Ok, when I say “the world” I mean the direct world around me. I am not sure how they celebrate Christmas in Africa. I do, however, know how they celebrate it in North America, and it sure isn’t how they use to.
I could probably just as easily make a list of 10 things that have gone horribly wrong with Christmas. As a society, we look at the Holidays as a bank draining, commercialized, materialized……waste of time.
If you watch any old movies about Christmas, you will quickly remember that it was not always this way. Black Friday didn’t always exist, Christmas trees didn’t come pre-lite and nobody looked at Christmas light videos on their on their Iphones.
Below is a list of 10 traditions that we have lost. Not only can these traditions save us some money, but they can also bring back that warm, fuzzy feeling that SHOULD come along with this greatest time of year.
1. Cut down your own tree – I know that this isn’t always an option for everyone due to allergies, but what a feeling you can get when you walk through the forest (I mean tree farm) looking for that perfect Christmas tree.
**I couldn’t resist a quote from one of my favourite Christmas movies!!**
2. Make your own decorations – I know what you are thinking…this can be time consuming and cost money. Why not just buy them at a store? Well, concerned reader, time…yes….money…no! Try turning on some Christmas music, popping some cookies in the oven (see lost tradition #6) and using your creativity, imagination and whatever you have taken up needless space in your house and craft it up! Just a couple examples below. The options are endless. Here is where Pinterest becomes your best friend. If you haven’t hear of it…..www.pinterest.com. You’re welcome :)
3. Visit your local Main Street to do your Christmas shopping – When you picture the ideal shopping experience, you picture walking down the street, staring into the brightly decorated windows while a light, fluffy snow falls on your shoulders and the sound of Christmas music drifts through the air. I don’t care where you live, this experience still exists, and probably only within 20 minutes from your house. Avoid the crowd pushing, cart smashing, line butting complications of Wal-Mart and get out there and support your local merchant. They go all out to make their stores as inviting as possible for the Holidays, you should take advantage of it! You might pay a couple dollars more, but the experience will be well worth it.
4. Go Christmas Caroling – This is something very near and dear to our heart. Having our own Music studios helps, but I didn’t realize how happy it makes other people until we started doing it. Sing loud, sing often and sing with others. Everyone will feel good :)
5. Send everyone you know Christmas cards - I don’t know about you, but I love getting Christmas cards. LOVE IT! I have a spot picked out every year to hang them up and show them off. I admit, I am not the best and remembering to send them, but if everyone enjoys getting them as much as I do, I need to up by game a little bit. I have seen a lot of blogs about making your own cards, and this is on my list for next week, so stay tuned.
6. Bake, bake, bake. – A tin of Christmas cookies might be the best gift ever. You can customize it with monogram cookies or tags, add special paper and chose the perfect tin. I always make a lot of cookies, and hand them out generously during the Holidays. Below is an excellent holiday recipe for Spiced Rhubarb Bars.
7. Cuddle in front of the television watching Christmas specials with your loved ones - This is just a warm, fuzzy activity that makes Christmas feel right. Turn on the Christmas tree, light candles and watch Miracle on 34th street or Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and try not to smile.
8. Drive around looking at Christmas Lights - I don’t mean searching “Christmas lights” on youtube, I mean making a night of getting in the car, getting hot cocoa and admiring all of the work that people have put into their homes. There are some spectacular displays, and probably in your own neighborhood if you just take the time to find them.
9. Do at least ONE selfless act of kindness – At least one, but not limited to. Try to go the extra mile and do one selfless act during the 12 days of Christmas, or even create your own advent calendar of selfless acts (as I typed this, I realized that this is something I would like to do next year!) It is good karma, but even better, it will make someone happy during the Holidays.
10. Say Merry Christmas - Do I really have to write anything here? Say it to the mailman, the grocer and everyone you see. Say it with a smile and even hand out candy canes. Spread the joy!