Winter Needs Christmas

Winter needs Christmas

Christmas brightens winter

Many people are not religious, but they still love Christmas.

Christmas has become more secular, and more spiritual.

In those parts of the world where winter is cold, Christmas warms our bodies and souls from the inside out.

Christmas is a time of expansion – we eat too much, spend too much, drink too much, but our hearts expand in the process.  When we extend ourselves for others, we feel better, and associate Christmas with abundance and love.

A Happy Celebration

A Happy Celebration

The neighbours’ Christmas lights stay on all day and night, leaving an added glow, brightening the outside, when the days are short and the temperatures are cold.  When the letter carrier delivers the mail, it`s only a Christmas card, yay no bills!

My sister hosted a family Christmas gathering at her house, a wonderful opportunity for family bonding. No need to fly to a sunny location for Christmas; almost everyone wants to be home for Christmas, spending time with loved ones.

At Christmas, we give what we can.  It’s a time of goodwill and peace. We call a truce to arguments and wars, we see people we only see at Christmas, reminisce about Christmases past, and get updates on their lives today.

Christmas trees and decorations transform the inside of the house with colored lights twinkling like stars, with an angel on top.  We relax by the fire with hot cocoa, grateful for all the riches around us.

Christmas breeds joy in our hearts, of giving and receiving, rewarding service,  holidaying from work and stress, making wish lists, filling stockings with names on them, shopping in bustling toy stores, going to parties, making gingerbread houses, and smelling pine cones.

goodwill to all

goodwill to all

People I meet are wishing me a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, and to me it means have a happy celebration, good fortune, good food, and love.  I am not offended if they wish me a Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa, although I am not Jewish or African-Canadian, because I know they are wishing me the best celebration they can imagine.  Christmas is a family time that warms the heart and shortens winter.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/2094406126/”>Darwin Bell / photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameliatwu/6541663721/”>CameliaTWU

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/29233640@N07/8303780929/”>** RCB **

Review of Week 50 – Optimizing Yourself – Think About What I Can Give This Holiday Season

Helping others is fun

Helping Others is Fun and Easy

This week, my goal for optimizing yourself was to stop thinking about what I have to do for the holidays and think about helping someone else.  I didn’t do one big grand gesture, but I found small ways to incorporate helping people into my daily activities, so it would be easy and fun.

I decided to double all my tips to restaurant workers and hairdressers this week, to show them I appreciate their service.  I appreciate my hairdresser who cut my hair how I wanted it cut, and the Starbucks barista at the drive-thru window in freezing temperatures who was so polite as he handed me my tea.

I donated blankets to a Realtor who did a blanket drive in his office, and gave our empty bottles to some students who did a bottle drive for AIDS.

I learned that to be kind I don’t need to go out of my way; it can be a habit that I incorporate into my daily routine.

I also found that sharing my good feelings in the form of sincere compliments and gratitude, made people smile, and it was like a gift to me.

Trying to help others this week only cost me $30, and a few car trips.  It was worth it to help others and to feel connected to those around me, and I was grateful that I had something to share with them.

As I got into the spirit of giving, I became more aware of many kindnesses going on around me.

When I drove to Costco in Langley, there was a truck from the Vancouver Zoo picking  up produce.  The fellow told me that Costco donates their day old produce to the zoo to feed the animals.

I realized that there are “random acts of kindness” going on all around me, but sometimes I am too busy with myself to notice.  I am going to continue to look for ways that I can show kindness in my daily routine.

Optimizing Yourself – Week 50 – Dec 2 – 8, 2013 – Think About What I Can Give This Holiday Season

Think about giving

Giving is Like a Gift to Yourself

During the holiday season, I am happy, and thinking about what I have to do and prepare,  but many people aren’t so happy.  This week, I am going to think about what I can give those people who are in need of some help at this time.  For this week’s exercise,  instead of focusing on what I have to do, I am going to think about what I can give, and give unselfishly to help someone else.

I want to give what I can to help others emotionally or financially, with a gift of my time or resources.

Whether I donate food or money to the food bank, or warm clothes to the homeless, or simply encourage someone who is discouraged, I am going to think about giving this week.  This is like a gift to myself because giving to someone else feels good, and has it’s own reward.

I will let you know how it goes next week.

Christmas Outdoor Containers

An entrance door flanked by themed Christmas containers, announces the season to all, and welcomes holiday visitors to your home. Arranged with evergreen boughs and seasonal accents, festive planters blend the spirit of the garden with the spirit of the holiday season.