The holiday season – regardless of what celebration you participate in – is a time of sharing and caring about others. There is lots of pressure to show our affection by giving material things to others or doing elaborate and costly events or entertainment. There are certainly plenty of opportunities to spend, spend, spend. Sharing the holiday spirit can be done in many other ways.
Whether you desire to simplify your holiday activities or want to minimize expenses or both, these 10 ways to offer love and caring to others. Share love in its simplest forms – a kind word, a helping hand or a thoughtful gesture. Make hearts happy for the holidays… this is the essence of the holiday spirit.
- Sing Christmas carols or other winter/holiday songs for others. Gather a few musically-inclined friends. Print out song lyrics from the internet. Call up a few retirement homes or communities in your area and schedule a holiday visit. Music has such power to cheer up people who are isolated and away from family.
- Make the holidays about connection. Sure, it feels good to provide great gifts for family – especially the children. But demonstrating that the holidays are about being together, showing kindness, and sharing special moments is what will create long lasting memories. Doing enjoyable things together and taking photo memories lasts longer than many gifts.
- Make any activities connected your holiday celebrations – tree decorating, food preparation, gift-wrapping, etc. – a shared family experience. Sharing the preparations deepens the meaning each part of your celebration. Include everyone and get them fully engaged.
- Help someone who is struggling. In many places, winter weather can take its toll on aging joints, and sidewalks become slick with the cold and snow. If you see someone having a hard time getting packages to the car, offer assistance. Send a little love to a stranger in the form of a helping hand.
- Offer to babysit. Give a stress-out set of friends some needed down-time or a date night. Host the kids for dinner or maybe even a sleepover. Exhausted parents deserve a peaceful evening out, or even just some time together at home.
- Acknowledge someone. Whether it’s Dad working overtime to pay for gifts, PTA moms putting in their all, or Grandma staying up late to make every kind of Christmas cookie, this is a time for giving and a time to say thanks. It feels nice to be noticed. So if you see someone doing good out there, give them a warm hug or a pat of appreciation.
- Get together with grandparents and other relatives. With so much going on, it can be hard to squeeze in quality time for aging grandparents. Set a date to have the kids sleep over, or take Grandpa out for a haircut and holiday lunch. Simple gestures go a long way for creating closeness and will mean so much.
- Read inspiring Christmas stories and share them with others. Looking for a new one? Check out my Kindle book, The Miracle of the Christmas Ship – https://carolbrusegar.com/miracle-of-christmas-ship/
- Include someone. Can you think of a person who might like to be remembered this year? Don’t assume that other people are booked up for the holidays. Loneliness is particularly painful at this time of year, and social media doesn’t always reveal who may be needing an invite or to hear from a friend at the holidays.
- Send thanks to the people who help make your life wonderful. This year, instead of just sending out a generic family photo card, why not go the extra step if you have a free evening? Hand-write notes or letters of thanks to the special people in your life – grandmas, grandpas, teachers, the bus driver who gets your precious cargo to and from school safely each day. These could be the most meaningful gifts of all.
- Give up your parking spot – a simple way to love your fellow humans this holiday season. Take the faraway parking spot. Someone else might need that closer parking spot because they’re trying to corral small children or they have a bad knee. They’ll appreciate the short walk to the store, and you’ll feel good knowing you made a difference for someone today.
These 10 suggestions may help you think of other simple, meaningful things for sharing the holiday spirit – the spirit of connection and caring.
My Etsy shop has a variety of holiday items, including a checklist of how to reduce holiday stress: https://www.etsy.com/DecorateOrganizeGive/listing/1310776005
Look for holiday stationary, bookmarks, and more there, too. Be creative and enjoy your holidays!!
I’m Carol Brusegar, author, photographer and curator of information. My focus is on gathering and writing on topics that enhance all our lives – regardless of our age. Topics include health and wellness, personal development, innovation and creativity, and a variety of helpful, practical tools and practices. I have a special interest in helping people over 50 years of age to create their 3rd Age – the next stage of their lives – to be the best it can be.
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