With the holiday season in full swing, menorahs and Christmas trees alike are going up all over towns and neighborhoods. While church bells ring out across the land (or just the city blocks), children everywhere seem more concerned with the prospect of coal being placed in their stockings rather than thinking about how they’re going to appreciate the people who surround them with love and friendship. The Christmas season in particular has more recently been coupled with the idea of Santa, the “naughty” list (all sexual innuendos aside) and presents (cue the stampede of little feet that can be heard at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning). Receiving presents is certainly exciting, but the true spirit of Christmas comes from giving and cherishing time spent with family. Since more and more people seem to be forgetting that with every passing Christmas, it’s time to remember what the Christmas spirit is all about.
1) Decorating the Tree
While lugging out those huge boxes of annoying Christmas paraphernalia every winter can be a daunting and exhausting task, the tree somehow always looks perfect come Christmas Eve. Many people push the decorating off on other family members year join in. There’s something about listening to Christmas music while placing giant gold balls on a pine tree that gives a holiday glow to just about anyone.
2) Spending Time With Family
Giving up social obligations to spend time with great-grandma can be disappointing, but just remember how little you get to spend time with these people. Family will always be there for you, so try and clear your holiday schedule this winter and snuggle up for a day of Scrabble with your grandpa (right after that bar crawl with the cousins that is).
3) Showing Love
Buying presents for your friends and family is always valued, there are so many other ways to show someone how much you appreciate them this winter. Don’t stop giving gifts (please no), but think of more personal or romantic ways to show them how much you care. Write a letter, buy them a cup of hot cocoa or take them on a surprise trip to the nearest giant Christmas tree. It’ll be worth the effort, you’ll see.
For many kids this winter Santa isn’t coming to town, because parents just can’t afford it. Giving back to the community is a great way to give the less fortunate the same happy holiday season you’ve been looking forward to since last Christmas ended. Volunteer at a homeless shelter with your family or friends. Chances are you’ll make someone extremely happy.
5) Eating Your Heart Out
Cooking Christmas dinner, or those Christmas Eve cookies for Santa, is a great way to bond with family. Whether it’s your great aunt Elsa you never get to see, or just you and your fiancé, roasting a giant ham with the ones you love can be a lot more exciting than it sounds. You’ll truly enjoy working in harmony with the people who knew you when you had that embarrassing bowl cut, but love you anyways. The best part about cooking is taking the cake when everyone is raving about how delicious your mashed potatoes are.
No matter what you do this year to celebrate the special season of giving, appreciate this time to spend with the ones you love. Don’t give up on that Christmas list just yet however; someone’s bound to buy you those $400 Frye Boots.
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