his labor.
- Turn off all the overhead lights and just enjoy the Christmas tree lights in silence for a while.
- Pull out old family movies (does anyone else remember those?) or photo albums. I bet your older relatives would love to have someone to tell their stories and memories to again. Remind yourself that those relatives won’t be around forever.
- Curl up by the fireplace if you have one. We call this “caveman TV” at our house and there is something hypnotic about just watching the flames dance.
- Take a warm bath and put your pajamas on earlier than normal. Even if you end up wrapping gifts or doing something else on your To Do list, at least you’ll be comfy.
- Enjoy a holiday scented candle. My favorite this year is Snowflakes and Citrus from Bath and Body Works.
There you have it. Some simple ways to make the season just a little more merry and restful. Most of the ideas are free, but even the ones that aren’t won’t break the bank. You probably have some friends who could use a little holiday joy too so please feel free to share this post and the ideas with others. The holidays can be stressful – what are you doing to be sure that you take time to enjoy the festivities?