The Christmas fever can hardly be ignored, with every commercial establishment playing Christmas songs and flaunting decor all over the place. From Santa to fake snow to Christmas sales – no one can escape the Christmas “spirit”.
But what does Christmas really mean to you? What do you do during this period?
For many, Christmas is the time to get together with family to reconnect over a special meal. There are also the numerous Christmas parties people go to, whether for business or social purposes. With these traditions come gift-giving, the idea of being generous to one another.
While Christmas is traditionally considered a religious holiday, over time, it has taken on a secular aspect as well. Yet no matter how you approach Christmas, you probably have your own traditional activities to celebrate the season.
My challenge to you is to celebrate Christmas differently this year.
There are many charities that need volunteers during this period. While the idea that suicide rates go up during Christmas has been debunked, there is still proof that there is such a thing as holiday depression. Whether you are the one experiencing this, or you can help others who are in the throes of holiday depression, why not considering offering your time to a local charity? Try the Salvation Army for starters. You can also check your local hospitals and homes for the elderly if they need volunteers for the season.
Give gifts to the homeless
Chances are that you see at least one homeless person on your way to work. You might not have done anything for them all throughout the year, but this is your chance to make someone else’s day brighter.
Why not give that homeless person a gift for Christmas? It doesn’t have to be an expensive one. A Christmas package, a winter jacket, or even a take out meal would make a difference to that person. And you will also have the satisfaction of making another human being happy.
Encourage your children to donate to the less fortunate
If you have children, you’re probably up to your neck in Christmas gifts shopping lists. While you don’t have to deprive your kids of their Christmas gifts, why not help them become aware of the world outside and how they can help others?
One thing you can do is to encourage them to give away their toys and clothes to children who are in need. Ask them to pick out items that they don’t really use but are in good condition and help them wrap the gifts. You can choose to turn in the gifts to a charity or you can hand out the gifts yourself. This will be an enlightening learning experience for your children.
Spend time to reflect
Instead of spending two weeks on parties – and having hangovers every morning after – why not set aside time to reflect? Think about the past 11 months. What have you done? What have you achieved? What do you need to change in the coming months?
This is one commonly suggested activity during the end of the year, but why don’t you block a sizeable chunk of time during the Christmas season for reflection instead of merely an hour or so? You can even go to a retreat or any place where you can spend time in solitude. This will not only help you understand yourself better, but also help you focus for the year to come.
If you celebrate Christmas differently, it does not mean totally disregarding tradition. However, it may involve going out of your comfort zone, having new experiences, and learning new things.