Can’t quite get into the holiday spirit? I get it. Some years are harder than others to jump from real life into this magical, once a year headspace. If you’ve had a difficult year with health issues, family issues, job issues, kid issues, baby issues, friend issues, home issues and everything else that falls under the umbrella of this thing we called life, then it is a feat. Could it also, possibly, be a nice relief from reality? Just for a month? To take a time out? I recently heard from a trusted authority that the closest we can get to God is when we are a rest. Wow. Shocking, right? What if we looked at this season as a great big rest? Ok, maybe not a rest per-say because I know how much there is to do, but a break from the norm or the struggle and pain and stress of real life. Let’s just try to take a month out of the year to feel differently. Then in January we can get back to fighting the good fight.
Here is my little list of things to get you there. These are some things I do to embrace Christmas and fill up on all the fun that it can be.
Tree. If you have not purchased your tree yet, do it. It will set the stage for creating a cozy home. A live tree is magical. Fakes can be fun too – you may notice my little pink one (via Target). Maybe even consider buying a few new ornaments to inspire you to decorate. I am obsessed with Christmas at Target. They have really clever felt ornaments, trees and other festive items.
Hallmark Channel. Turn it on and leave it on all December. I’m not kidding. The movies are a bit, ahem, too perfect. But, there is always a conflict, a romance and of course the setting is Christmas. The plots are better than you may think. I became addicted last year and I literally watch it every night. Don’t tell him I told you, but Dear Husband watches with me!
Starbucks. Go get a Eggnog Latte or a Hot Chocolate in one of those red, paper cups.
Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe‘s is so so festive at the holidays and they always have specialty foods to get excited about! Candies, popcorns, flowers, brie wrapped in puff pastry with cranberry jam. Oh my! Mouth watering.
Movies. There are so many great holiday movies. Some of them you can watch year after year, but if you need a few new suggestions, I have been watching all the Harry Potter movies with my family. Did you know they all have a Christmas portion with trees and snow in them?! I also love the movie The Nativity Story. I think it’s important. (PS, the guy who plays Joseph is in the new Star Wars movie if that helps.)
Church. I go to church every week and I do believe, but, I don’t think church should ever be mandatory and I don’t believe that God can only be found at church. He can be found in our kitchen after a very long, frustrating day when we’ve just burned our dinner and our kids are fighting and the oldest has a test she hasn’t studied for the next day. But, church is a good reminder of why we celebrate this time of year. If you are struggling with the superficiality of present-buying and Santa, you will find a message of hope at your local church.
Nutcracker. Find your local Nutcracker performance. This is one of the traditions that I’ve insisted on implementing with my little family. We started seeing the Nutcracker at the Warner Theater last year and I’m planning it it being an annual tradition. There is nothing better than Tchaikovsky’s music and those costumes. Kids are obsessed!