Christmas is always a fantastic time of the year—a time for family and a time for friends.
There’s something about the holidays that brings us together, but there are also things that can pull us apart.
Everyday monetary stresses trickle in to gift giving and holiday travels.
Relatives are upset because you spent the last two years with your parents-in-law and not your own family.
Everything converges into one giant ball of negativity that takes away from what’s really important, the actual holiday and what it can do for the soul.
Here are five ways you can break the monotony and enjoy the holidays in a new way.
1. Give Back
As a time of year when we can realize how blessed we truly are, it’s also a time when we can realize that not everyone is as fortunate as ourselves.
Giving back is one of the best ways you can celebrate Christmas this year.
Volunteer in your local community or donate old clothes to a Goodwill. Lift up others and share the holidays with people who might not get to celebrate otherwise.
A great way to do this is to sponsor a family that can’t afford an extravagant Christmas and provide them with a tree, a Christmas meal and a gift for each of them.
2. Get Involved
Every year there are countless Christmas events you can participate in.
As a family, see a performance of the The Nutcracker or go ice skating.
Drive through different neighborhoods and spot the best Christmas decorations, take the family caroling or go sledding.
Some cities have a “Christmas in the Park” where you can enjoy the company of others and enjoy free shows.
Do a little research online to find something you can participate in with your family or your friends.
3. Unique Gifts
Instead of buying expensive items that will probably get lost or broken within a few years, think about how you can really surprise the ones you love this year.
A great way to do this is to give memories. A gift of a trip for two for a romantic getaway can always help re-kindle a relationship.
Another great gift idea is to give coupons to a loved one for a task. Even something simple like a “Cleaning the dishes when you’re too tired from work” voucher means a lot.
Think outside the box to provide someone with something other than another gift card.
Take some time to talk with your loved ones.
How did the year go? What are your goals for the next year as a family or as an individual?
A great way to do this is have everyone wake up early on Christmas and watch the sunrise together. There’s something serene and pacific about going out of your way to watch the day break.
It’s a great time to reflect and think.
5. Have Fun
Do something silly.
Forget about the fact that others are watching you and don’t worry about anything. Have a holiday party and include some crazy holiday games and decorations.
Maybe an elf costume or a new ugly Christmas sweater is just what you need this year to get back in the holiday spirit.
The holidays shouldn’t be about the money or the stress, so relax.
Ditching your inner Grinch and embracing the holidays for what they are can really make a difference.
However you decide to celebrate, be sure to try something new—you’ll definitely be glad that you did!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Brent Foreman
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Courtesy of Tipsy Elves.
Bonus: (slightly) adult: