Holidays are about sharing the abundance of our riches with family and friends. It’s about breaking bread and bursting out in song and laughter. Sitting by a warm fire, reflecting on a year of health, happiness and good fortune.
The holidays are also about giving. Not so much presents as much as giving of ourselves, our time, our attention. So this year slow down. Enjoy the moment. Smile, laugh and yes, eat too much. And make the holidays memorable with new traditions inspired by old favorites.
What’s a holiday without yummy treats fresh out of the oven this time of year? Just another day, I suppose. After the cookies have cooled, box up a few and share with your neighbors, letter carrier or whoever else could use a taste of holiday cheer.
Sure “Polar Express” is a great movie and deserves a spot on our shelf. But remember the classics we watched as kids year after year? Rent or order a copy of “Miracle on 34th Street” starring Natalie Wood; Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”; or “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” And if this line rings a bell—"Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends”—don’t forget “It’s a Wonderful Life” with everyone’s favorite richest man in town, Jimmy Stewart.
Long before store registries and online shopping, we made things. Auntie Ern needlepointed stockings, mom canned preserves. This year, share your talents. Make something with your hands and give from the heart. Fill a jar with ingredients from your favorite cookie, or a bottle with olive oil infused with fresh herbs or homemade spiced cider.
Decorate your Douglas fir with a traditional favorite: cranberries and popcorn. There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about this tree adornment. Get the whole family involved and you’ll have a garland to drape in no time.
Not all presents have to be baked or bought. Give the precious gift of time with a visit to a local retirement community or volunteer at a shelter or animal rescue. Focus on the giving rather than receiving and you’ll receive the greatest gift of all—a warmed heart.