Making the most of the holiday season

Nov 26, 2019


From Thanksgiving through New Year's, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. You can tap into this feel-good season by taking a deep, joyful dive into the holidays.

To make the most of the holidays this year, consider making a plan to soak up the merriment, goodwill and family time. Let these ideas inspire you:

Be intentional. Spend some time thinking about what the holidays mean to you—and how you want to spend them. Maybe baking your traditional treats or planning parties brings you joy. Or maybe you prefer to focus on spending time with loved ones. Whatever makes this time of year special to you is what you should focus your energy on during the season.

Volunteer. Give gifts to children in need. Walk dogs or play with cats at an animal shelter. Offer your services at a food bank. The holidays are the season of giving. One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time and talents.

Let go of perfection. It’s OK if the turkey is a little dry or you need to skip the wall-to-wall decorations this year. You’ll enjoy the holidays more when you have realistic expectations—and embrace imperfections in yourself and others.

Take time for yourself. In the midst of all the merriment, keep practicing self-care. Listen to music, read a book or treat yourself to a massage. Taking time to recharge will help you appreciate the magic of the season even more.

Give to a charity. Giving from the heart is good for the community and your spirits. Consider choosing as a family the charity you want to support.

Send holiday cards. Whether they're a family photo or handwritten notes, holiday cards are a good excuse to reconnect with distant relatives and friends. Sharing your life updates may inspire them to drop you a line in return.

Have fun with loved ones

For many of us, family and friends are a big part of the holidays. Here are some activities you and your crew might want to try:

Take in the decorations. Go on a drive with family or friends to look at holiday lights, a toy train display or a North Pole exhibit.

Have a game night. If the weather outside is frightful, stay inside and play some games. Otherwise, go outside and toss a ball, shoot some hoops or throw a Frisbee.

Attend a community event, such as a holiday play, an art show or a book reading. See if any theaters are showing classic holiday movies (or watch one on TV).

Make gifts for each other. Perhaps these could be home-baked goods, crafts or even gift certificates to spend time with each other.

Start a new tradition. Invite your family to brainstorm new activities for each of the holidays you celebrate. Maybe that’s looking through old photo albums together, building a snowman or watching home videos. Or you might revive an old tradition or two. Start by asking older relatives how they celebrated when they were kids.

Yes, it really is a wonderful time of year. Enjoy the wonder and spread good cheer.

Gratitude is good for you

Are you planning to share what you're thankful for this year? It turns out counting your blessings has real health benefits. Discover why it's good to give thanks.