‘Tis the season of cozying up with a warm blanket and watching classic Christmas movies until your eyes can no longer stay open. And to help spread the holiday cheer all month long, we’ve compiled a short list of activities for this December that we recommend giving a try. Some may merely make you laugh, but overall, we hope to inspire you to find joy in the simplicity of life.
- Send Holiday Cards to Soldiers
Personalized holiday cards that show our gratitude and respect to our deployed U.S. Troops are a great way to spread cheer and start the holiday season off in an ‘others-focused’ state of mind. By letting them know how much you appreciate their service, you are reminding our beloved Warriors that they are not alone this winter season. There are many nonprofits that organize and send out these letters that can be easily found online, but please keep in mind that volunteers need ample time to organize and send the letters. So, the sooner you write, the better chances are that they receive it before Christmas!
- Read a New Novel
Research shows that reading regularly may improve brain connectivity, increase your comprehension and vocabulary, as well as help empower you to empathize with other people. Reading can transport you to faraway lands, empower you to pursue your passions, encourage your soul, or help put you in other people’s shoes to be more empathetic. It can also set a good example for children, reduce stress, and help you sleep more soundly at night.
- Set Christmas Decorations Up Early
According to Psychologist Deborah Serani, “Decorating can definitely lift your mood.” For many, Christmas decorations are one of the best ways to reconnect with their childhood, bringing favorable nostalgia, and uplifting spirits. In 2017, a study confirmed that people who decorate early are tapping into the excitement of the holidays in the simplest manner, making them happier than others who wait.
- Plant Spring Bulbs
Gather the family outside in the garden or around the house exterior to plant pots of spring bulbs while it’s still cold. And in just a few months, at the first signs of spring, you’ll find beautiful flowers bursting by bunch.
- Personalize Your Gift Wrapping
Wrapping your holiday gifts in bright, fun paper or decorating with small novelty is half the fun of gift-giving! You can write unique messages, include the kids to decorate with hand drawings, and even lace the ribbon through nostalgic items like a mini nutcracker, very small branches from the local Christmas tree seller/farm, or plastic ornaments.
- Grab the Apron and a Jar of Sprinkles!
Baking can be a very calming activity that results in the most delicious kind of memories! It can create comforting feelings, bring out your creative side, and make other people just as happy when you drop off a freshly baked loaf of sweet bread or tin of holiday cookies at their doorstep.
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
It’s time to take back control and not allow the little things to take over your life. Letting yourself get stressed over the small stuff is the biggest cause of unnecessary grief, depression, and negative feelings. So, this holiday season, try to cultivate an attitude that searches for the good in every situation and finds gratefulness in the small victories. And maybe try to smile, even when it seems unachievable. Research shows that smiling sends a signal to your brain that wakes up the part of your nervous system that is responsible for elevating your mood and relaxing your jitters. Plus, everyone’s smile is contagious, so let your light shine bright!
And just like that, you’re on your way to a healthier and happier you this winter season!