What makes for happiest holidays?
Great food! Food is for bonding as well as nutrition and enjoyment. Having special foods that we share only once a year increases anticipation and delight. Involve everyone in the making of food or working in the kitchen. Cooking and hanging out in the kitchen increases communication and merriment.
Fun! Play is good for the soul. Having fun with others helps build bridges between us. Using our imaginations builds brain cells and empowers new and creative ways of thinking. And laughter is good for the hormones in our bodies and helps us to be not just happier, but healthier! Check out the fun activities and games at https://www.whychristmas.com/fun
Decorations. Cleaning the home and putting up decorations creates a physical environment that shouts “this is a special time”. Lights, colorful objects, stars, greenery, garlands, cards, or other items can enlighten people’s attitudes. Decorating also engages family members to greater commitment to making a holiday special.
Music. Whether we’re singing, dancing, or just listening, music sets a tone for a lighter, happier, or more peaceful holiday. Letting everyone submit music choices helps to involve and engage people of every age.
Festivities. Holidays work best when there are things for everyone to do. Anticipating the arrival of Santa is often “the big event” that families look forward to. Playing games, working puzzles, watching favorite holiday movies, or doing readings like “The Night Before Christmas” can create a skeleton around which the day can be built.
Presents. Beautifully wrapped packages inspire curiosity. Everyone likes to get a present which reflects that they are cared about. Presents are quite symbolic of what we think about each other, so what we give and how we give is important. Often HOW is more important than WHAT.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, we want the people we are with to be well-behaved. It helps when people are happy, generous, and thoughtful. Take the time to ask respectful questions about one another and listen to each other. This helps to build relationships.
Some families have a box outside the door that they request people to leave their anger, resentments, and upset. If someone misbehaves, escort them to the box as a reminder that we don’t need to bring negative things into the holiday.
Remember, usually happy holidays don’t just happen. They must be created. Everyone has a hand in their creation. Children may not remember a present, but they will always remember how they felt by being in your presence during holiday occasions. Choose well.
If you want to learn more about how to make happier holidays that are rich with the Santa Spirit, check out how here: https://santalove.org/?page_id=547