Memories most Treasured are the Moments which Matter most.
(As Featured in the December Issue of the Best Ever You Magazine)
Busy moms, non-stop active kids, family commitments and a to do list that seems to have a never-ending life of its own.
“Are you kidding? How do I create the best holiday ever with all this going on?”
First, take a moment to define what will truly create your best holiday ever? Is it in the activities or the feelings created during the activity? Is it the material gift, or the eternal memory which it inspires? Is it in the doing, or the being?
The Recipe for Happy Holidays:
1. Create a Family Tradition.
Creating a special family tradition where each person contributes in some special manner is a great way to make any holiday unforgettable. “Family traditions are important in every individual because it strengthens the connections between each member and it bridges the gaps between them.”
It can be a signature dish you cook together, a gratitude tree you decorate reflecting what each person appreciates most about the other, certain prayers you say before your holiday meal, music you enjoy, or even doing errands together in preparation for the celebration itself.
The point is to have fun, create smiles, and an atmosphere where you all feel the love, love, love!
2. Help someone else have a Happy Holiday.
The irony in volunteering is the person you help most is most assuredly yourself!
Helping out at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter probably quickly come to mind, but what about volunteering to watch another family’s child so parents can get some alone time, walking a neighbors dog, visiting the old age home and dropping off some home baked cookies, or keeping socks and food certificates in your car to give to a homeless person you might see going by?
No time to travel in your volunteer effort? How about writing a letter to a Holiday Hero who is away from his/her family this season. The American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes is a great place to start.
3. Watch an Inspirational Movie together and discuss what you experienced.
Stories and movies are a powerful catalyst for introspective emotion because we see ourselves in the characters and their story as we watch.
Find a movie which inspires reflection on priorities which you value- love, integrity, respect, or simple appreciation for being alive.
One of my favorite Christmas movies is the 1946 Classic, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It highlights the paradox of what we want vs what we need, and the revelation that often being aware that we may already have it, is the most profound gift of all. George Bailey thought his life was not worth living triggered by a major financial crisis. What he learned by seeing life without him in it, was that he truly did have a ‘Wonderful Life.”
How great would it be to start a family discussion of your favorite scene, message, or quote which especially touched your heart? Al little popcorn and a lot of conversation can be an inexpensive event with a priceless memory.
4. Share Gratitude Prayers together.
I have never met a humble or grateful, unhappy person. Sharing prayers of gratitude for the blessings you have in your life, and praying for those who don’t, keeps you fully in the present moment.
Not only will you feel better when you reflect on the many blessings in your life and family, but scientific studies show “Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008).”
I have begun to make a conscious daily effort to capture how many things I can be grateful for in my day from sun up to sun down. From waking up in the morning and being grateful that I had a bed to sleep in with a roof over my head, to the heat in my house, and the water that is running for a hot shower, to every meal I am privileged to eat. Why do I keep it so basic? Because there are many people without a home, heat, running water or food. My two legs that walk are a blessing I can’t allow myself to take for granted, as I reflect there is a soldier coming home who does not have his legs anymore.
From A – Z, or using each letter in your name, there is a way you can start your gratitude list and pray for those who don’t have what you already enjoy. Your gratitude list is somebody else’s best wish list.
5. Give one another the Gift of Time.
In this electric speed information age where everything is instantly available, it is easy to forget the material world is not the real world. In fact, the things we all want most can’t be purchased or touched with the hand, but only felt in the heart: Love, appreciation, respect, happiness.
Why not wrap up a box with the gift of time. An intention to get an ice cream together, visit a museum, go ice skating next weekend, finger paint, or finally make that trip to that ‘somewhere’ you planned for ‘someday.’ You can even volunteer to help an animal by adopting a pet for a day – check out Pets 911 for more information on how to make this happen.
Try one or all of these tips, and discover if they don’t help you have your best holiday ever.
Have an idea? Sharing is caring!
Angel sprinkles and blessings to you and yours for the happiest holiday ever.
Get more ideas to live your best life now with Deb’s THREE time national award winner, The Sky is Green & The Grass is Blue. A great gift for you or someone you know. Visit: Amazon or Barnes & Noble.com.
Deb Scott, BA, CPC
Deb is Author of the FOUR time National Award Winning Book The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue - turning your upside down world right side up!, a Certified Professional Coach at Discover the Amazing YOU! Coaching, and host of the hit new Best People We Know Show! on Blog Talk Radio. Self Help Radio
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