Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to Keep Christmas Meaningful and Special for Your Family

How to Enjoy Christmas with the Family © Katrena
The Christmas season often ushers a flurry of activities and gifts along with a plethora of emotions, from sweet nostalgia to absolute nausea at the thought of facing the holiday for another year. Often lost in the shuffle cries that still, small voice that simply yet profoundly tells us to look to God and find meaningful ways to love one other. Below are a few Christmas ideas that perhaps will turn the holiday into a season of renewed hope and a time of peace and joy.
Inexpensive but Special Christmas Gift Ideas © Katrena
Consider Gifts Carefully

Many people dread Christmas because of the incredible financial hardships resulting from purchasing gift after gift. Countless people have told me that their most memorable and special Christmas memories were wrapped in times when money was tight but someone took the time to do something special for them. Gift giving can easily spiral out of control and leave people with unwanted debt and a home full of unnecessary gadgets. Many people find great rewards in making homemade gifts and helping others in tangible but simple ways.

Homemade gifts show others that you took the time to make something special for him or her. You might include a note explaining how you learned that particular type of craft and who taught you how to do it. If materials used have some sort of sentimental value, that would also be great information to include in the note.

Sharing one's time and talents with others can infuse the season with more meaning. You might try serving others alone or as a group, anonymously or coordinated with the recipient. It does not have to be elaborate. Here are a few examples:
  • Decorate someone's home and take down the decorations after the holiday.
  • Clean someone's home, yard, or vehicle.
  • Visit with someone who is lonely.
  • Write a personal letter to someone and send via snail mail.
  • Offer to transport someone to an appointment or evening out.
  • Cook a meal for someone (make sure to check about special dietary needs first).
  • Watch someone's children for an afternoon or evening before Christmas.
  • Provide respite care for someone who has a sick family member.
  • Help someone organize pictures or paperwork.
  • Ask someone what he/she would like for you to do for him/her (the response might surprise you yet give you a clear direction for meeting that person's needs)
December often seems to be full of volunteer opportunities; however, many needs for help continue throughout the year. Offering a gift of volunteer service, time, or kind words on a regular basis throughout the year might make the gift infinitely more meaningful to the recipients.

How to Enjoy the Christmas Season © Katrena
Choose Christmas Events Carefully

It is easy to get trapped into the "gotta do everything" mindset as Christmas approaches. If you have traditions, consider each one carefully. Some people do the same thing year after year because they assume that everyone expects them to do it. In reality, some folks simply go through the motions of those traditions because they are thinking the same thing of you. Discuss what works and identify what needs tweaking. Plan to assess each year to give yourself permission to try new and different things. Some ideas will work. If changes do not work well, you will have added knowledge and new opportunities for the next year.

Guard your down time. Rest and relaxation can be renewing and rejuvenating, but those empty spaces in the calendar can easily be ambushed by others. Consider turning off the cell phone, electronic devices, television, and computer. If the thought of doing so makes you cringe, that might be all the more reason to unplug for a while.

Consider celebrating on different days. Many family members end up missing being with the ones they love for the holidays because in-laws, outlaws, and others insist on celebrating on the same date. As more and more people find that they have to work on holidays or have blended homes, considering another day to celebrate is an option well worth considering. Some extended families celebrate Christmas before or after December 25 and have a blast doing so.

How to Make Christmas Special After the Loss of Someone You Love © Katrena
Find Ways to Honor Those Who are Gone

Many people find holidays to be painful because they cannot be with someone whom they hold dear. Finding ways to honor someone's memory may help you to focus your thoughts toward something that would have pleased that person whom you love. You might consider the person's interests or someone that the person or group of people held near to his or her heart.

Talking about that person can be a healing experience. Setting aside a special time during a family celebration to remember and honor that person might help younger generations to enjoy memories through other people's eyes.

Since Christmas is a Christian holiday, this season is a great time to learn about Jesus and His life and His gift of eternal life through reading scripture, attending services, listening to music, and more.

Ways to Celebrate Christmas to Create Special Memories © Katrena
Keeping Christmas Special and Full of Meaning

Finding meaningful ways to celebrate the season might be challenging and encourage one to move out of the comfort zone of stale and superficial celebrations, but the effort may be worth more than one could ever imagine!

Feel free to share your own special and unique Christmas traditions in the comment section below.

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Find additional articles by Katrena at the Wildflower Bouquets site map.

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