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Sharing & enjoying Christmas

It is December and that means the busy holiday season has arrived. There is often so much to do and see that sometimes we get lost in activity and forget to enjoy what is all around us. Sometimes it just takes a little extra time and patience to appreciate the season.

For example, as you put up those holiday decorations and are getting frustrated, tired and impatient with the results, take a moment to sit back and look around. Before you know it you may find a solution or just decide that you like the results despite the battle. Holiday decorations can be, and are, quite beautiful no matter how they are displayed.

When you are quickly writing those Christmas cards and letters, slow down a bit. Take the time to add a little personal note to each one, especially those who you do not see often. It is so much more fun to receive a card that you know was personally meant for you.

As you listen to those old familiar Christmas carols, don't think in disgust about the repetition but rather listen carefully to the words. You may even enjoy singing along for a few bars and lighten your mood just a bit. For the full effect of Christmas carols, join a group going caroling or attend concerts or services where the songs and messages are meaningfully performed.

Shopping can be a tedious, exhausting experience. However with a little pre-planning and careful research it can be streamlined and more effective giving you more time to relax with the people you are shopping with. It can also be a wonderful excuse for a family outing and a time to treat yourself and loved ones.

Entertaining and cooking can be very stressful. Try keeping the guest lists small and the assortment of goodies limited. It is so much easier to enjoy your guests if you get some personal time with each one.

Baking Christmas cookies and candy is fun but once again, just one more added duty. Maybe it would be a good year to switch things up a bit by calling your mother, grandmother, aunt, daughter, niece or good friend for a favorite recipe. You will not only get a new recipe for your collection but also have an opportunity to catch up a bit with your loved ones.

Finally, I want to encourage you to take the time to remember those who need extra consideration during the holidays. In these times of economic challenges, there are even more struggles being faced by those around us. However, we also need to remember those who are grieving, our shut-ins, people fighting ill-health and those who may be alone during the holidays. The season takes on an entirely different meaning for them and they need our help to make it special again.

We have just over two weeks until Christmas. I hope we can all make each and every minute of these days count toward a wonderful holiday season.