Are you feeling a little bah-humbug, Grinch-y, or asking, “Where’s the Tylenol?” multiple times this holiday season? Don’t worry – you probably aren’t alone in wondering where your Christmas spirit is. The feelings of goodwill, kindness, and humility can sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. When the brightness of Christmas doesn’t bring a smile to your face, there are ways to get back the real meaning of the holidays and to spread the feelings to others. Let’s look at a few examples.
First, there is Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. You probably won’t be visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve to get the feeling of Christmas, but you can still find the same meaning as Scrooge did. Through the ghosts’ visits, Scrooge was able to reflect on his past, present, and future Christmases and behaviors, therefore, turning around and actually enjoying Christmas, as well as, being with others. The Christmas feeling came back to him after he started to spread joy and cheer to others. The same happened with the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Grinch, whose heart was two sizes too small, tried to stop Christmas in Whoville. To do this, he decided to steal all the decorations, presents, etc. Yet, after a simple twist of fate and a little help from the Whos, the Grinch begins to feel the Christmas spirit and realizes that “maybe Christmas, perhaps, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Using the stories of Scrooge and the Grinch, there are many ways we can bring goodwill, kindness, and humility into our community.
- You can start with something small, such as listening to your favorite Christmas carol, smelling your favorite holiday smell, or baking your favorite treat. Also, take a drive through your town to see all the festive lights and decorations. A cup of hot chocolate is always welcome on the trip. Don’t forget about snuggling up to a classic Christmas movie with your loved ones.
- Go caroling with your family, friends, or church group. After all, Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” Visit houses in your neighborhood, go to a local nursing home, or hospital, with their permission, and sing carols.
- Along with caroling, Christmas cards are a must during the season. Bring cards as you travel from place to place or take them to a nursing home, hospital, or police/fire department. It can be easy for some people to get overlooked in December, but simple tasks, such as giving out cards, can make a difference.
- Do a Christmas craft. Just a search on Pinterest will bring up numerous ideas. Tie everything all together by completing the craft, while watching a movie or listening to music, and then donate the project to a place in the community.
- Part of enjoying the Christmas feeling is by helping out others. This can be working with family members or friends. It can also be donating your time and volunteering within your town. For example, spend an afternoon at the soup kitchen, animal shelter, or other non-profit. An easy way to discover holiday joy is by seeing it in the eyes of someone else. Volunteering can always make a person feel better, especially at this time of the year. If your schedule doesn’t permit taking the time to volunteer, organize a collection drive or bake sale for a charity. Instead of gifts or Secret Santa at a holiday party or work, change it to a holiday drive, like a toy or book collection.
The holidays are hard. It can be easy to get caught up in the stress and lose the feeling of Christmas. Yet, that joy isn’t far. Try these ideas to spread that feeling of Christmas with yourself and others. Merry Christmas!