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The Christmas season comes just once a year. Here are some suggestions to make this one the best ever!
1. Plan a small cocktail party for your neighbors. It does not matter if they celebrate the Christmas season or not, send an invitation or call all of your neighbors who you wave to during the week. Ask each person to bring a small appetizer or dessert, and you won't have to worry about that part of the party. Keep the atmosphere festively informal - have your house decorated and wear something in tune with the holiday season.
2. Purchase gifts for the poor in your community. Make it a point this year to give to those less fortunate than you. Most cities have holiday giving programs, most asking you to purchase and wrap a gift for a child or a specified age. Depending on your own child's age, it may be a terrific idea to get him or her involved by having him spend some of his own money, and going to the store to shop with you.
3. Have a tree decorating party for just the immediate family. Make a string of popcorn to wrap around the tree. Buy styrofoam balls and sequins and make special ornaments to hang. Make the tree decorating party last all afternoon, with stories and hot chocolate.
4. Tell yourself that you must finish your holiday shopping and card writing by December 10th. You'll then have two whole weeks to relax and read the cards that you receive, and call old friends.
5. Scan the television listings or rent a couple of the old Christmas movies that you remember watching as a child. Of course you remember the original "Miracle on 34th Street" and "White Christmas" - share these with your family. Pull up a couch yourself if you can't get an audience.
6. Each night, read a little of Dickens' "Christmas Carol". Your family will delight in this classic, and look forward to your rendition.
7. Make it a point to drive around your area and look at the beautiful lights and decorations. Your neighbors took quite a bit of time making their homes look special during the season, so take an evening and enjoy it with your family!
8. Sing Christmas carols together. Figure out a night to do this and jot it on the calender. No need to go outside if you don't want to - your own living room is perfect! Add piano, drum or any other kind of accompaniment that you or family members may have handy.
9. Spend some time talking about Christmases past. Each family member can take turns recounting a special Christmas from the past.
10. Keep your camera full of film and write in your journal regularly during this season! You'll be glad that you did!