December is officially upon us!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the expectations we have for gift-giving and the bringing of more, more, more into our homes and others’ during the holidays. For many families across the US, the joy and cheer of the season have been displaced by stress and financial strain. Thus, my message today is this:
Do not be afraid to take back your holidays.
How you celebrate and the traditions you enforce with your family are within your control. If that means gifts overflowing from under the tree, have at it! If that means foregoing gifts and booking a special family outing, do it! If that means simply gathering 'round the table and enjoying good food and company, raise a glass, my friends! Traditions have to begin somewhere, so why not with you?
No matter what you want your holiday to look like this year, here are five gifts you can give this season that cost zero dollars:
Serenade the Neighbors
Gather a few friends or family members, practice a few carols and surprise your neighbors with a front porch serenade. I guarantee they will love it.
make a gingerbread house
Raid the pantry for graham crackers and peanut butter and make a gingerbread house. If you have icing on hand, even better. You don’t have to buy a kit at the store to share in this fun family tradition.
Volunteer your time
Many organizations are in need of volunteers this time of year. Instead of battling the crowds in the shopping center, sign the family up for a shift at a local non-profit. A quick Google search will provide you with some great options. Get buy-in from the family by involving them in the conversation and ask for their input on how and who they would like to help.
Help a Neighbor
Offer to help an elderly friend or neighbor decorate his or her home for Christmas. Hanging lights and reaching those branches at the top of the tree is not always easy. Bring holiday cheer, literally, into someone’s home.
Say it with Words
We don’t often take the time to tell people how much they mean to us. Find someone on your Christmas list and as a family, make a top ten list of reasons why you are so thankful he or she is in your life. Wrap it up and send it to them. Or get techy with it and record and share a short video.
When we consciously shift our focus away from the things in our lives and onto the people around us, the joy and cheer of the season will follow.
If you have an idea to add or if you give one of the gifts on this list, tell us—We’d love to share your story!
Until next time, keep enjoying this one & wonderful life,