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“Oh Santa may have brought you some stars for your shoes. But Santa only brought me the blues Those brightly packaged tinsel covered Christmas blues. ” ~ written and performed by Sammy Cahn and David Jack HoltNOTE: There’s an awesome give-away at the bottom of this post. Be sure to check it out! For many, the Holidays are not happy times. They are filled with stress, anxiety, loneliness, despair, discouragement or a sharp case of the holiday blues. But they don’t have to be.

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There can be so much more joy in the Christmas season than you think. There are, in fact, specific steps you can take to have a happier, more meaningful Christmas this year, even if circumstances are not ideal. The following are some of those steps. On the surface of things, it seems Christmas has become little more than a day of getting stuff—an over-commercialized sales-event of high profits and crazed consumerism. Hardly the inspiration to delve deeper into the soul of the occasion. But Christmas can provide us with a variety of levels of depth and meaning no matter how Vegas-like Christmas has become. From family togetherness with gift exchanges and Christmas traditions to the original celebration of the birth of Jesus, as believers rededicate our lives to living a Christ-like life of faith and virtue to the popular celebration of the giving spirit of the holiday, there’s something deeply meaningful for almost everyone. By connecting to, your Christmas celebration can itself be deeper, more meaningful, and therefore more perspective-shifting and happiness-inspiring. Sadness is inward-looking. Service is its opposite. So go make someone else’s life better, and watch what happens to yours. Joy will start to replace sorrow. Meaning and purpose will begin to reinsert itself into the holiday experience. Self-pity will give way to a growing appreciation for the bounty of life. The service can be as big as joining a group dedicated to large service projects or as small as random acts of kindness in your neighborhood. Even wishing clerks and others waiting in long holiday lines a “Merry Christmas” can lift their moods, add smiles to tired faces—and chase away your own Christmas blues. Of all the gifts you give this year, perhaps the most meaningful and life-changing will be you offer someone who has offended you. And here’s the surprise: You will likely benefit the most from forgiving than the person you forgive it’s as much a gift to yourself as it is to the offender. : ))Get out the lights. Put up the tree. Blast the tunes. Decorate. Dance around the house. Invite others over to dance with you.

Sing carols. Pour a glass of eggnog (FYI: Silk has a great-tasting, eggless, dairy-free soy-based eggnog we love to drink in our home). Pop some popcorn. Watch a funny holiday movie ( is our favorite). Laugh out loud. Get into the season. Don’t wait around for the season to get into you! Jump into it head-first and it won’t take long before you find the season has snuck in the backdoor—or crashed through the front! If overwhelms the holidays because of loss or divorce or estrangement or distance, start now to create a new “family” of friends you can celebrate Christmas with. But whatever you do, try to get together with others. No matter what happened to your family, whether decades ago or just last weekend, you can start to invite people into your life today. Or try this: If you’re feeling alone this Christmas, go volunteer at a homeless shelter or food line. Check with local churches, the city or volunteer organizations for information about when and where to show up. It just may change how you “celebrate” Christmas forever. Sometimes when we feel down, we mope around the house feeling sorry for ourselves and wonder why others don’t come by and pull us out of our funk. Well, stop waiting! Be your own funk-breaker! Paint. Run. Climb. Sing. Swim. Serve. Learn.

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Play. Give. And watch what starts to happen to your holiday spirit. Bake some cookies. Buy some gift-cards. And start secretly making your neighbors’ day. Put a plate of cookies on a doorstep or put Christmas cards on the windshields of cars in your community. Or, of course, personally deliver the cookies or cards to your neighbors yourself. We often tend to over-exaggerate the negative and under-accentuate the good. We’re just funny that way. But taking the time to write down all that’s sweet in life can act to underscore the good and paint a picture that’s not quite as dour as we would otherwise believe. Is contagious. So do all you can to catch it. Then spread it. Liberally! I guarantee a happier Christmas season for the effort. Some of the symptoms of include oversleeping, staying in bed, undressed, un-showered, self-ostracized. But such. They feed each other. When we’re down, we don’t get up and dressed. But when we don’t get up and dressed, we often feel worse. So stop the cycle. Get up. Clean up. Shave. Put on your best duds and go somewhere and do something.

