Are you dreaming of a white Christmas, but maybe you live somewhere like Southern California, where dashing through the snow isn’t exactly possible? No problem, you can still get in the holiday spirit! Perhaps you are thinking of visiting skating rinks and looking at Christmas lights. You may have plans to host Christmas dinner at your house and decorate your home to reflect a winter wonderland, complete with holiday music. These are just the cherry on top when it comes to experiencing the holiday spirit.
What does it mean to get into the holiday spirit?
The holiday season is a time of giving. Although the impact shouldn’t be limited to just the holiday season. It can serve as a great reminder for the new year and beyond. It can begin by small acts of kindness. It’s easy to get caught up in our own affairs and lose sight of others’ needs. We’re are happiest when we look out for others other than ourselves. Not all will appreciate or be grateful for your efforts, but that is inevitable. Giving is an act that should be done without expecting anything in return.
What can you offer your family? Being there for them in times of need and looking for other ways to help.
- Sing or offer company to the elderly
- Serve the poor; feed the homeless with your family and friends
- Go on short mission trips, or serve on a mission
- Share Christian resources to spread the gospel
- Practice compassion towards others on this day and every day
The Meaning of Christmas
Christians typically celebrate Christmas, and the Christmas season can be used as a time to reach more people for Jesus. The Christmas season also serves as a good reminder to see the good in people. It’s a time to rejoice and serve a good purpose.
“We can rejoice that this is the day that the Lord has made and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) So let’s rejoice!
“If we would indulge less in feasting and merriment upon these occasions, and instead make them the means of benefiting humanity, we should better meet the mind of God”—The Review and Herald, December 11, 1879, par. 6.
‘Tis the Season to Give
These are just a few things that my church and I have done, including additional ideas to give back during the holiday season, and off-season,
- Prepare a Christmas feast for the homeless and families in need.
- Organize any type of drive – clothes, toys, shoes, books, food, toys, and more.
- Visit the lonely, grieving, and elderly.
- Purchase food from a café or shop for a homeless person.
- Go Christmas caroling at various senior assisted living homes and skilled nursing facilities.
- Visit the sick children at a cancer ward.
- Visit your local jail.
- Send cookies and a great book to a soldier deployed overseas.
- Collaborate with your community, grocery stores, or network to sponsor families in need.
- Consider donating a hygienic package of toiletries, feminine products, toothpaste, and toilet paper.
- Offer to help babysit the kids of your fellow siblings,
- Volunteer to provide school supplies for students.
- Pay for the person behind you for a drink at Starbucks while at the drive-thru.
Big Holiday Season Investments
For me, one of the biggest investments in life are interpersonal relationships. In a day an age of instant gratification and fast-paced lifestyle, it’s easy for meaningful social interaction to go by the wayside. It can happen easily among family, spouses, friends, and others. I believe maintaining these relationships are beneficial for our overall health and well-being—emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
The Reason for the Season
It’s easy to get caught in festivities during holidays, but we don’t have to forget the true meaning of the season. It’s a good time to pause and spend time with the ones we love and help others who are in need. Personally, I love to share the good news of gospel to those who are looking for meaning in life. Relationships are what make life meaningful and fulfilling. The reality is that many are unhappy and filled with sadness especially during the holiday season. Having close connection with family and friends can help make life sweeter and easier to cope during difficult times.
What is the central theme around fostering good interpersonal relationships among family and friends? Communication. It is so simple, but it makes it all the difference. Communicating well can help reduce stress in your life.
Face-to-face, Instead of Facebook
It is very easy to obsessively check our smartphones, even when present in gatherings or out at a restaurant. We miss out on some interaction, and some people may feel unimportant because they don’t have your attention. Try a challenge; have some fun with it; the next time your family gathers to eat, the first person who takes out their phone must wash the dishes; or similar challenges. It doesn’t mean you couldn’t check it for an important or emergency call, but it helps challenge everyone to immerse themselves in the present and spend that quality time.
Presence Over Presents
This might seem like a repeat statement, but I cannot stress how valuable it is to truly immerse yourself in the moment and be present, make your family, spouse, kids, friends, etc. a priority and set aside distractions. Being present means using interpersonal skills; actively listening, engaging, solving problems, having empathy, patience, and more. Instead of losing patience in an argument, we can be understanding and tolerable of the other person. Instead of being indifferent and apathetic, we can have empathy and compassion for the other person. Undivided attention is gift that can be given. Being fully present communicates that you care or love the other person.
Holidays for Wholeness
Did you know that the word holiday comes from “holy day”? It actually means to be whole.
So, for this holiday season, I encourage you to seek ways to nurture your whole health.