Ok, so it’s been FOREVER since I have been able to post… not due to lack of ideas or anything, but just because I have gotten caught up in the hustle and bustle of the busy world. Not an excuse I know, but sadly the truth. It’s part of my goal for 2012 to be better at stopping to do the things that I love, like blogging 🙂
Anyways, I’ve noticed this year, more than others, that there is just no Christmas Spirit left. It’s like Scrooge is winning out this year and although radio stations are playing Christmas tunes, there are festive lights all over the city and vendors are sending in TONS of Christmas baskets filled with enough food to push you into a new weight class, I still feel as though no one is feeling the spirit. As always, I have a few opinions on why this is happening:
- The Economy. Yes, this too shall be blamed on the economy. With the economy in the state that it is in now, people have a harder time getting into the spirit of Christmas and just having fun. When you got laid off earlier this year and still have yet to find a job I can imagine it would be hard to really “celebrate” anything.
- The Weather. Let’s face it, we haven’t seen winter yet and we probably won’t in time for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been nice having some warmer weather and not really starting winter so early, but even for the girl who really doesn’t like the cold or snow, I’m sad that we won’t have a white Christmas. It feels more like fall than winter and fall felt more like summer than fall. With the seasons all out of whack, it’s been hard to even fathom that it’s going to be Christmas in 4 days.
- Stress. This can come in all forms and from all directions. Stress from having to go shopping and buy presents, stress of going into debt from buying all those presents, stress of getting the house ready to have family over, stress of having to work more since companies have laid off a ton of people but the workload is still the same, stress of trying to find a new job and so on. That amount of stress is never helpful when trying to get into the celebratroy spirit.
My plan as I thought about writing this was to end with some fun ways to get into the holiday spirit… but I’m not really sure anything that I might suggest would overcome the above factors that I feel is causing this lack of Christmas Spirit. But none-the-less, here are a few things you might want to try to help bring you out of the funk and ready to celebrate Christmas – in only 4 days.
- Bake Christmas Cookies. For some reason, when you have cookies baking, it always seems to make things better. You don’t even have to be good at baking, you can just buy the wonderful Pillsbury cut and bake holiday cookies. Cuts down on the stress of “making” cookies but still lets you bake cookies. See, win-win. 🙂
- Watch Elf. If anyone can bring you out of your funk, it’s Buddy the Elf. If you don’t own it, check the guide on your TV as it has been playing on many channels each night- probably to help bring people out of their funk.
- Visit the Holiday Train. If you live in Chicago (or the surrounding suburbs) and you have never done this, I highly recommend it. I know I wrote a blog post on this last year too, but it’s worthy of another mention. I saw the holiday train this past Saturday and it definitely brightened up my spirits. Click here to check out their schedule.
- Make a List. No, this is not the same as your child’s Christmas list to Santa. But taking the time to make a list of things you already have rather than what you want to have can make you feel better about yourself and your situation (whatever that may be). Seeing on paper the things you already have and comparing that to the things that really matter to you might make you realize that you have everything you already need: family, friends, a place to call home, food to eat, and more.
- and finally, Remember the Reason for the Season. Christmas isn’t about gifts and spending money, it’s about spending time with your family and friends. There are many families who don’t exchange gifts at all and they have wonderful holidays. If gifts are what are stressing you out this holiday, think about ways that you can lessen that stress for next year and get back to the main reason for the holidays. Create a grab bag in your family and set a dollar limit- that way you only have to buy for one or two people and everyone spends the same. Or try out no gifts for a year. This one might be hard if you have kids in the family but only do it for the adults then. Anyway that you decide to try, just remember to keep the reason for the holidays in mind.
Let me know if you have any ideas on how to brighten your spirit for the holidays or things that your family does that you think helps to lessen the stress and let you have more fun during the holidays.