"It's the most wonderful time of the year" I bet you've heard this over and over again by now haha. And even though summer will always have a special place in my heart, I have to say Christmas is pretty magical. To me, Christmas has a sentimental value because of the way I have lived it growing up. Christmas is my mom's favorite season and every year when my sister and I were growing up, she made sure the holidays were very special. Since the month on November, Christmas songs were playing in the house and it set a joyful mood for all the family. Not only this, we went out together and bought Christmas decorations and greed on a date to decorate our tree. Christmas has always been a season where we spend more time together and this naturally made us closer and encouraged us to express our love to each other more.
As the years went by, Christmas remained a special season. However, as a teenager, I have to admit that my focus shifted a little. I was more interested in parties than actually spending time with my family. And while this is a normal phase of life, I find it funny how we start craving our childhood memories again once we grow older... We start realizing that life is about spending the maximum of time creating eternal memories with non eternal people. We realize that life is such a precious gift and that it should be spent with the people we love and cherish the most.
Now, at this time of my life, more than ever I want to spend time on things that count. I want to transfer all of that energy that my mom poured into us for Christmas growing up, and pour it back into her and the rest of my loved ones. I want my future kids to grow up cherishing the times and understanding how precious it is to get to be with people we love. I want to build memories that my husband and I can look back on and smile. And I encourage you to do the same this year. I encourage you to refocus and ask yourself if you are really focusing on what matters the most.
Here are 5 simple tips on how to do so
1. SET A JOYFUL MOOD
It is so easy to let the blues set in during the holidays because as the new year is coming, you might tend to be hard on yourself about what you haven't accomplished or replay bad/sad memories over and over again... That is normal, you are human. But it is important to shake yourself up and make a conscious decision to see this time as the perfect moment to welcome new chapters, new beginnings and even new surprises. Decide to set a joyful mood in your home and in your environment. It could be by blasting joyful songs all the time, by decorating your home or by opening a room to a family member visiting. Whatever will help you be more joyful, do that!
2. PLAN FUN ACTIVITIES WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE
Do not waste precious energy on things that do not matter. Plan simple but meaningful activities with the people you love and who love you back. It can be movie nights at home, cooking together, simple gathering where you can talk, laugh and spend quality time. No matter what it is, make sure you plan these events. Do not wait for someone else to do it. Open your home, buy some games, put food in the house... and have fun with your loved ones
3. GIVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART
During the Holidays, there will be many opportunities to share, distribute gifts etc... However, I find it very important to give because your heart is 100% in it. Choose an activity/cause that you truly care about. Do not give just because you feel obligated to. Whatever you do, make sure you do it with all of your heart.
4. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Keep it simple. No need to complicate things when the most special moments are born in simplicity. No need to spend a lot of money on gifts or even decorations. Make sure you plan a budget and save money ahead (you have 12 months ;) ). Most of the time, your loved ones won't be impressed by expensive gifts but rather by something thoughtful that shows that you know them well. Throw a potluck, a family diner... Keep it simple and fun
5. EXPRESS YOUR LOVE
How many times have we wanted to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us but have kept it inside? This life is a gift and we are not promised tomorrow. One thing I know for sure is that we should always verbalize our love for the people we care about. This is the season to let it out more. Make Christmas EXTRA special by letting your loved ones know how much you care abut them <3
Cherish the people that God has placed in your life. Whether it is the people with whom you are related by blood or people you chose, shower them with extra love during this holiday season. Eat god food, take care of yourself, enjoy life and start the new year fresh!