Friday, December 19, 2008

Zooming Thru Life:
Make the Most of Your Holiday Season – Part Two

by Paul M. Carhart

Last time, we took a look at five ideas to help spread the holiday cheer in your life. Now, let’s cap off the list with the final five.

Let your tree reflect you
A Christmas tree can be decorated in an infinite number of ways. Indeed, I can do an entire tree with Disney characters. When we got married, Lori introduced musical ornaments into the mix. When we had Melody, we started a yearly picture ornament. Together, these ornaments will trace her through the years. We know people who travel and pick up a new ornament wherever they go. Others get the kids into the act too, decorating to the kid’s tastes as well with Spongebob and Dora ornaments. The point is, adorn your tree with ornaments that reflect you and your interests. It could be sports, the Victorian era or Star Wars. It doesn’t matter. But when someone looks at your tree, they should be able to tell whose hand was involved. After all, most trees look the same when you buy them. It’s how you decorate it afterwards that makes each one unique. And put every present under it whether you’re giving or receiving. As you exchange presents with your friends and family members, the mix of presents under the tree will change. What a great way to decorate under the tree too!

Hearth and home
The tree is only the first step in decorating your house. There’s stockings, candles, placemats, wreathes, bells, lights, holly, etc. Again, you’ll want to tailor these decorations to your own tastes. Usually, we have a cardholder to hold all of the cards we get. We have stocking holders that go on the mantle and Lori will change out the placemats on the kitchen table (and probably the towels in the downstairs bathroom too). Lori even hangs an advent calendar she used to use in her classroom. Everything gets the festive touch.

Decorate the outside
A lot of people will go overboard this year with their exterior decorations. That’s okay. You don’t have to spend a fortune to tastefully spread some holiday cheer with the rest of the world. We’ve moved a lot over the past few years but we usually manage to pull out a few of the basics no matter where we are. Usually a Christmas wreath will replace our Thanksgiving harvest wreath on the front door. And we almost always put up lights, at least around the windows, to remind us of the season. Whatever the case, put something outside. After all, Christmas isn’t just for us. It’s for our neighbors too.

Cheer up your office space
And in the same vein as the previous tip, share the season with your co-workers too. Of course, make sure you don’t offend your colleagues with your own brand of seasonal cheer. Usually a “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” will suffice. You can give cards, cookies, gifts or simply hang one red glass ball ornament over your desk. Participate in the office Secret Santa if they have one. Attend the holiday party. Whatever strikes your fancy!

Share it with those you love
The giving of gifts is a given. Do so liberally. But make sure you share the joy of the season with those who are closest to you. Christmas can be one of the most romantic times of the year, which is another great reason for the fireplace. Snuggling up to watch classic seasonal films is a great time to remind your spouse of your love and just isn’t the same by yourself. Caroling is another great holiday activity that’s better with two. And don’t forget the mistletoe! Use your creativity to secretly hang it and ensnare your lover. It’s your holiday. So make the most of it!

As that Dickens classic touts, the world is indeed a better place thanks to the Christmas season. So no matter what holidays you celebrate, just make sure you’re not a Scrooge.

Paul Carhart’s book, Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle, will be available from your favorite online bookseller, August 2009. Stay up to date:

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