“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” ~ Charles Dickens
We are better people at Christmas time. We act a little nicer and we share a little more. Here are 11 ideas to make this Christmas memorable and perhaps 11 ways you can make Christmas happen every day:
- The Thought Does Count. The holidays aren’t a competition to see who can give the best gift or who has the more decorated house. This type of thinking often paralyzes people into no action because they know they can’t keep up with or do as much as others. Search your heart for what you want your holidays to represent and move in that direction.
“Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.” ~ Author Unknown
- Remember Family and Friends. It amazing how self absorbed we can be except for when the holidays come around. I know it can be a royal pain, but send Christmas cards to those you care about. Pick up the phone and give people a call and let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers. Many people report that the holidays are lonely for them. Don’t let that be true for the people in your world.
- Believe in Santa Claus. People who have been banged around in life often come to the conclusion that fairy tales don’t exist. They pride themselves that they are realists. I choose to believe in Santa Claus because I think life loses all sense of hope and excitement when you stop believing. It’s a dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest mindset. I also choose to believe because I notice that a better Mark Webb shows up. I am more thoughtful and considerate. Become a child again – Believe!
“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” ~ Shirley Temple
- Have More Fun. Strive to laugh more and to tell more jokes and funny stories. Smile a lot more. Life doesn’t have to be so serious. How can you make today a fun day? And tomorrow? And the next day?
“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” ~ Andy Rooney
- Bring Out Your Best Traits. Refuse to accept a bah-humbug attitude from yourself. Even Scrooge eventually realized it was a mistake. Often people are actually their worse during the holidays. They practically run over someone to get that parking spot. I know this may be a stretch, but give another driver your parking spot. Be polite and courteous. Resist the urge to be negative or critical of others. Set a good example and treat others the way you’d want to be treated.
“The only real blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.” ~ Helen Keller
- Forgive Quickly and Easily. Strive to love people unconditionally. It’s easy to love your spouse when they’re acting nice but can you do it when they’re grumpy? What about your coworker who stabbed you in the back last year? What keeps you from forgiving them and ridding yourself of your resentment? I know forgiveness issues are hard, but strive to walk a path that leads towards peace.
- Overlook Other’s Imperfections. Be a little more patient with others. The stores are crowded and traffic is jammed. Nothing takes away the Christmas spirit like getting aggravated over things you can’t control so focus on the things you can control; like your outlook on others.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
- Help People Without A Thought of Reward. Drop your spare change in the kettle of the Salvation Army. Offer to babysit so your neighbor can do their Christmas shopping. Take cookies to your neighbor.
“He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” ~ Roy L. Smith
- Speak Kinder and Lift Others Up. Wish those you meet a happy holiday. Give a compliment to the checkout clerk in the department store. Give a big, fat tip to your waiter or waitress. Tell your son, your daughter, your husband or your wife that you love them.
- Be Generous. Send someone a small gift anonymously. Give more of your time. Volunteer an hour or two to help people who are less fortunate. Organize a food or clothing drive and donate your collection to your church or other community agency. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Nothing can kill the holidays like worrying about the after Christmas bills so give out of your abundance or love in your heart.
“Christmas is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” ~ Dale Evans Rogers
- Make Christmas Special Because It’s The Right Thing To Do. Play Christmas music. Decorate your house. Watch Christmas movies. Sing Christmas carols. Drive around and enjoy other’s Christmas lights. Attend a church service together as a family. Our world is shaped by our traditions so it is important to pass these on to our children and grandchildren.
“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” ~ Erma Bombeck
Mark Webb is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center in Valdosta. He is the author of How To Be A Great Partner. Mark has been in the field of helping individuals and couples since 1986. He has a vast amount of experience and he can have a very positive impact on your life and your relationship. If you are looking for individual or marriage counseling, please call his office in Valdosta, Georgia and his staff will help you set up an appointment.South Georgia Psychiatric and Counseling Center 2704 N. Oak St. Blg B-3 Valdosta, Georgia 31602 229-257-0100