Putting the Cheer Back in Christmas
On the surface, it seems like the Christmas season should be the easiest time of the year to be filled with high spirits and good cheer, but that simply isn’t always the case. The holiday shopping season seems to creep up earlier and earlier each year, leaving many of us feeling overwhelmed and pressured. For others, Christmas can bring painful reminders of loved ones who have passed away, or family difficulties and other problems. All of this, coupled with the lack of sunlight and cold air, can feel the exact opposite of cheerful.
So, what’s the best thing to do when those feelings of wintry doom threaten to take over your enjoyment of the holidays? And, what can you do to help others who may be struggling this holiday season?
Here are a few ideas to help you put the cheer back into your Christmas celebrations.
Send Handwritten Christmas Cards
Letter writing is much less common these days, which is why there’s something so exceedingly special about receiving a tangible, hand-signed Christmas card in your mailbox. They’re also great fun to send, and don’t have to be expensive. Really want to spread the cheer? Consider Christmas cards that send the proceeds to charity, like these St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital holiday cards.
Once you’ve chosen your card design, put on your favorite Christmas movie, and settle in with a beautiful pen to thoughtfully write a note to each person on your Christmas card list. Envelope your card in a festive envelope and themed stamp. You’ll brighten the day of your loved ones when they receive such a well-thought out card amongst the bills in their mailbox, and you’ll be receiving your own cheer by taking time out of an often stressful month to relax and reflect on the season and your most precious relationships.
Put Your Records On
Or, you know, your streaming music device. After all, as Buddy from Elf so eloquently declared, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” So, sing away this holiday season. Popular radio apps on your Smartphone, like iHeartRadio and Pandora, often have entire stations devoted to Christmas music, from the traditional to the Mariah Carey modern, so there’s something for every listener. A burst of Christmas music playing through your headphones might be just what you need to perk up your workday. It’s also, of course, the perfect ambiance for tree trimming and house decorating.
Don’t Skimp on the Decorations
From home to work, there are cheerful decorations for any space. Just like with the Christmas music, adding a small tinsel tree or Cheerful Spirit bottle to your work desk can boost your mood — and the mood of everyone around you. This Cheerful Spirit bottle evokes childhood memories of baking cookies, with its themed ornaments and warm lighting, perfect for easing homesickness, loneliness, and all of those other not-so-cheerful feelings that sometimes crop up around the holidays.
Sip Something Soothing
Speaking of baking, another way to feel Christmas cheer can be to check out the many specialized beverages that tend to appear around the holiday season. Go ahead and splurge on that peppermint mocha or caramel hot chocolate. Sometimes a warm drink is just what you need after a long day of fighting the shopping crowds.
Volunteer — However You Can
December is busy, no doubt about it, but finding time throughout the month to give back to your community can be one of the most cheerful feelings of all. Donating to a food drive, shopping for a family in need, or helping out at your child’s school can all be ways of getting through the winter blues. Often, putting the focus on others helps to take our minds off ourselves, at least for a moment. And, just like those Christmas cards, you won’t be keeping the cheer for yourself — you’ll be spreading it, too.
Cards, music, cocoa, decorations, and community — it’s the little things that bring us the most cheer this time of year. As the holiday season gets into full swing, try to remember to enjoy the cheerful spirit of Christmas. The hustle and bustle of the shopping malls, after all, will always be there.