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Maier: Don't miss the joy of the holiday

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’Tis the season to be jolly. Or so the song goes. It seems easy for some at this time of year, and not so easy for others. If you’re needing a pick-me-up, try some of these:

  • Reach out. Contact someone you haven’t been in touch with for awhile. Invite a neighbor over after the kids are in bed. Phone a friend. Enjoy lunch together. Visit over a cup of coffee. Walk together.
  • Count your blessings. Write them down and thank God for each one.
  • Do something you enjoy. Watch an old favorite movie or sappy love story. Cross stitch, work a jigsaw puzzle, read, write poetry, play Sudoku, invest in a forgotten hobby. Have fun!
  • Listen to music. Turn it up loud. Sing along with the radio or a favorite CD. 
  • Connect with family. Take time to play together -- board games, puzzles, cards. Pop popcorn and watch a family movie. Prepare and share a meal together. Dance in the kitchen. Take a walk together or build a snowman and make snow angels. Pray together. Call long-distance family members.
  • Accomplish something. Get one thing done on your to-do list or complete something that’s been on your mind. Clear the clutter.
  • Appreciate nature. Hang a bird feeder and watch the birds. Snowy day? Take pictures of the snowscape. Sunny day? Take a walk.
  • Pamper yourself. Take a bath and use the good bubbles you’ve been saving. Put marbles in a dishpan, add hot water and lotion, and treat your feet. Light some candles and drink warm tea. Breathe. Indulge in a piece of chocolate. Splurge on fresh flowers.
  • Serve. Cook a meal for someone. Visit the elderly or someone who may be lonely. Help a friend with a task. Shovel snow for a neighbor. Send handwritten notes of encouragement. Pray for others.
  • Nurture your body. Walk outside or at the mall for exercise. Go to bed earlier. Take a vitamin. Have a good cry. Smile.
  • Reminisce. Look through yearbooks, photo albums and scrapbooks. Watch old home movies or slides.
  • Laugh. Watch a comedy. Read the funnies. Play charades. Share a silly joke or humorous story. Remember funny times.
  • Remember the reason for this season. Slow down. Focus on God's goodness and faithfulness. He knows you like no one else does, and He loves you no matter what.

My wish for you is that your heart will be light this Christmas season.

Hearts at Home is a nonprofit organization designed to encourage, educate and equip moms at all stages. Hearts at Home, 1509 N. Clinton Blvd., Bloomington, IL 61701-1813; (309) 828-MOMS;


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