This is the time of the season I get to do my imitation of Martha Stewart albeit, on an budget. The Christmas lights go up, usually after a quick visit to our hardware store, the Christmas cards get written, the recipe books come out, and oh yes, there are plenty of hints for presents. My family, are now all adults and yet the energy, the excitement and the enthusiasm around this time of year is still there.
Christmas is not just about family, great food and presents, Christmas is for the most part a state of mind, so anyone, even those that don’t celebrate Christmas can participate. As I experience the joys of Christmas with my own family and friends, I wonder despite the wars and internal strife how the Spirit of Christmas can be kept alive all year long.
Here are some ideas
- Say Thank you and Pay It Forward. The graphic on your right was graciously allowed by Lauri W-Central Indiana through an introduction from Sharon-Michigan. I recently had a hard drive crash and lost all my graphics (yes I’m still crying) I was a stranger to both of these women and yet their generosity is humbling. I may never be able to return the favor, but I can and will pay it forward in their honor by helping someone else.
- Volunteer at the Library. One of the greatest joys you have as a parent is to read with your child. If you don’t have children or your children are grown, why not join your community library and help someone discover the world of adventure and opportunity. Did you know that approximately 25% of American Adults can barely read? How can that be in a country that is supposedly so rich?
- Be a Role Model and Make Your World a Better Place: When I was young and single my friends and I decided we wanted to make an impact in our little part of the world. We each chose to volunteer at the non for profit organization of our choice and for a number of years we actively participated in providing comfort and care to those who were less fortunate. We not only ‘did good,’ we ‘felt good.’ Now our children are doing the same.
- In her article, “Using Social Media to Give Back This Holiday Season,” Jackie Lampugnano writes “It’s important that we all take a minute to realize our social media accounts give us the ability to help give back this holiday season.” There are plenty of ways you can offer contests, and challenges to knit, donate, run, and collect. That is the real power of social media.
- Help a Senior, a Vet, someone in your neighborhood. Drive someone who doesn’t have a car, help mow their lawn, shovel their driveway. Helping someone doesn’t always mean giving money; it’s more about giving your time by paying attention and being fully present.
- Do something for you. Society is being lived at a manic pace and our stress level is reaching epidemic proportions. Every week I do a manicure and pedicure, every month I connect with a small group of friends for dinner, tea or a hike. The greatest gift you can give yourself other than family is a group of friends that can be there for you at any time. Friendship is the best medicine in the world; it’s the vaccine that immunizes you against the world’s toxicity.
Stanley Weintraub, in his book “Silent Night” wrote that during World War 1 on Christmas Eve in 1914, a German soldier began the song “Stille nacht, heilige nach” (Silent Night, Holy Night.) The British responded with “O Come all ye Faithful.” For that one brief moment in the world’s time line continuum ‘Peace on Earth’ was a reality.
Peace on Earth is extending “the Spirit of Christmas” all year long; it begins with you ….. if you just believe.
May I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year in my language, Joyeux Nöel et Bonne Année
Something to think about:
What is one way you could extend the “Spirit of Christmas” all year long?
PS: For those who want to sing along with Josh Grobans’ “Believe” from The Polar Express, go here.