1. Look for ways to help others who may not have a very Merry Christmas.
Recently, our church had an Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive. My daughter and I filled a shoebox with fun items from the Dollar Tree for a girl who might not otherwise get any presents. A local bagel shop also had ornaments on their tree with children's names and wishes written on them. We picked a little 2 year old boy. He wanted Legos and some clothes. It was super easy to find these items. We'll soon wrap them up and drop them off at the bagel shop. It helps knowing that I am teaching my daughter to make someone else's Christmas special.
2. When the worries of the world keep you up at night, count your blessings instead of sheep.
I have a lot on my mind these days. On those nights when I can't seem to fall back asleep, it really helps to think of all of the things I am thankful for. Sometimes all I can think of are the essentials like my family's health, a roof over our heads, food, clothes and people who love me. When you get right down to it, there are so many people who don't even have these basic needs met. I am blessed indeed.
3. Look for ways to make someone's day. It could be as simple as giving a compliment to a stranger like my daughter enjoys doing. It could also mean putting spare change in the Salvation Army bucket. Sometimes it's as easy as calling a friend who might need to be cheered up. It doesn't have to cost much.
4. Have an attitude of gratitude. Look for blessings as you go about your day. Maybe today was the day your child made it to school on time. Maybe you realized all of the people who help you make it through the day. At last count, my daughter has 15 professionals who are helping her. That means I am not alone. I have help.
I also have an alarm set on my phone. It goes off at the same time every day. It reminds me to find joy in my day every day. There are many days when I need this reminder. It's often a way for me to reset my day. One time I was so stressed out. I happened to call a lady looking for answers. In the middle of our conversation, my joy alarm went off. I told this lady the reason for the alarm and proceeded to tell her that for that day she was my joy.
5. Make Christmas simpler if you can. For me that means that instead of buying everyone on my list gifts, I try to make a few gifts. Those gifts are made with love. Homemade gifts also stretch my dollars further. I've also found that I'm no longer wishing for that special gift. I'm too busy enjoying giving to others.
Christmas can make many people depressed. I've discovered that when I take my eyes off of my challenges, I enjoy the season a whole lot more. I hope that you'll find one or two of my ideas helpful. Have a blessed Christmas.
My family a few years back. They bring a lot of Christmas joy to me.