Guest post by Teresa Dahl of Mommy Stuff
Once Black Friday kicks off the official holiday season, time itself seems to speed up as we hurtle toward Christmas and beyond. It often seems like we spend every free moment running around, shopping, planning, and preparing for the next activity. We have work parties, family parties, and many of us will either travel a long distance or receiving a multitude of visitors.
We love the songs, the decorations, and the entertainment of the season, and we can usually stretch these festive attitude and great feelings all the way to New Years, but something always seems to happen after that. We start coming down from that holiday high, and we can feel a little depressed, a little lethargic, and probably even a little empty.
Just remember that even though the holidays have finished for the year, you can still hang onto that Christmas cheer a little longer. We’re not talking about leaving the Christmas tree up until March, here. These are just simple things you can do to preserve the good feelings and sentiments that we associate with the season.
The Spirit of Giving – There is always someone in need. Whether it’s a family member or a worthy organization that is doing good work in the community, there are many ways to keep giving all through the year. Choose a time (or regular times) when you and your family can go out of your way for someone else. Don’t do it on the spur of the moment, though. Plan ahead and give everyone enough time to build anticipation for your special activity.
Do Something With All Those Cards – After receiving well-wishes from your family and friends, you’re probably left with a large stack of pictures and unique holiday cards. You could throw them into a shoe box like you do every year, or you could do something a little more creative. Create a special scrapbook where you can keep your favorites, or frame a picture card that has a lot of meaning for you. The project will keep you busy right after the holidays, and you can avoid the immediate slump that hits so many of us.
Small Gatherings/Big Anticipation – All those Christmas parties might be a once-a-year thing, but there’s no reason not to celebrate your own special occasions throughout the year. Again, the key here is to plan ahead. Anticipation is a major part of the fun around Christmas, so you should give it a chance to build up even for smaller gatherings.
Eat Well – The holiday season is notorious for helping us all pack on a little extra weight. That’s fine while we’re enjoying our time together, but when we try to get dressed up for the New Year’s bash and our favorite outfits don’t quite fit like they should, it can get a little depressing. If you are going to splurge a little during the holidays, just make sure you stay active and stay healthy.
State of Mind, Not Finances – Christmas cheer is a matter of positive attitude, thoughtfulness, and giving to others. It’s not about the gifts themselves or how much you spend. Focus on staying positive by finding more reasons to be with friends and family, send them post cards throughout the year for no reason at all (other than to show you’re thinking of them), and try to keep your mind on what you can do for others.
Remember, it’s easy for kids to get so “wrapped” up in getting, and it’s easy for them to forget the true meaning of Christmas.