Rekindle the Magic of the Holidays (Hint: It’s Not About the Gifts)

The first snowfall, sparkling lights, and a steaming cup of cocoa are just a few of the things that can transform those cool wintry days into magical moments.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our various to do lists during the holiday season. There are gifts to buy, dinners to plan, cookies to bake, and homes to decorate: the list can feel endless.   All the hustle and bustle can leave us feeling lost and a little overwhelmed.

This year, why not take a note from Charles Dickens and rekindle the true spirit of the holidays?  In 1843, his best-selling novel, the Christmas Carol reminded people that the real magic of Christmas was not about loading the tree with gifts but connecting with friends, families, and neighbours.

Five Festive Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

1) Winter Wonderland

Our Canadian winters have blessed us with a stunning snowy backdrop, but often we forget to enjoy it.  So this year, get outside!   Put on a pair of snow shoes, wander down a nature trail, embrace your inner child and make a snow man, or head out to your local hill with your favourite toboggan.   Wrap up the day by warming up by a bonfire with a cup of hot chocolate topped with roasted marshmallows.

 2) Embrace your Inner Santa

Gifts come in many shapes and sizes, but the most meaningful ones are the ones that were given with love.  This holiday season make it a habit to say thank you, smile more, compliment often, and simply take the time to listen.   If you want to take it up a notch, then look for small ways to surprise and delight those around you.

Shovel a driveway, buy a coffee for the person behind you, bake an extra batch of cookies, make homemade cards,  or put together a care package for a family or senior in need.   Remember that small gestures are often the most meaningful and memorable.

3) Share your Favourite Recipe

The holiday season is often centred around meals and treats that we look forward to throughout the year. These recipes are created with love, and often, if we dig a little deeper, there is a story or memory that has made this recipe so meaningful. This year, why not honour these traditions by making your favourite recipe with friends and family.  If you’re not able to get together, than why not create a family or friend cookbook?   When writing out your recipe, don’t forget to include its history.  Remember, it’s the stories that have made these delicious recipes so memorable.

4) Keep it Simple

One of the biggest gifts that you can give yourself is to allow yourself to enjoy the moment. Streamline your to do list to focus on the items that really matters.  Celebrate when your children decorate only the bottom half of the Christmas tree, join in on the family karaoke, and take the time to sit and be present.

5) Carve out a New Tradition

The holidays are full of traditions, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for more.  So, go out and create your own, plant a new tree to replace the one that you cut, try out a new recipe or cuisine, make a holiday game night, or rekindle a lost tradition from your heritage.

The true magic of the holiday season is that it provides us with moments to be together.  So, this year take the time to rekindle the holiday spirit by choosing to slow down, laugh more, and celebrate the moments with each other.

December 23, 2021 — Domenic Crupi

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