(This post does contain affiliate links, By using these links you help me keep my blog running for which I thank you! Read my Disclosure HERE.)
Every year I have more and more friends who confess that they are struggling to get into the Christmas Spirit.
What is the Christmas Spirit? It’s hard to describe and everyone has a different answer. Yet it is easy to know if you feel it or not. Each time someone tells me they are struggling to get into the Christmas spirit I always ask them why. I am curious to know the reason for their Christmas funk. Usually, the first response I get is the classic, “I don’t know…I just am.” Then after a bit more digging the truth comes out.
Surprisingly, the real reasons are often the same. From my personal research, I have found 4 main reasons why people struggle getting into the Christmas Spirit and have sought to address each one.
1) People Struggle to Get into the Christmas Spirit because they are just too overwhelmed, and Stressed due to being TOO BUSY.
There are sooo many things to do, party to attend, gifts to buy…There is just not enough time and December seems to go by in a fog of frenzy. While some may thrive in such a environment for most it is easy to see how being too busy can keep you from being able to enjoy the season and feeling that Christmas spirit.
So What is the Solution? Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!
Honest people if you are sooo busy you aren’t enjoying yourself, then slow down. It is ok to say no to an even or pass up a part or two. It is ok to decided to simplify gift giving. I know many who have use for a rule of thumb when it comes to gift giving (something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
Choose with care my friends what activities you choose to participate in (or not) this holiday season) give yourself permission to say no thank you without guilt.
Something else that can help you is to write up a schedule. Know what date, time, location, and expense each Holiday event. This will help you to decided which activities you wish to participate in and what is required so you don’t accentually over book yourself/family (causing inevitable stress and frustration.)
2) People Struggle to get into the Christmas Spirit when they are experiencing financial struggles
This is a big one that I can totally correlate with. Christmas can be expensive with baking, decorations, activities, and most of all gifts…If you let it. When money is tight, the seeming innocent expectations of Christmas become a burden of great proportion. I understand this all too well. Money is extremely tight in my home right now too. When this is the case it is easy to be stressed and feel guilty because you can’t to and give everything you may want, which of course keep you from really getting into the Christmas spirit.
So what is the solution? Well, first of all, I would say to keep your gift giving simple.
Be creative and make gifts. Growing up we had quite a few tight Christmas’ where we made simple gifts for each other. In addition to keeping the cost down, making gifts for each other had the added benefit of keeping our focus as children on what we were giving rather than getting.
In addition to keeping your gift giving simple try focusing on all the activities and traditions you can participate in that are free or really inexpensive. Here are a few ideas:
- Go Caroling as a Family
- Wrap 25 Christmas books and then unwrap and read one as a family each night.
- Get in the car and drive around (or go downtown) to see the lights! (this is a family favorite)
- Participate in the Service Elves activity. Learn more HERE.
- Serve a neighbor.
- Send hand written Christmas cards to relatives who live farther away.
- Cut paper snowflakes to hang in the windows.
- Make Cut and Paste Christmas Trees to hang in the kids rooms.
- Watch Christmas movies as a family on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, or VidAngel
3) People struggle to get into the Christmas spirit when they are alone.
Christmas time is a time to celebrate with family and friend. It is hard when you live away from your family and loved ones (or even worse don’t have any) not to feel depressed totally drowning out the Christmas spirit. However, I am a firm believer that you are only as alone as you choose to be. For me saying you are all alone is a victim mentality.
So what is the solution? Choose not to be alone.
Force yourself to be outgoing and get to know your neighbors, your coworkers, your fellow church members. Don’t stop there, adopt a family. I can’t tell you how many people over the years I have brought home with me and introduced as my unofficially adopted family member. We take this serious in my family and these (unofficially ) adopted siblings have always been welcomed in to our family fold to considered family in all intense and purposes.
Another thing I have noticed when someone feel alone, it is easy to just not do anything to make Christmas special. No decorations, no treats, no Christmas music. Make an effort even small to celebrate and it can go a long way.
4) People have a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit because they feel that Christmas has become too Commercialized.
I can’t tell you how often I hear this one. People feel that Christmas is too commercialized so they decided to go to the opposite extreme going all bah humbug. I am going to cancel Christmas, nix Christmas gifts, parties, and traditional Christmas activity and put up crosses everywhere and read lots of scriptures every night to ensure my children focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Trying to keep all traces of traditional Christmas out of your home and away from your kids is exhausting, frustrating, and futile almost guaranteeing that you don’t actually enjoy the Christmas spirit yourself. Oh, and odds are your kids will just resent you for killing Christmas.
So what is the Solution? Stay away from extremes, but make the effort to make Christmas a Christ-Centered Christmas in a fun way. (match latch and lead your children, and you will see a lot better results). Here are a few ideas for doing this:
- Teach your children the symbols of Christmas. (I am thinking of writing a post about all the symbols of Christmas what do you think?)
- Get a Family Christmas Devotional with scriptures and stores that reinforce the true meaning of Christmas like the one created by Donna Goff at Mentoring Our own Here Or do a scripture or service advent calendar countdown to Christmas.
- Collect dress ups and put on a live nativity as a family each year.
- Find out if your community is doing a Crèche (nativity) exhibit, live nativity, Christmas musical etc and attend.
- Find great Christmas books centered on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas
- Focus on serving others. Do the Family Service Angel Activity (learn more here), Gather food for a local shelter (there is a family in my neighborhood who offered a cup of hot cocoa in exchange for a can of food that they could donate to the local food shelter. I loved this!), make care packages (with gloved, socks, food, water, treats, a Christmas card etc… for the homeless), tie scarves, hang hats and gloves on trees in city parks for the homeless, serve food at a local shelter, donate gifts new or gently used to others in need, pick a family in need locally that you can give Christmas (food, presents, money) to, take treats to others, (unofficially) adopt someone who is alone to include in your Christmas festivities…There are many opportunities to serve.
- Make gifts for each other to focus your family on giving rather than receiving.
I guess the feeling behind this post is that if you aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit, do something about it. Choose to feel it. Assess what is standing in your way and change it. Happiness is a choice and so is the Christmas spirit. My favorite definition of the Christmas spirit is to be filled with the spirit of Christ. To be filled with Love, Charity, Faith, Hope and JOY and to share it with others. Our lives have Light, and Joy and meaning because Christ was born, lived, died, and overcame death for us. As long as we keep that in mind I don’t think we will have a hard time feeling the CHRISTmas Spirit this year.
What are your favorite things to do to get in the Christmas spirit?
If you liked this post you might also like these: (Click on the photos to go to the posts)