I’m listening to Shedaisy sing the Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth, and some of the words caught my attention. “Every child must be made aware, Every Child must be made to care” and how appropriate I thought that was during this time of year when we are yet again bombarded with a myriad ways to spend our money. But, aware of what, care for whom, and then what?
So I put my thinking cap on (kinda hard since I am nursing a cold and it doesn’t fit as well) and I think I have come up with 10 ways to make you Aware and Care about this season, people you love, and those that need your help, and ultimately, make you feel even Better at Christmas Time.
- Don’t pass the Salvation Army Bell Ringers by– they volunteer to stand outside in the cold and snow or rain (well, we haven’t HAD much, but use your imagination) to remind you of those in need…so Give Something. $.25 will do. Do this every time you pass one. Budget it in as one of your Christmas presents.
- Spend time with your kids. I know, I know, your busyness is to Give them a great Christmas, and since I had 6 kids myself, I know the preparation Christmas takes. But, Give them the gift of your time and love this Christmas. This will have a more long lasting effect than even the newest Xbox…trust me on this.
- Do the Free Stuff This Year. Go out and look at lights (used to be a favorite of mine when I was little), go to the Christmas Tree Lot, walk through and smell the evergreen (who cares if people look at you funny), make a snowman ( ok Again..not able to do that right now here in Salt Lake, but There Is Hope!), Go to the choir concerts for your local high school. Go to the mall and enjoy the performances there. Oh, and here is a great one….go to a children’s dance performance. There is nothing like watching a 5 year old do step-shuffle-ball-change to Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer to put a smile in your heart.
- One of my favorites is going to Temple Square here in Salt Lake. It doesn’t matter What religion you are, you cannot help but be awed by the music, the lights, the serenity. You will come away feeling peaceful & uplifted. So, if you are here in Salt Lake, Go There. It’s one of those Free things. If you are not, find a place with lights and music (preferably outside, at night) that just makes you feel good!
- Sing! I don’t care if you can’t carry a tune….Sing. Sing along with The Christmas Carols on the radio (come on now, you all know the words, I think there are only really 10 actual songs about Christmas…with 2 million variations). If you don’t want to sing alone, get some people together and sing together. Remember when we used to go caroling? Now that dates me doesn’t it, but it was fun, it surprised people when you came to their door, and sometimes caroling got you goodies. No matter what, it was just fun to be with friends, and you can’t be singled out for making a fool out of yourself in a group, now can you?
- Visit someone who doesn’t get out much and bring them a home baked goodie. Now this does 2 things…the goodie baking makes ya feel better cause you either a. eat the batter or b. bake something extra for yourself. The visiting part is sooo important at Christmas. There are so many folks out there who are shut away from the holidays and want nothing more than to have human contact…we all SO need this. So find a neighbor, visit a rest home, drag a stranger off the street (ok, that may Not be such a good idea, especially if they are carrying Christmas presents and they don’t like baked goodies forced upon them ), but you get the idea.
- Be A Christmas Angel. No, I am not talking about lying in the snow and creating an angel impression (but that IS fun, although my grandchildren simply pummeled me with snow when I tried to show them this). Here in Salt Lake, a local radio, television, and the United Way sponsor a Gving Tree each year, where you can pick an ornament with a name and description of a child off the tree, buy for that child, and return it to the tree. The sponsors then deliver these gifts to the children on Christmas Eve. Anonymous, makes ya feel good, and although you never see the look on the child’s face; that is what imagination is for…isn’t it? If not this program, there are many other programs for those at need. Find some and get involved.
- Stay home one night and watch your FAVORITE Christmas movie of all time. Make it an event. Make your children watch it no matter how cheesy it is (mine is Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol…how cheesy is that?), then tell them why you love it so much. Now, if your favorite Christmas movie is Hugh Hefner’s Bunny Christmas or Debbie Does Christmas, you may have to be a little careful, but if you do it right, the kids will have fun, they will learn about your childhood, and wait for it….they might actually have a conversation with you!
- Try a video scavenger hunt at one of your parties, or with your family. This is one of the most funny, stupid, senseless things you will ever do, but you will have more fun doing it. Divide into teams each with a digital video camera (someone in the group if not all will have a phone that takes video), and have each team do activities, interviews, etc. You can do something as simple as spell out Christmas ( C is for Cows, etc). My niece went further and required the teams to run through a grocery store aisle singing a certain carol, then go to a grave yard to find the oldest grave stone….you can do any or all, but it is Funny…especially if you have kids involved….or creative adults.
- My brother does this one every Christmas Eve. Talk about a good, warm feeling. He takes his family out to dinner at Dennys, IHop or someplace similar where they have a waitress to serve them. Now, you gotta know that No One likes to work Christmas Eve anyway, especially a waitress at what is probably not a high paying restaurant. So my brother, after they have eaten, leaves a $300 tip for the waitress, then leaves before she can find it. Couple of times he hasn’t quite made it out the door before he heard the screams, but you can use that imagination again to figure out what happens. His family adores it, and the “Christmas Eve Dennys Dinner” has become the most important tradition they have. Guess why?
So, This is my list of Ten Things To Make You Feel Great at Christmas. Got any others that you want to add?
Oh, and if you want a bonus, “Elf Yourself” and send it to some friends. Merry Christmas!