Oh boy, it’s Christmas time! No other holiday transports you to another world, so to speak, as Christmas. houses are decorated inside and out with all sorts of decorations, candles, nativity scenes, and lights. Everywhere you look you can find the festive green, red, gold, and silver accents. Store front windows are decorated in Christmas themed dressings. Christmas music is played everywhere. Kitchens are filled with the smell of cookies and all sorts of treats from the season. Before you know it, you aren’t in your same old living room, you are in a Christmas wonderland. Every mall has an opportunity for little boys and girls to actually talk to Santa and make sure he knows exactly what they want for Christmas. Just to prove that hopeful child actually did see “the real Santa Claus”, a picture to celebrate the moment is taken. Christmas is not primarily a celebration of presents and Santa Claus. The truth is that Christmas is the day that throughout the world we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. To facilitate that celebration, we gather with friends and family and exchange gifts, decorate trees, sing songs etc. It is such a big event that it can take months to plan for. Christmas is a season when we engage in all sorts of traditions and festivities. So, for this article I want to share some of my favorite traditions and seasonal activities:
- Cut down your own tree. There is nothing like going out into a Christmas tree lot with your family and picking out the perfect tree and cutting it down yourself. We always take picture to celebrate the event. I live in Vermont in the United States, so there is a reasonable possibility of doing this in snow is high. That isn’t a problem. Many years the presence of snow has turned into a snowball fight and the inevitable of a pile on in the snow. It also includes a nice hot cup of hot chocolate at the tree farm.
- Remember when? I’m talking about decorations. One of the great things is we accumulate decorations over the years and it is always great to remember when you got this ornament or that special Christmas decoration and share the stories with each other. I still have my very first ornament. It is a clothes pin that is reminiscent of my first dog. It has brown felt ears and it has a face made out of half a cork with a red felt tongue hanging out. Of course, he has a felt tail and has my dogs name on it, CoCo. I was about 2 ½ years old when I made that decoration at my neighbor’s house so many years ago.
- Sing some Christmas songs. Christmas time is a happy time so go caroling. Lots of local churches have groups that go out caroling, so join in. also, most churches have a Christmas service of some kind; so check it out and enjoy celebrating the season.
- Go outside! Build a snowman have a snowball fight, or go sledding. These are great activities do with your family and they create great memories.
- Go on a sleigh ride. There are many locations in the northern United States that offer sleigh rides. Even in the south in the mountains like in Tennessee and North Carolina you may be able to find a location that is offering the opportunity to go back in time and ride a horse drawn sleigh with a blanket over your lap and a hot chocolate in your hand.
- Baking cookies is a great way to spend time with your family. It is guaranteed that family members will position themselves in order to get first dibs on the bowl. Of course one must perform quality control to make sure that the cookies aren’t poisoned. It is a dangerous job, but someone has to do it.
- Make a gingerbread house. It is a great activity to do with your family and its edible! You can purchase kits online or you can bake your own, whatever makes you happy! Your first one may not be a masterpiece, but it will create some great memories.
- Watch Christmas movies together. Three movies I have to watch every year is “It’s a wonderful Life”, “A Christmas Story”, and “The Christmas Carol”. I would suggest watch the “Nutcracker” even if ballet is not your thing; I think you’d enjoy it. Of course, there is Hallmark and The Lifetime channel. All they show is Christmas movies during the season.
- Party on! Got to a Christmas party or have one yourself. Inviting your friends and family to come over is a great way to share the joy of the season.
- Make an Ornament. This doesn’t half to be complicated. Use your imagination and go to your local hobby shop for some basic supplies and have at it. Store bought ornaments are great, but homemade ones have memories attached to them that will last a lifetime.
- Send out Christmas cards. I have to admit that I haven’t been as good at this as I would like, but I have found that is a nice way to let people know that you are thinking about them. Don’t just say, “Merry Christmas” on your social media site; make it personal.
- Give a little – volunteer. This is a great time of year to bless others who might not be as fortunate as you. Volunteer some time at a food bank, or soup kitchen. Check with a local church or even the local police department to see if they know of a way you could volunteer some time or help fill a need. A couple of good places to look is the Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse. To be honest, it is a great way to give to others and it will bring a lot of joy to you.
There you have it, 12 ways to make Christmas more meaningful this year. It is never too late to start a new tradition. The key is to make memories, share the joy, and take time to remember the important things. This another way that you can live life well. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you liked my article please follow me at “lifeincontext.blog”; for more weekly articles to come.