The holiday season is different to different people, depending on your culture, family traditions, and so much more. Even those who love celebrating Christmas, have years when it can be difficult to feel joyous due to personal life-changing events.
Remember, holiday season is more than just celebrations, it is also personal time off from your every day routine, special time to treat yourself, not only gifts, but to do the things you want to do but don’t have the time.
There are also many non-holiday alternative activities that will leave you lasting memories.
Here are some ideas:
- As of December 21, the Winter Solstice, the days start getting longer. For centuries, people around the world have held celebrations to acknowledge what they know will always be the return of light. Maybe this year, a celebration on the 21st is a meaningful event for you.
- Look up “what’s open” on December 25 in Toronto. For example, at 4 pm at the Ted Roger’s Hot Docs Cinema, you can watch the year’s best commercials according to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity; or visit Ripley’s Aquarium, open all day!
- Volunteer. There are shut-ins, people in hospitals and in retirement homes who are desperately hoping for visitors during the holidays. Spending a few hours volunteering can lift your spirits as well as bring companionship to someone else.
- Many churches offer what is called “Blue” Christmas” services for those who are struggling with feelings of sadness. The idea of Blue Christmas is to acknowledge the darkness, and therefore, services often are held on Dec 21. The purpose is to bring comfort by reminding those gathered that they are not alone.
- Plan “non-holiday” activities. Even if you do like to celebrate but need a break, set some “festive free” days aside for non-holiday themed movies and playlists that don’t include holiday songs.
- Take a few days off and get away to enjoy winter sports, like skiing, skating, hiking, or go somewhere warm.
- Manage expectations, especially with family to reduce the pressure both financially and time commitment. Agree with adult family members and friends not to exchange gifts, and set limits with children, perhaps focusing on smaller gifts but more activities like games and movie nights.
- Now is a great time to start or renew a meditation practice. The calming influence of meditation is especially useful at a time of year when everyone is on overdrive.
Above all, holiday season is a special time to have your personalized way of enjoyment and celebrations either that is with family, friends and loved ones, or which ever way suits you and your family. Just remember, give your friends, family, and co-workers your sincere good wishes and love through out this season. Such sentiments can be exchanged no matter how you celebrate it.