The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year. I realize that the last few years have not been easy for anyone and that many people are still struggling. And even with things getting back to a new normal, they may still feel a little off, a bit different.
I love the Christmas season
I have always loved the holidays, and I don’t want to take something that has always brought me and my family so much joy for granted. The holidays are something to look forward to, and there are things we can do to make the holidays feel special because Lord knows, we deserve it.
Seven ways to make the holidays special this year
1. We can slow down.
I’m looking forward to this the most. I mean, we got pretty good at it in the last few years because we had no choice. But, in some ways, reemerging takes a ton of energy for many of us. Socializing, being in big groups, getting dressed up again, and having full calendars are all energizing and exhausting. I’m looking forward to less rushing through the days and more togetherness with my kids.
2. We can do things with intention.
There has been more time to be at home with family, but with things opening up, we can try to be more thoughtful about picking and choosing what we are comfortable doing. Saying yes to everything was a reflex that we did without much thought. If the last few years have taught us anything, we don’t have to be everywhere or do everything. And because we aren’t doing everything, our actions will feel special.
3. We can improvise.
We have all learned that there are great things to watch right from our homes. I don’t know about you, but snuggling at home in my pajamas and enjoying a festive movie with my favorite snacks feels just as unique as getting dressed up and going out.
4. We all have a lot to be thankful for this year.
Many people have realized what’s important over the last few years. We are thankful for our jobs, homes, and, most importantly, our health. Engaging in old traditions can restore a sense of normalcy, even if it’s just making grandma’s eggnog recipe.
5. We can put more energy into projects we’ve wanted to tackle.
For the past five years, I’ve wanted to get back into making Christmas ornaments to attach to gifts. My kids and I used to do this together before life got so busy. It’s also a great year to do something for yourself that you’ve wanted to do — learn a new language, take a virtual cooking class, or learn to knit.
6. We can take our time decorating.
Over the years decorating our house for Christmas had turned into something I’d rush through so it would be done before my annual cookie swap. It would always sneak up on me, and I’d get it done somewhere between basketball games and Christmas shopping. But, this year, I want to go into the woods and snip red berries. I want to make some decorations and decorate my home in a way that’s entirely for the joy of it instead of looking at it as something I need to get done by a certain time.
7. We can relive some old traditions we haven’t done.
We’d pile in the car when my kids were little and look at the Christmas lights. They’d wear their pajamas, and we’d hit the drive-thru for hot chocolate. They loved it. I probably loved it even more. As the years passed, we got too busy to make time for this tradition. We also stopped making cutout sugar cookies.
This year though, we will make time for these old traditions. We will enjoy making an evening out of them instead of rushing through them to check them off the list.
I’m looking forward to the holidays more than ever this year because I always need something to brighten up the short, cold, dark days. And while I know it won’t be precisely what it was three years ago, we are certainly in a better place than we have been, and we’ve learned that all we have is the moment, so we need to hold it close and do the things and be with the people who bring us joy.
I may not have control over much, but I can put a positive spin on the holiday season by adopting an attitude of gratitude. It may not be exactly the same, but maybe it’ll be even better.
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