Anything. But do it without alcohol. The blues and alcohol (a depressant) is not a match made in heaven. As you’re out doing good to others, spreading Christmas cheer, spread some to yourself as well. Buy yourself a gift. Make it meaningful. Enjoy it. Be grateful you can afford it (no matter how inexpensive it may be). . Have fun with it. And then believe you were worth every penny you spent … and then some! Our biggest cause of disappointment is when our expectations are not met. If you go into the season thinking this time things are going to be different, that no one will argue or get drunk or make offensive comments, that this Christmas will be the best one ever, and it’s not, the day will be a letdown, even if it was still mostly pretty okay! If you expect little or nothing, anything good will be a wonderful surprise! Having no expectations, by the way, is not the same thing as expecting the worse. I’m not suggesting we go into the Christmas holidays expecting the most disastrous Christmas ever with uncles swearing and aunts falling down drunk, the tree catching fire and the house burning down. When we expect disaster, after all, we sometimes inadvertently help create it. But to be without expectations is to be open to whatever happens. It is to accept whatever is, as it is, for what it is. When we impose judgment and expectation on something outside our control – like how others will behave – we try to massage the event into a preconceived vision. The difference between the reality and the vision becomes frustration, anger and disappointment. Christmas is supposed to be an amazing time of the year, full of family, significance, good people and a recommitment to service and kindness and good cheer. It’s fun and sparkly and festive and celebratory. It’s also deep and profound and joyous and holy. There are ways of making this Christmas more so on all accounts. But remember, good ideas are only as good as their implementation.

Instead, take action today toward making your Christmas holiday season more enjoyable, happier and meaningful this year. Hey folks! I have some great news for the M7bH community—both the regulars and our first-time visitors alike! My friend Barrie Davenport, most well-known for her work at Live Bold and Bloom, has made some really great freebies available to you. Check out this free guide on overcoming obstacles to creating a passionate life of purpose:. Just download the free guide and discover how you can begin creating an extraordinary life. Barrie has also just released her new book,. If you re still looking for what will give your life a kick in the butt and move you into doing what your heart most wants to do, Barrie is an expert at helping people discover what ticks below the surface. To celebrate the publication and also the recent launch of her new site, she s made 5 copies of the PDF version of her book available for a free giveaway here. 🙂Just leave a comment about overcoming the holiday blues or about your life passion and I’ll choose five of my favorites for the free PDF copy of The 57-Week Life Passion Project. PS: There are so many ways to wish someone a Merry Christmas. One way is with the gift of knowledge. Check out the Great Courses below (an affiliate link, but a product I own many copies of and love)Sign up for my eBook, A Walk Through Happiness and get my monthly newsletter for the same low price of FREE! A good reminder of the things we can do to help us appreciate this time of year, as for me I ve grown to resent Christmas almost. It just seems to be a time of year that has a lot of undue stress attached to it. It definitely helps to remember and appreciate the little things that make us happy, not just over Christmas, but in general. Ah yes, the food! And for us here in the U. S. , so close on the heels of Thanksgiving. I m still trying to shake the last few added pounds from that over-abundance-of-food day (or should I say under-abundance-of-will-power day) when the Christmas food starts showing up cookies, candy, homemade fudge, and then all the amazingly good food on Christmas day itself! Yes, for me, the food does definitely add a measure of joy to the season as well. Thanks for adding that, Jamie. Something we ve done in our extended family, as economic pressures were mounting several years ago, we all agreed to only buy gifts for each others children. I know some families would still have tons of gifts to buy, but for us, that reduced the financial burden tremendously.

Some families put price limits on gifts too to alleviate any guilt or competition over gift-giving. What we did one year was to give home-made Christmas Tree ornaments as gifts to each other (except for the young children). That one was my favorite year to date.

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