Thanksgiving is past, and we’re well on our way to Christmas, shopping, decorating, and generally being busy. After all, it’s that time of the year. But while we’re going about it, let’s think of ways to spread holiday cheer. This can be a time of extreme stress and anxiety for some people. While others are affected by the loss of daylight hours. The suggestions won’t be like the movie Elf, not exactly anyway.
Though, when it comes to spreading holiday cheer, there are many ways to go about it, affecting not just your family, but your community as well. And some of the best ways to spread Christmas cheer are also the easiest ways. So here are a few ideas, from togetherness with your family to acts of kindness in your neighborhood.
10 Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer
The holidays are a perfect time to get together with family members or friends and bake. It can be a time of fun, trading recipes and stories. Or you can fix up your favorite holiday goodies and treats to pass out to neighbors, co-workers, friends, and police and fire stations. Alternatively, if you still have kids at home, you could have them deliver the goodies to neighbors.
Decorate the House
This is likely something you’ve already done. Since decorations are the most common items we associate with the holidays, and many people already dress up their homes on or just after Thanksgiving, it’s one of the easiest ways to spread holiday cheer. Furthermore, people enjoy driving around looking at the outdoor frills. Also, if you own your own business, consider decorating to improve employee morale, attract attention, and connect with the community.
“The best way to spread holiday cheer? Singing loud for all to hear!” Actually, that was from the movie Elf. And it’s not a bad idea. Buddy went caroling. However, you can turn up the volume on Pandora’s holiday playlist and sing along to the Christmas music.
Start a Tradition
So you already have some traditions. But you can always begin a new one. And the best way to spread holiday cheer to your family is discovering a new tradition for everyone to enjoy. Like trying out a new recipe together. Or building a gingerbread house. Maybe watching holiday movies like It’s a Wonderful Life.
Expressing gratitude is always in style. And it’s always appreciated. But regardless, scientists have recognized that being thankful increases happiness and improves physical health, including boosting immunity and decreasing the likelihood of disease.
Studies have also shown that gratitude improves relationships. So be thankful for your partner, your children-if you have any, your extended family, your home, your job, etc. And most important, let those people know you’re grateful for them by handwriting a heartfelt note of appreciation. Then teach your kids to do the same.
Donate to a Charity
There are a lot of charities out there. But how do you know which ones are legitimate? Here’s a great site to find info about reputable charities. However, there are also charity watchdogs that can help as well. And once you find one, it’s often easy to make a one-time donation. Other places like WorldVision give you the opportunity to ‘purchase’ animals, bikes, or a sewing machine for the recipient of the donation so they can support themselves, rather than just sending money. Although money is also accepted.
Another great way to spread holiday cheer is by inviting family, friends, and neighbors for a festive gathering. And have everyone bring their favorite holiday dish. Or visit someone who lives alone and have a cup of coffee or some tea, just spending a few moments with them will definitely send cheer their way.
Lend a Hand
Small acts of kindness are gifts that never get old. Hold the door open for someone, run an errand for a neighbor, or make dinner for a family in need. Leave kind notes around, pre-pay for someone else’s gas, or let someone cut in front of you in line. These are just a few ideas, but there are countless ways these little acts spread holiday cheer.
But if you need a helping hand, don’t be shy about asking. If you have kids, get them involved with your projects so you don’t shoulder it all alone, because even though this is a season of joy, it can definitely get stressful.
Give Your Attention
This is good practice for life, but we’ve seemed to step away from it. Or it’s passing us by. Since we have so many gadgets, TVs, digital devices, phones, and whatnots, when we’re talking to people, or rather someone is talking to us, we’re not exactly fully engaged. Are we? Not unless we turn those devices off, but how often is that?
If you do, good job. However, you would’t be alone if you had trouble disconnecting from the devices. Most people use computers and their phones for work or school. It’s a necessary thing. And despite all of our advances, we’ve still managed to get busier. So time is also a problem. And probably you can relate to that as well. With that being said, turn off, or at least silence, your devices when spending time with others. Like when you’re playing a game or eating a meal together. And definitely when you’re talking to someone, especially over something important.
Donate to a Shelter
The final idea for spreading holiday cheer is donating goods to a shelter. Local libraries in the OKC area usually trade canned goods for late fees. City Rescue Mission is accepting donations for unwrapped gifts for children. And the Salvation Army has the Angel Tree and bill pay assistance. Though you can always Google for more ideas near you.
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