You know, that spirit of happiness and friendliness; the one of smiles and helping hands, red bows and snow, eager children and candy canes. That spirit doesn't always come automatically, but it does come - whenever you're really ready for it.
Here are some frugal ways to open yourself to it!
1. Be the first to say 'Merry Christmas!'
2. Each day give at least one heartfelt compliment to someone.
3. Add something handmade to your decorations this year.
4. Smile at someone who looks grouchy. Don't let your feelings get hurt if they don't smile back.
5. Give the bank teller a candy cane.
6. Wave to Santa at the mall.
7. Tell your kids or grandkids what Christmas was like when you were a child. You might not think things were so different, but they are to a child.
8. Have an informal open house instead of a formal party. Put out some food, light the tree and enjoy your company.
9. Offer home made hot chocolate (Keep a pot ready to heat) to everyone who comes to your door, including the mailman.
10. Wear a sprig of holly, a small ornament or a plaid ribbon on your lapel or in your hair.
11. Go caroling. Look around for groups to go with if you can't round up enough enthusiasts on your own.
12. Take part in a local tree lighting ceremony.
13. Decorate your car - hang an ornament from the rearview mirror, or wire a wreath on the front.
14. Sing 'Jingle Bells' while cooking dinner.
15. Help elderly neighbors, family and friends put up decorations. (Don't forget to help them take them down again later!)
16. Sign your Christmas cards with a red or green pen.
17. Hug a child.
18. Turn off the lights, the tv and the stereo and sit quietly in the light of the Christmas tree thinking about why you celebrate it.