Getting into the Christmas spirit can be difficult, especially when life happens, and time is a rare commodity.
With Christmas becoming so commercialized, it’s no wonder, some become disheartened, at this time of the year.
Catherine, a cyberspace friend of mine, asked me how I get into the Christmas spirit, so I’m answering her question, with this article.
First of all, let’s look at what Christmas is.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
It’s a time to worship His birth, and rejoice.
The spirit of Christmas means to share love and to give of yourself. It is not about, what you get.
To get into the Christmas spirit, try the following:
1) Listen to Christmas music. The traditional songs are beautiful. However, there are other Christmas songs that are joyful as well. For children, the Chipmunks sing silly, happy, sing-along songs. Many radio stations play Christmas music, and Christmas CDs are always available during the holidays.
Play Christmas music at home, in your car, or in your MP3 or Ipod. Learn the words, and sing along.
2) Watch Christmas movies. Currently “Deck The Halls” was recently released on video. There are many others that will get you into the Christmas spirit.
3) Christmas often means gift giving. However, a lot of people have forgotten those less fortunate. Pick a name off of the local “tree of joy”, or Ronald McDonald house, and get your children involved in picking out gifts for elders, families or other children who may otherwise be forgotten about during the holidays.
Many shelters need volunteers to serve Christmas dinner to the homeless. If you cannot give of your time, consider making a donation to your local shelters.
4) Christmas may also entail decorating the outside of your home with lights and/or lawn decor. Some people are nuts about Christmas lights, and go all out, whereas others, keep it simple and hang a star, or some garland around their front door.
Make it a family event to drive around and look at the lights.
5) Christmas trees are traditional. Some families have more than one tree, whereas others make cutting down a tree, a family affair. Decorating them with pretty ornaments or home made ones, can become a tradition for any family. Putting on the tree top, can also become a celebration.
6) Christmas stockings are often a tradition for families. Stockings can be filled with candy, small toys, games, etc. Use your imagination. Decorating or making Christmas stockings can be a fun family event.
7) Wrapping Christmas presents, to some, is a real chore. But if you get family members involved, your burden can be lessened. Put on Christmas tunes, and get children involved. Let them decorate the packages for other family members. Let their creativity emerge.
8.) Go to church on Christmas Eve. Most churches have special services, and the message usually enforces the true meaning of Christmas.
9) Display nativity scenes. Currently there is yard decor for outdoors, and indoor scenes can range from small sets to large, impressive ones.
10) Often many people bake during the holidays. Pick a few of your favorite recipes, or try new ones. Share your baked goods with neighbors, friends and relatives.
Plan a cookie exchange party, and have each person bring 6-12 cookies for each of the other guests. By the time the evening is over, you will have had a fun time, and you will leave with several dozen cookies of different varieties.
11) Take time to see Christmas through the eyes of a young child. They don’t understand how commercialized it’s become. They get excited about little things like Santa, Christmas trees, lights, and sugar cookies. Their innocence is magical.
12) Make it your goal to give meaningful gifts. Let the older children know you have a budget. Have them make a “wish list” and pick one or two items off of their list. Let them be surprised by what’s under the tree on Christmas morning.
As parents, it is our responsibility to teach children that they don’t always get everything they want, when they want it. Some things have to be earned.
13) A sure fire way to get into the Christmas spirit, is to spend time with others who have Christmas spirit. Before long, you will find it’s rubbing off on you.
To avoid getting so over whelmed during the holidays, make it your goal to shop and/or make gifts all year long. After Christmas, great buys can be found on winter items, that can easily be stored until the following year. During the year when you are in your favorite stores, take time to find a gift of two to put away until the following Christmas. This method not only spreads the expense of the holiday, but will alleviate some of the stress of last minute shopping.
Want some inexpensive gift and wrapping paper ideas, check out the following articles:
Hopefully I have answered Catherine’s question, and have helped others to find the true spirit of Christmas.