Calvin Coolidge once said, "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
Are you single or newly married? Perhaps you're a new parent or in the empty-nest phase?
Depending on where you fit in, you may be feeling —
- Slightly worn out and need rest to rejuvenate your spirit.
- A tug toward loneliness and the need to feel needed.
- Or a little uncertainty at what the future should look like.
Regardless of which season of life you fall in and despite the incredible challenges in 2020 — there is still hope! Peace, goodwill, and love can and will abound in our hearts and pour out to those around us, if we are prepared to have a healthy Christmas.
From the recipes you cook to the fun that you have, here are 25 ways to feed the Christmas state of mind, and give yourself a healthier and more peace-filled Christmas celebration!
Foster Emotional Wellness
1. Take a break. When you’re feeling overwhelmed during the day, take a moment to walk out the door, breathe in deeply, and enjoy the fresh air. Often, we get so wrapped up in what we’re doing, that a simple break in the rhythm to breathe will help alleviate some of the tension you’re experiencing.
2. Focus on the right kinds of giving. We all know that Christmas is the time to give, but is it all about the items? Remember to give grace, give words of encouragement, give joy in the moments you have with the people you love. For all the “giving” going around, you can be the gift of generous words and actions in someone’s life.
3. Recenter on gratitude. When you’re contemplating the things you’re grateful for, you’re shifting your mind to review the wonderful things in your life and are thanking God for His gifts. Each day, write down something you’re thankful for and then open them all on Christmas morning. An added bonus would be to capture some of the list and memories in a Christmas journal each year!
4. Share your emotions. Family and relationships bring out the best and the worst in ourselves. Take some time in December to talk through some issues that you’ve “brushed under the rug.” If you’re still thinking of something that happened last year, then it mattered. Make sure you’re right with the people in your life.
5. Receive your blessings. Too often, we underestimate the power of reminding ourselves to love the season we’re in. Whatever you have to look forward to, to get up in the morning for, even if you think it’s mundane — remember to revel in the journey. It’s all part of your story.
Health & Happiness in Your Home
6. Find things to donate. As you’re decking the halls and getting Christmasy, find a few gently-used items to donate. Bonus: Get your kids involved and ask them to find a few toys to donate as well!
7. Diffuse essential oil blends. Instead of burning candles, diffusing essential oils (that are safe for your family) can be a great mental and physical booster! There are so many blends that encourage, help with anxiety, or encourage overall wellness. Peppermint and lemon are great pick-me up energy and mood boosters!
8. Set Reading Goals. Christmas vacations are a wonderful time to dig into a new book. And if you use the want, need, wear, read system, you can set a great start with a perfect reading choice for your kids and for your spouse! Reading reduces stress and promotes mental clarity, along with learning and entertainment!
9. Set a family fitness goal. If you live in a milder climate, running a 5K together around the holidays will help keep you mentally focused on your body and not overeating over the holiday. Instead, you’ll find your family pushing each other to view food as fuel and continue your journey toward health!
10. Play outside on Christmas Day. Christmas is a wonderful time to make memories, enjoying conversation around the table! But after things are put away, take some time to go for a walk or play a game in the snow! You can move the traditions outdoors for some physical fun!
Food and Dining
12. Find a healthy dessert to bake for your Christmas events or share with friends. We think these cookies look delish!
13. Find some nutritious meal recipes to make your holiday meals healthy and enjoyable! If you’re simply wanting to incorporate more vegetables or live Keto or Gluten-Free, there are some great options for you here.
14. Don’t forget breakfast. Sometimes we’ve planned so much for the main meal, we’re starving by lunch because we didn’t have a nutritious breakfast! Here are some fun or easy recipes you could prep or make the day before.
15. Eat Christmas breakfast under the Christmas tree. Whatever your Christmas morning traditions, you’re most likely spending a lot of time by the tree. Why not make a picnic with Christmas music and joy all around? Kids love the chance to eat in a unique and fun location!
Gifts and Giving
16. Inspire random acts! Give your children or grandchildren $5 to share a random act of kindness this December!
17. Consider writing to the active-duty military. You can visit this website to learn more about their letter-writing program, have your family write letters on Christmas day, and continue to give a small gift of your time all year long!
18. Purchase a recycling bin and put it under the Christmas tree. It’s never too late to start recycling! Explain to your family that you will start to help reduce waste in the environment and show any kids at home what will be recycled.
19. Create a gift basket. The men and women at your local response units work hard and long hours, and a thank you gift goes a long way! Whether it’s for the ICU unit, the nursing home facility, or the firehouse, you can deliver things they need and would enjoy on long shifts this Christmas. (Be sure to check what your local precautions are due to the pandemic.)
20. Adopt a family or a cause. Instead of buying Christmas presents, take some or all of your Christmas budget to adopt a family in need this holiday season.
Peace on Earth
21. An Advent Journey. Go through Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift. Each Christmas, you can walk through advent, understanding the greatest love story more and more.
22. Celebrate Jesus. On Christmas Eve, regardless if you can go to church or spend time with family and friends or not, spend some time lighting candles, listening to music, and reading over and meditating on the birth of Jesus. Remember to celebrate the baby Jesus, who was born to save mankind.
23. Spend a Christmas with just your immediate family. Some are having to do this because of the coronavirus - others choose to do this to bring a pause to Christmas. Often we do much to please others, but when you know your family needs time to just rest and be, make the call for a quieter Christmas.
24. Pray. Every year, make time on Christmas to pray for your neighbors, your community, your country, and the world. Whether the year has seemed good or troubled, we should set aside time to bring needs and thankful hearts before God.
25. Cut back on Traditions. It may seem odd in a Christmas celebrations post to tell you to cut back — but when you feel too overwhelmed to enjoy Christmas, evaluate what matters the most to you and your family. Perhaps have everyone write down their top 5 traditions and keep only the ones that everyone enjoys. Doing this may create more time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
We hope that this list of ideas truly encourages peace and joy in your life — and brings a smile to your face!
P.S. For more great ideas on living well, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!