Between holiday shopping sales and keeping the kids busy on winter break, it’s easy to forget about the true meaning of the holidays.
This year, take a step back and think about what will make this holiday season extra special for you and your family. Whatever holiday you may be celebrating—Christmas, Hanukkah or your version of a winter holiday—there are ways to make it more meaningful.
Here are six ways to create a more meaningful holiday season:
1. Decorate Your Home
There’s no place like home for the holidays, so making your home feel cozy and festive can help bring a lot of cheer and joy into the holiday season. Put up some lights, make homemade ornaments for your Christmas tree or lay out a craft table for your kids to make their unique decorations for the home.
Just make sure you aren’t annoying your neighbors with an over-the-top Christmas light display.
2. Make Your Own Holiday Gifts
Before you shudder at the idea of making your own holiday gifts, consider how much more meaningful a homemade jar of jam is than *another* box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
The Internet is an excellent source of plenty do-it-yourself project ideas and tutorials for homemade holiday gifts. Search online for some ideas that you can personalize for each person. He or she will feel that you genuinely care and knowing that gives the holidays much more meaning for you.
3. Donate Or Volunteer
Giving back to your community can make the holidays feel whole.
Donate money to a charity close to your heart (a legitimate charity, that is), take unwanted items down to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army or give clothing and food and to a homeless shelter.
The holidays also typically bring many opportunities for one to volunteer, so take advantage of them. Your help somewhere is greatly needed, and the feeling of giving back will make this year an extra special one.
4. Write A Letter To Someone You Love
Were you thinking of emailing your holiday cards this year? Instead, break out the good old-fashioned pen and paper and write a letter.
Writing a handwritten letter to someone you love is a special way to show someone you care. It tells this person, “You mean more to me than a name on a holiday card list.”
You’ll feel joy from taking the time to write a thoughtful letter, and your recipient will feel joy from reading it—and that’s what the holidays are all about.
5. Cook Old Family Recipes
Cooking up some old family recipes that were cooked for you as a child during the holidays is a great way to honor family traditions.
The feeling of nostalgia you get from cooking and eating a meal shared with your family for years can make the holidays extra special. You can even use the holiday time to pass these recipes along to your children.
6. Reach Out To Someone You Lost Contact With
The holidays are about being with family and friends and feeling grateful. If there’s someone you’ve lost touch with, the holidays can make a perfect opportunity to reach out to this person and say hello.
Reconnecting with someone special this year might just make it the most meaningful holiday season ever.