“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” — Hamilton Wright Mabie
The holidays can be a stressful time for any of us. We want to make it as special as possible for our loved ones and sometimes we run ourselves ragged doing so. It doesn’t help that media tends to overwhelm us with images of a “perfect” holiday – happy families, lush houses dripping with a richness of decorations, expensive gifts.
But if you don’t have the budget to be that extravagant, or just don’t want to, how can you make the holiday special for your family? I have just a few tips to help you do that.
- Give. Be the magic in a family’s life this holiday season. There are so many out there that cannot afford a warm meal for the holiday. Take the time to donate to others. You can donate your time by working at a soup kitchen or you can donate something physical – clothing, gifts, gently used toys. There are so many organizations in your community that are eager to make the holiday special for someone else. By giving freely of yourself, you’ll instill something valuable in your family – compassion.
- Traditions. It is never too late to start a tradition in your family. It can be something as simple as going into town to watch your local tree lighting ceremony or having a day where you all sit around in pajamas, watch movies, and bake cookies. The memories that you create with those traditions will last far longer than than any physical gift you can give them. One tradition in my family is that we all receive a new pair of pajamas (or sweatpants) on Christmas Eve to wear.
- Decorate. Holiday decorations don’t have to cost most to still invoke that sense of joy and wonder. Make paper chains out of scrapbooking paper to hang on your Christmas tree or on your mantle. Salt dough ornaments (a basic mixture of flour, water, and salt) can be a fun activity and can also be made in a variety of shapes. Think outside the box.
- Homemade. Some of the best gifts to give and receive are the ones that are made by your own hands. They can range from creating salt dough ornaments to give to family members (especially grandparents made by their grandchildren) to body scrubs that can be created using ingredients that may already be in your house (such as sugar and coconut oil).
These are just a few ways to make a holiday seem special even if you may be on a small budget. The holiday season is a time for family, for love and joy.