Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting the Holiday Spirit

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.


  1. Thanks so much for the way you keep the holidays so simple. In my family no one buys anyone a gift they are things from the heart. Kind words, telling each other what a blessing they are. Helping each other with what would be called teadeous tasks.


  2. That's a good way to celebrate, too, Barb. Giving doesn't necessarily mean "things."

  3. This year since all our family are miles away, and with Grandchildren, children multiplying at a great rate we stopped sending individual gifts. Now each family ( 2 daughters and spouses and assorted your's, mine and our children) get an amount to provide Christmas dinner, and all the extras, and it usually lasts them for the week. My Brother and family get a gift basket from their local florist. So that just leaves me, my friends and neighbours to actually fuss over. They all get gifts I make, and cards I paint that I think will fit each couple. Takes the stress out of Christmas, and gives everyone on the list what they can use and enjoy. With the cost of mailing gifts, and getting things I'm not sure they will even like this has worked out well for the whole family, and I am remembered at meal times, even if I'm not there. The added benifit is no one has to find a place to put another ornament or nick nack. Oh, and any one with alergies, won't get anything they shouldn't have. I hate getting boxes of chocolates, when I'm a diabetic. Not fair to temp someone, as I'm not a strong willed person when it comes to carmel filled chocolates, so I give them away to a couple of friends who can have them, and they know that I have been given them and need them out of the house! LOL, they are Good friends indead.
    Merry Christmas Pat, Your news is always welcome and I look forward to 2008 and hearing from you again. Hope you have a Wonderful Christmas. Are you watching all the Christmas shows? I've been trying to see all the Christmas movies and specials. For me Christmas used to be the Childrens Concerts, Every one of them was wonderful. I miss going to them now.

    Take Care,
    T'other Pat in Kitchener, B.C.

  4. It sounds like you have a good handle on keeping the stress of Christmas low, Pat!

    I don't watch TV, but I have Christmas videos I play on the computer. I just watched Charlie Brown's Christmas. :)

    Merry Christmas!