What is it about this time of that seems to affect our global consciousness? Whatever cultural or religious upbringing you had, you could choose to find equivalents that fit into the spirit of the season (e.g, Hanukkah, Winter Holidays, Krampus, Kwanza, Festivus for the Rest of Us).
1. Choose to Celebrate this Year
Do you not like the glorified commercialization (there’s nothing for sale here)? Is it too hokey or too childish for you? Maybe you’re just tired of it after so many years? We can use whatever psychological reason we like to keep from the festivities.
Actively engage in opportunities to participate in this culture. It does take some effort, and it can be very rewarding. “You can’t lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” (John Peers) It’s funny, those people who say Christmas can’t last all year, yet don’t even try it for one day.
2. Anchor the Best Moments
As you move through the festivities, notice all the little things, the things that are different, and notice the slight variations of character that people display. You may make mental notes of ideas for other occasions or to implement the following year.
In particular, you may get unexpected gifts. Appreciate them. You may get greetings from strangers. Acknowledge them. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in times of reflection. Cherish them.
3. Prevent Common Glooms
The holidays can of course also be a very challenging time. But every challenge can be managed especially if well prepared. What kind of challenges may come up for you?
Managing your finances effectively may make a big difference in your upcoming year. Are you stressed, depressed, or bored? This article will help you distinguish how each challenge has totally different solutions.
4. Reminisce about Previous Years
It’s never too late to have a good childhood. Life is all about memory management. Even if you’ve had a horrible life, there must have been moments that could bring a little smirk to your face. Go ahead and think about something like that right now.
What happened many years ago that would be great to recreate for this year? Who have you not connected with for a very long time? How do you feel about some of the people in your life who have passed away?
5. Let the Season Be Your Reason
Timing is everything, as it is easier to do certain things at certain times. For example, isn’t it easier to flirt with someone we like when we are a little tipsy? Similarly, let this season be your excuse to make that initial contact, even if is just a flirty smile. 🙂
Are you a stranger-talker? This article shares my story. But it’s not just about communication. Let the season be your reason to give. Let the season be your reason to forgive. Let the season be your reason to live full out. Eventually you won’t need a reason.
6. Give in Lasting Ways
Some people get sick of all the gift-giving. But the gift exchanges and the gifting games aren’t just so we can get more nic nacs in our closet. It’s about community and fun.
Sure, we don’t need gifts to show our love. But we also don’t need movies, full course meals, or excessive pampering. All those things are a part of life, just as are the seven ways of giving.
My family is Muslim and we do not celebrate Christmas. But growing up, we did have a Holiday Tree! I’m glad we did, because it brought that sense of magic and wonder I loved as a child.
So last week I declared a Family Field Trip to buy a new Holiday Tree. Despite the yelling we would get from Mother about how we’re wasting money (we have a good tree from last year), all of us agreed it was a great experience. Even after Christmas Day, the tree is a great physical anchor for new guests.
8. Light Up Your Environment
Did you know one of the modalities in the wellness industry is light and color therapy? There’s a reason for Daylight Savings Time adjustment, which makes me think that Festive Lights also have therapeutic value. Some are obviously just memorizing to watch.
Accelerated Learning teaches how important visuals in the background can be. Why not use this creativity throughout the year? Reefs and mistletoe’s are time specific. But everyday can benefit from plants, flowers, balloons, and other ornaments.
“I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing” said William James. There are so many songs about this time of year, that’s there must be some you enjoy. Your favorite mainstream artist probably has a couple you’ve never heard before.
10. Start with the Twelve Days
It’s not just one day, it’s supposed to be Twelve Days – remember the song? Habits are like that. You don’t become a happy person by being optimistic for an hour. Similarly, Christmas needs to become a lifestyle.
The beauty of any twelve step program is that it is accumulative (just like the song). We are building on top of each of the previous days. Don’t just be joyful and full of spirit one day. Play a game with yourself, and see if you can be twice as joyful each day, for twelve consecutive days (Do the Math: Day 12 becomes 4096 times Day 1).
11. Share Everything Festive!
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” said Sir Winston Churchill. What we give could simply be something we got… It could be a funny joke, a clever riddle, an inspiring e-mail, or a viral video. There’s nothing wrong with re-gifting!
Do you get into the spirit of things? Are you a team-player? Now there are plenty of opportunities for you to help create a world that works for everyone. Tell people about holiday parties, food drives, and fundraisers.
12. Write Your Letter to Santa Clause
Journaling can also be very nourishing for the soul. What do you want in your life? New Year’s Resolutions are great, but why work when your wishes can come true? Ask yourself, ask God, ask the universe. It doesn’t matter who your Jolly Saint is.
Letters can come in various forms. This is my letter. It’s a letter to make Christmas better for everyone. The destination is not the North Pole. The destination is humanity, and your inbox is the distribution center. You are the conduit. Please, take my letter to your Santa.
Let’s love the world together…
[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary
P.S. Happy Holidays from everyone at Ordinary Words Inc.