If Christmas commercialization is getting you down, these tips for making Christmas more meaningful will help you find joy in the holiday season – whether you’re mourning loss, coping with a major life change, or just tired of Christmas shopping.
“I hate Christmas,” says Jessi on How to Overcome Depression on Christmas. “Too commercialized, too expensive, not celebrated for what it is really about. My family is always at war with each other; they’re hypocrites during the Christmas holidays.”
Christmas is depressing for many people, even if their families love each other to bits! There’s something about Christmas that makes us long for something deeper and more meaningful. Maybe we need more spirituality, more joy on a soul level.
If your heart and soul feels empty and dry, read Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness – I’m in the middle of it, and love it.
And, here are six tips for a more meaningful Christmas…
How to Make Christmas More Meaningful
Identify your sources of Christmas anxiety and stress. Becoming aware of why your Christmas holidays aren’t peaceful or meaningful may help you enjoy Christmas more. Are you stressed at the thought of talking to a certain family member, or cooking the holiday dinner for the whole family? Jessi commented that Christmas isn’t celebrated for what it’s really about. So, maybe she needs to figure out what it’s really about, and focus on that celebration. Figuring out ways to cope with specific sources of stress can make Christmas less stressful and more meaningful.
Figure out what makes Christmas meaningful for you. My Christmas would be more meaningful if I visited friends I haven’t seen in years. My husband and I visit family in Alberta every year, but I don’t spend time with many of my oldest friends. We’re friends on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t know how they’re really doing. What about you? What would make your Christmas meaningful? What would you do if you knew it’d be successful, if it couldn’t fail? Start making plans now.
Take time to reconnect with who you are, or your source of strength. If you’re spiritual, make time to connect with God or the source of your spirituality. Stop to say a quick prayer or meditation during your crazy Christmas shopping or decorating rush! Make it a priority to connect to the source of your power – don’t lose yourself in the Christmas craze. Even if you don’t believe in religion or spirituality, take time to ground yourself by spending time alone.
Notice how your Christmas is meaningful. This Christmas tip is all about gratitude! Be grateful for the friends and family you have around you, even if they’re difficult to deal with. Be thankful for your house, your car, your pets, your job, your country. Notice your Christmas traditions, and how meaningful they are. You are blessed in so many ways, my friend. Be mindful.
Express your love and appreciation to your loved ones. Most of us aren’t completely alone at Christmas, even if we feel like we are. Often, we simply need to reach out of ourselves and be open to accepting love. And, we need to appreciate and accept the people around us for who they are. “Our lives are filled with people whose presence helps us live and thrive,” write Baraz and Alexander in Awakening Joy. “Besides opening your own heart, expressing appreciation to others makes them feel more comfortable around you. They’re not on guard, fearing judgments. They can relax and feel your friendliness.” Acceptance and appreciation doesn’t just make Christmas meaning for you, it makes a different to those around you.
If your loved ones get stressed during the holidays, read Family Fights at Christmas – Tips for De-Escalating Conflict.
Taste a different type of religion or spirituality at Christmas. If you’re a Buddhist, go to a Catholic church for Christmas Mass this year. If you’re Jewish, explore Baha’i or Christian traditions. You don’t need to change your religion; just expose yourself to different types and practices of spirituality over the holidays. This Christmas tip may encourage you to re-examine your beliefs and faith at Christmas, and possibly bringing you closer to God or your source of power.
For more tips, read Christmas Gifts That Don’t Cost A Lot of Money – Not Homemade Xmas Crafts.
What do you think – how do you make Christmas meaningful? I welcome your tips below…