If you didn’t celebrate your 2020 birthday Covid-style, well don’t you worry. You’re on deck for the months to come.
…I’m totally kidding and making light of a subject. But my point is, we all know the feeling of sacrificing our holidays and it ain’t that great.
I have hope because I’m a firm believer that the way you approach daily obstacles directly affects the outcome. The best way to ensure that even the most challenging times are bearable is to have gratitude and a positive attitude —knowing you can handle it and it’ll be ok.
Let’s get the virtual party started and find ways to feel the holiday cheer
This year we’re not traveling or hanging with family, but what are we doing instead? We’re gonna laugh and make jokes, eat delicious food, enjoy our children’s awe for Christmas decorations, lights and wrapped presents, and zoom our way through gift unwrapping with our loved ones.
Let’s use this holiday to uplift our spirits and find the glory even in the tiniest things.
Enjoy the sparkle from your Christmas tree as you sip your coffee in the early morning. Watch your kids gaze, mouths wide open as they watch Santa deliver Christmas miracles in the holiday movies. Do a zoom with Nana while you’re baking her famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. Everyone can get joy out of this unique experience. You may even find yourself repeating these very activities down the covid-free road, just for fun and posterity.
Open your mind to the goodness and joy that Christmas brings. Turn off the news (or less of it) —you already know what’s going on in the world. Reflect on the good memories from the year and the goals you have moving forward. Do some good deeds in your community to make you and others feel proud, loved and appreciated.
Not sure where to start?
Use this holiday to uplift your spirit and see the good in humanity, the resilience and flexibility in your children and the power of you.
Take what you’ve learned from 2020 and begin making a plan for the new year. Think about when things are somewhat normal —what will you do differently? What will you embrace more strongly?
Let this change come with appreciation and joy every day. The way to settle anxiety and fear of the unknown is to choose thankfulness. Choose gratitude. As soon as you feel a negative thought, a jealous thought, a fear-based thought, immediately stop yourself and think of the good in your life.
With gratitude and compassion your love for yourself, life and others becomes unbeatable.
Here’s 10 feel-good things you can do to spread holiday cheer and attract joy into your world
1. Write down all accomplishments and events that happened this year
Hang a piece of paper on your fridge and start listing all the milestones, accomplishments, growth moments and occurrences that happened in 2020.
For starters, we voted in a new president and groundbreakingly elected THE First Black Female Vice President ever. Noteworthy!
Leave your list hanging and whenever you recall something, jot it down.
…Any road trips, first-day of online school experiences, outdoor functions with small groups and masks, favorite mask of the year, using your hall closet as an office. You can’t make some of this stuff up!
Seeing this list helps you see that all things weren’t so terrible — rocky maybe, but not all bad.
Did any friendships flourish out of our circumstances, businesses soar? Did you get the opportunity to spend more time with your kids?
Write down all the things you can think of so when you’re telling your grandkids a story they couldn’t possibly fathom —10 miles walking to school in the snow, barefoot what?!, you’ll have it all in writing. It’s actually fun and you might get a laugh.
2. Donate toys to kids in need
Donate instead of selling your gently used toys. Find a mom in your mom’s group or locate a community center or a women’s center that accepts used toys. There are so many people in need and now is the time to give. You’re not just giving away a toy, you’re passing along hope for a new beginning. It uplifts your spirits to do good for others and they feel that the world is looking out for them too.
When you give to the universe it reciprocates.
3. Take a card and some goodies to your neighbor, especially the older ones
Everyone has had some feeling of loneliness. Even the people who are used to being alone had things like grocery store runs or library visits (the very things they love) pulled away from them.
Seeing the smile on someone’s face as you bring them a thoughtful treat or card brings a spark of social joy that we all want more of.
It’s a smile that’ll remain on their face when they turn away and close the door—renewed faith in humanity and hope for a bright future. Handmade cards, cookies or store-bought goods are always a kind gesture that will brighten someone’s day.
4. When you receive a holiday card in the mail, text the sender and let them know
Birthday texts, calls and cards have become more momentous than ever. That instant high of feeling loved and included in the thoughts of our loved ones can make a sad day happy again.
This year when you receive those Christmas cards, send a text wishing them well. I love sending video texts, especially when I don’t have time to chat.
Sending holiday cards has almost become so automated that it feels somewhat sterile —like checking a box. You know what I mean? You order 100 cards, print out the labels, slap ‘em on and send it off. Some companies even send the card for you.
This year can be different. This year has more meaning. We all share a uniquely-individual yet uncannily-similar story of awkward hardship. It’s almost laughable.
…A text or call when your receive a card is a personal touch that maybe we haven’t had in a while.
5. Go big on decorations
Ok, y’all I went big. I decorate every year but this… this year needed the most giant red bow a Mercedes could find. Haha no, I didn’t get a Mercedes, but I sure brought in the flashiest, most spirited decorations in town.
I hired someone to come in and decorate my home and make it like a wonderland. Why? Well, we have scaled back in so many ways from the fun things we love to do, so this was my way to bring the magic to the bright eyes of my children.
And if it’s too late to put up the Christmas decs, New Year’s is right around the corner. We’ll all be ringing this one in good!
6. Dress up for Christmas or nye dinner
I thought for a minute, should I buy my daughter a dazzling new outfit for Christmas? I mean, we’re not seeing friends and family nor having a party like usual. But then I thought we are the excitement. We are the party!
Let’s celebrate our family, our year and the holiday spirit. So you guessed it, a fresh outfit for everyone just as I would any other year because this year is even more special. We are alive and together and that alone is worth celebrating.
7. Schedule zoom calls with your family and friends
We’re definitely getting the hang of this. Start scheduling your zoom calls. Party with zoom and open your gifts over video. Faces are faces and emotions can be seen through a computer, and stories and love shared.
8. Drive around and enjoy the beautiful lights
It’s a holiday tradition for us always but even so now. Fill up the hot cocoa, turn up your Christmas music and make it a party. People in neighborhoods all over are going all-out this year. Embrace it and go see for yourself.
9. Donate your pocket change or round-up at the register
Go ahead, drop your spare change in the basket. The Salvation Army representative is out in the cold, swinging a bell for a beautiful cause. Make their efforts worthwhile and help others in need. Every little bit goes a long way. If someone in front of you at the grocery store is short on their payment seize that moment to foot the bill. You could even buy coffee for the person in line behind you.
Spread that joy on so thick that a smile sticks with you all day.
10. Tip extra
Add to that tip. Every person working to provide us with services, package deliveries, groceries on the shelves, and check out lines open are taking a risk and making a sacrifice. Thank them. Leave a bigger tip for the grocery delivery person or the outdoor dining server. A little extra goes a long way.
When you give to others, even when you have less, you’re choosing love over fear, belief in possibility over anxiety, joy over gloom and opportunity over doom.
Thoughts to carry with you all year long.
Did this make you smile? What are ways you have brightened someone’s day? Or your own? Let me know in the comments, I always love to hear your thoughts.