Our homes are a very special place for many during the holidays. We like to keep cozy, share hot chocolate by the fire and create memories together. In order to stay full of light and love in the middle of a changing world, we wanted to offer some ideas on how to spark more joy during Christmas together with your loved ones.
Tapping into our senses really heightens our experience in any situation. Lights – adding lights, either outside or inside to add brightness and lightness to your life. Christmas literally brings a festive vibe by having lights on. It adds to the environment to create a joyful atmosphere for you and your family to enjoy. It doesn’t need to be a Clark Griswold style light situation in order to get the full effect, just a small strand or two will add to the joy bucket! Try it and show us your lights!
The smells of the season. This could be the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, or cinnamon or baked goods. There are so many options to create a smell of the season to your home. Candles are an option and shopping for candles right now there are some great buys out there! If you want to create something that you have on hand, you can use a crock pot or a pot and heat up to a simmer to enjoy a cozy smell (recipe at the bottom of this page for ideas). If you have diffusers for essential oils, that is an excellent way to enjoy cozy holiday smells. We recommend cinnamon for this. And then there is baking and making things to create that smell of homemade yummies! If you need a homemade cookie recipe, we’ve got you covered there too.
Gifting others things can add delight to their day and your day! Is there something that you are good at or perhaps have a hobby creating or making? Some people excel at photo books, art, cooking, gardening, bouquet arranging, writing, sewing, drawing…the list goes on and on. It doesn’t have to be overly complex to create something for someone. There is also the gift of time – perhaps showing up in your neighbor’s yard to do leaf raking or yard maintenance to be of service would best benefit them. Either way, it’s a great excuse to take a time out and get creative and do something you love, and share that love with someone else. Giving from the heart can be done in many ways.
Sounds of joy may be different for each of us but creating that environment that is festive and light adds to our senses being tapped into. When our senses are tapped into creating a pleasant experience, we are likely to experience more joy! Perhaps it’s having holiday music on in the background instead of the TV in the background after a long day. It may be turning on a favorite holiday movie and listening to that while you make dinner or finish projects. It might be old family videos to smile and reminisce about. It might be instrumental music or listening to a book or podcast to shift you into a good mood. Whatever brings the joyful feelings to surface is our goal.
Have you ever noticed a really great moment or a really special conversation with someone? Chances are you were able to be present with the other person in that moment. Being present creates joy and adds richness to your life. Finding ways to be more intentional adds to the quality of all of our lives. When our kids see us put down our phones and give them all of our attention – that is special time capturing their faces telling you something that is important to them. When we put a pause on our to-do list to make the phone call to that person that has been on your heart, even if it’s just to leave a message to say you care and you love them, being intentional adds to good vibes. Good vibes add to endorphins being released because you have sparked joy! It’s a great and rather simple domino effect when we prioritize intentionality.
Giving. This does not have to be in the way of a gift. It can be giving your time, giving your ear to listen, giving your extra change to the bell ringer. Giving as a way to pay it forward for someone else. Giving blood, coordinating a donation drive, recruiting your neighbors to give to a family in need, collect warm things around your house and give to those in need. This list is long and the need is there, everywhere. This is especially a time of year in 2020 that giving of our kindness can go a very long way. Even though we can’t see one another’s smile underneath our mask, we can focus on eye smiling and sharing patience and kindness.
Sparking joy this Christmas can create an opportunity to look back when we are in 2021, and say, that was a wonderful Christmas!
Recipe for simmering smells of the season:
Add two cups of water and let some vanilla bean simmer to create a cozy smell at home. Other great scents for a cozy smell include, cinnamon, and orange slices.