Three Ways to Holiday Happiness featuring The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Three Ways to Holiday Happiness featuring The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Christmas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. At least, we hope it will be. Once you factor in the preparation, expenses, responsibilities and travel arrangements, you can end up with just as much holiday stress as holiday cheer. The key to a joyful holiday depends on 3 things: connecting with your family, making a difference in your community and keeping your stress levels low.

Focus On Family:

In the popular book and cartoon How The Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss, the Grinch spends years hating holiday merchandising before he finally figures out what we already know: that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Gifts are used to represent our affection for each other, but your main focus during the holidays should be connecting with loved ones. So don’t forget to:

  • Schedule your vacation time to match up with your spouse’s and children’s.
  • As a family, participate in holiday activities: skating, sledding, carolling, decorating your house and tree, making crafts, cooking or baking.
  • Continue holiday traditions, like watching Christmas movies and baking for Santa.
  • Create unique traditions together, like playing secret Santa with homemade gifts or visiting a reindeer farm.
  • Share peaceful downtime as a family.
  • Ask your child to teach you something: like how to play a video game, how to use an new app or anything they’ve learned from school, and in turn, teach them something new.

Make A Difference:

After robbing Whoville of all their Christmas presents, in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the Grinch has a change of heart and returns the presents in a blaze of glory, his heart having grown three sizes that day. While volunteering to help others during the holidays may not actually make your heart triple in size, it can certainly feel like it! Making a difference, big or small, by helping others during the holiday season is the best way to bond with your family, and revel in the true spirit of Christmas. Volunteering in your community doesn’t have to be a complex commitment. Here are some simple and fun ways you and your family can “grow” your hearts:

  • Call retirement homes, homeless shelters or hospitals and ask about bringing in homemade food and decorations.
  • Contact a local elementary school and arrange for a chance to respond to children’s letters to Santa, or dress up and make an appearance as Santa and his elves.
  • Send seasonal care packages to military men and women who are overseas for the holidays.
  • Find a part of town that’s lit up with beautiful Christmas lights. Tour the area, snap pictures and pick up garbage as you go.

Minimize Your Stress:

“There’s one thing I hate: all the noise, noise, noise, noise!” Abundant noise was just one of the grievances the Grinch had about Christmas, but it’s shared by many. Holiday stress might be inevitable, but you can take special precautions to ensure your holidays go off as smoothly as possible:

  • Plan a schedule with your family. Even if you stray from it, having a schedule you all agreed on will keep everyone on the same page and minimize conflict.
  • Don’t over commit. If you can’t see all the relatives on the list or attend all the events: don’t, and spare yourself the stress.
  • Make time for relaxing activities like: deep breathing, bubble bathes or yoga.
  • Get enough sleep!
  • Avoid clutter and keep organized. Use folders and dividers to keep track of receipts, to-do and shopping lists and recipes.
  • Make preparation a family effort. Enlist your kids to help with meal preparation and gift wrapping for extended family and friends.
  • Maintain some space when visiting family or friends. Stay at a hotel or set time limits before arrival.
  • Have back up plans in case something goes wrong or plans falls through.

Remember that focusing on yourself and your family, the spirit of giving, and maintaining a low stress environment are the ingredients for holiday happiness. But if things get a little hectic, don’t worry, the Grinch made it through, and so will you!