Is it just me or is everyone in the holiday spirit a little early this year? At least five people I know have their trees up already and to be honest, I would too if I wasn’t heading to Chicago next week. There’s something so magical about this season and I’m all for celebrating it for a solid two months.
Despite my lack of greenery, I am in full-fledged Christmas mode. The decorations are out. Spotify is rotating Bieber and Bing Crosby as we speak. There will be a steady stream of organic Egg Nog in my fridge until the end of December (egg allergy be damned) and I’m already putting nutmeg in my coffee. I’m not sure if that’s a thing, but I ran out of cinnamon.
I don’t think I’m going home for Christmas this year (adulting, amiright?) so I really am trying to make the most of creating my own traditions. I’ve been thinking about what it means to be in the holiday spirit, and for me, it all comes down to love.
“For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
With that in mind, it’s on my heart to make the most of the coming weeks by serving and being thoughtful of others. I’ve been asking myself, what can I do to be kind, considerate, selfless, and loving towards my friends, family, and complete strangers? Here are a few of the ideas that popped into my head on how to spread the holiday cheer:
01 | PERFORM A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
Have you ever had someone randomly just make your day? On my birthday, my friend Crystal took me out to brunch at Joan’s on Third, and the guy ahead of us paid for our order. It literally made my entire day and was hands down the best eggs benny I ever ate (maybe ‘cuz I swapped out the ham for bacon, but that’s beside the point).
My Grandma always said, “For every good deed, you get two in return” and I love keeping that in mind when I go about my day. It only takes a small, thoughtful gesture to put a smile on someone’s face and/or restore their faith in humanity.
Maybe that means leaving a $10 tip on a coffee, gifting a blowout to a single mom, or dropping by a retirement home and spending time with someone who looks like they could use a visit. Whatever kindness looks like to you, we all could use a little more of it.
02 | SEND A HANDWRITTEN NOTE
Try as the world might to get me to convert to technology, I will forever be a fan of print. In particular the art of the handwritten note. I am always on the lookout for gorgeous stationery and I’m so excited I stumbled upon Lauren Nicole Co. They are a stationery company based in Nashville with a minimalist/chic vibe (I mean, how cute are their no-fuss planners?).
Not only are their everyday cards perfect for any occasion (my faves are the palm and striped collections), but their holiday cards are understated and timeless. Whether you’re into the classic look or my go-to, the minimal plant vibe, a thoughtful note combined with a beautiful card is sure to bring joy to those you love.
03 | CONNECT WITH A STRANGER
This one is way outside my comfort zone, but important nonetheless. I can’t help but feel like we’re all a bit disconnected lately (despite being more “connected” than ever). It’s so easy to keep your headphones on in the subway; to round the corner past a homeless person; or barely say two words to the store clerk.
Knowing how deeply wired we are for connection and empathy, taking the time to notice someone you might otherwise overlook can go a long way towards bettering someone’s day (and your own). Say hello to the person on the street. Sit next to someone on a bench and make it your mission to find out how they’re doing. Bring your neighbor cookies and introduce yourself.
According to Kio Stark’s Ted Talk, these fleeting moments with strangers give us new ways to fall in love with the world, and for me, that’s worth every bit of awkwardness.
I hope these ideas have inspired you and maybe sparked some of your own. At this point, 2017 will likely go down as the year that flew by. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t milk these last two months for all their worth. What better way to end the year than by choosing joy, happiness, patience, peace, and love this season? That’s the holiday spirit.
Thank you to Lauren Nicole Co. for partnering with love lulu to create this post.