It always flies by so quickly. You’re out doing some early bird Christmas shopping and then you turn around and you’re packing up the decorations and sticking them in the attic. Personally, I believe the holidays are way too much fun to just celebrate for one month and call it quits. This year, why not make the joy of the season last all year long?
Here are five easy habits to make this year so that every day can be a holiday…
- Eat dinner together. One beautiful holiday memory that most people have is enjoying a big meal around the table with the family. Instead of just turkey and the trimmings once or twice a year, why not make this a habit every evening? And if every evening is not possible then you can at least shoot for 4-5 nights a week. Dinnertime is a sacred time in our home. It’s when everything stops, the family gathers at the table, and we connect. You don’t have to go all out and cook a five-star meal. Even if it’s leftover enchiladas or bowls of cold cereal, the food isn’t what’s important. The connecting is.
- Gift your children. Don’t you love that sparkle in their eyes when they unwrap those gifts under the tree? Keep that sparkle bright all year long. I don’t mean buying out the toy stores and inundating them with gifts. I’m talking about the gifts that come from the heart. Give them your time and attention. That’s better than anything under the tree. Set a day aside every month for “date day” for you and your child. This a beautiful gift that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
- Decorate your home. The trimmings are all so beautiful. And when I pack them up I almost feel like something is missing in my home. Go ahead and decorate the home for keeps. Keep some strands of lights up—maybe across a shelf in your kitchen or draped over a potted tree. Let the kids’ artwork fill the walls. Splurge for some fresh flowers in your dining room. Your life is certainly exciting. Shouldn’t your home be, too?
- Create family rituals. They are the punctuation marks in our life story. They are the wings that help us fly and the roots that keep us grounded. When we develop family rituals we’re not celebrating family, we’re also setting up traditions that our kids will most likely pass down to their children. Rituals are how we create a legacy. During the holidays, these rituals always take center stage—the trimming of the tree, frosting a gingerbread house, reading “The Night Before Christmas.” Rituals are too important just to set aside for one season. Enjoy them all year long by creating some of your own. How about an evening story time (they never get too old for this) or Saturday morning pancakes? The “what” is not nearly as important as the “why.”
- Bring God into your life. The holidays are a time when the world slips away for a few minutes and God gets some of the focus. People who normally sleep in are dressing up and going to church. Those angry people are filled with a little more love. Volunteers are working at the shelter and people dig a little deeper to give a little more. The love of God isn’t something that’s reserved for one season. It is timeless, ageless. Let this love of God flow in you and through you all year long. Have a smile for someone who needs it. Lend a hand to someone who needs some help. Look for ways to give of yourself and your resources. This can be a dark world at times, but God can be the light to make it a much brighter place. But here’s the catch—His love can only flow through us. Open yourself up to the love and the abundance of God now and forever!