So much of our time during the holidays is spent trying to get things ready, decorate, sit in traffic, buy nice gifts, and other various tasks and duties that the holidays have told us we need to participate in in order to really experience the holiday season. However I would like to propose that while those things are very fun, and if you have the time and resources that you should try them out, but I think there is more to the season than those things. I would like to propose that the season is actually about love, giving, and hope (by way of miracles).
Here is a list of ideas that are great traditions for the Holiday season. Each of them promotes- one if not two or three of the fundamental characteristics of the holidays: love, giving and hope (miracles). Hope you enjoy:
- Acts of Charitable Giving: Charitable giving brings a whole new meaning to the saying “Tis the Season”. People can make this refer to anything they want, but I think if we are all being honest with ourselves the holiday season is a season for giving and doing kind deeds. Go out and give like you have nothing to lose. Think about all of the things in your house that you never use that others might be able to make use of every day. Can you live without it? If the answer isn’t an instant no, you might consider being generous and giving it away. Tis the season, right?
Neighborhood Parties for the Kids: Do something great to bring community and excitement to your neighborhood/apartment complex. Start an annual family get together. Have cookie decorating for the kids, ornament making tables for kids and adults, and of course- do it pot luck style. Everyone gets to bring their favorite dish, and no one will complain about getting to eat them! If you want more ideas for holiday craft ideas for the kids check out this list from Martha Stewart.
- Acts of Community Service: Very similar to charitable giving is the giving of one’s time. Many times the reason why gifts make people feel so great is because it makes them feel that someone else cares about their life. Giving up your time (even if it’s only five minutes to carry someone’s bags to their car) can have the same effect. Take time during the busy hustle and bustle and make someone feel cared about.
- Give Home Baked Platters: Many of you are overwhelmed by the idea of giving gifts to all the people in your life that you care about. It’s not always easy, or affordable. One great way to show you are thinking of them is to make cookie and baked good platters. Get creative, make them in bulk, and enjoy giving a delicious treat to many for very little money. Struggling for ideas? Check out this website, they have so many different Holiday cookie platter ideas.
- Community Outreach (Miracle workers): Find out what “dreams” and “miracles” t hose around you are wishing for. Get crazy, get together in groups, and make those dreams happen for them. Can you imagine what it would feel like to truly be involved in seeing someone get their “miracle” because you and others cared enough to see it through?
- Go Caroling: Caroling isn’t for everyone, but if you are one of those that loves to sing and loves holiday music you might be surprised how much you will love caroling. It seems a bit intimidating at first. Don’t let that stop you. You might find you love it.
- Be Thankful, Tell People: Do a “reasons to be thankful” during the month of December. Every day in December leading up to the end of the year write down something you are thankful for with regard to that year. On New Year’s Eve read the list and share with those who the list involves. Let them know how much they impacted your life. If you need a little help getting started check out this post of ideas for things to be thankful for during the Holiday Season.
- Random Acts of “Payment”: Bring the gift of giving to completely unsuspecting people. When you are in line buying a coffee, give enough to pay for the person behind you. When you are eating out at a restraint cover the bill of the table next to you. When you are grabbing a bag of groceries and you notice the person behind you is picking up a quick few items, pay for theirs too. The best way to go about doing this is to give the cashier enough to cover what they seem to be getting and tell them to apply the rest to the person behind them, or just have them put a certain amount towards the persons bill. This type of random act of kindness will truly make a person’s day.
- Visit the Hospital: There are plenty of people that just need someone to be with them during the holidays. People who don’t have family, or whose family isn’t nearby. Go read someone a book, or teach them how to knit, whatever it is you might enjoy doing that can be done in a hospital room.
- Buy Gifts for Orphans: There are always people (kids especially) who won’t be getting gifts unless someone like you goes and buys them for them. Find out what organizations in your area run services for kids like this and make a holiday tradition of buying gifts for people who would otherwise not get one.
- Make a Snow Angel or Snow Man: Simple as it may sound, making snow angels and snow men can be a very enjoyable holiday season tradition. Start the tradition with someone and do it ever year. Take pictures with both of you (all of you) and your snowman or snow angels. Keep the photos over the years and see how fun it is to look back on each year.