Some years, I don’t really get into the Christmas spirit. Too much agitation, consumerism, gift buying, stress, horrible traffic and general exhaustion. Having to run through visits to families, friends, eating and drinking too much and not having time to just sit and enjoy.
This year, perhaps it was the fact that I had to stay at home for a few days, or the fact that I watched those movies..and cheesy as it might sound, they got to me.
They’re all about family, friends, treasuring each other and moments of happiness.
It seems every Christmas everyone is talking about the Spirit and the Light, but still we end up in shopping malls and on the street, cursing that we have to get from point A to point B and the damn traffic isn’t moving.
There’s no recipe, I believe, for getting into the Christmas spirit, but there are some things we can consciously do, to get at least a little bit closer.
1. Be nice to others (and to yourself)
The stress takes its toll on everyone. We’re all a bit short on temper and feel hassled. Be nice. Smile a bit more. Offer to help.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing your best with what you’ve got. So is everyone else (even if you’re damn sure they’re not ).
You know those grudges you hold? Against that person who was nasty to you and oh-how-can-you-even-think-I’m-buying-a-present-for-that-^&*%$? You don’t have to let it go forever. You don’t have to love each other and be friends.
But for a day or two, let go. Go buy/make that gift. And even if the relationship doesn’t improve, I promise, you will feel a little bit better.
I recently read in a book (Flourish by Martin Seligman, the guy with the positive psychology concept), that if you write down every day 3 things that went well that day and why, you feel better. It’s proven, with clinical depression patients, tests, statistics and all, that people feel much happier after some time (he says about a month) doing this exercise every day.
Would you find the time to do that? I started to write them down and believe it or not, there are mostly things where others were nice, or where I was nice to myself.
See? We’re going back to point 1.
4. Don’t buy gifts. Try to make them.
I know it’s much more time consuming to make gifts rather than buy them. Or maybe you don’t have any special talents (which I really doubt, because everyone is good at something). Maybe it’s baking a cake. Maybe it’s one hour of uninterrupted listening. Maybe it’s a very nice date with your significant other, where you plan everything out as a surprise and only divulge the dress code 2 hours before. Maybe it’s a poem or a handwritten letter, saying how you really feel and what you appreciate about the person.
If you can’t make gifts or don’t have the time, try to find handmade or crafted gifts with a story behind. Put a little bit of meaning behind that present. The person at the other end will feel more than just a tick on your “to gift” list.
It might be a very short list, but it’s these small things that inspired me to have a little happier time this Christmas.
I hope you have a wonderful short (or long!) vacation and that you enjoy a sparkle of loving spirit around!