With the passing of a survivor I knew her legacy lives on in the lives she touched. The holidays for me are a time to wrap up with family, experience the magic of the season, and create memories that I hope last a lifetime. When I heard her children say, “don’t be sorry for our loss, be happy that you got to experience our mom,” I thought, wow what a legacy to leave everyone you touched. That’s the kind of legacy I hope to be leaving my children. There is no better time to experience life than the present moment. So, while it is the holidays presently I am going to give you my guide for experiencing the holidays.
1. Buy Experiences – When you ask someone to recall the best gift they ever received for Christmas many people have a hard time recalling their favorite gift. If you ask the person to recall their most favorite experience they usually can recall their favorite experience with ease. Buy the experiences, think of gifting park passes, zoo memberships, art or cooking classes, day trips, or museum passes, honestly the possibilities are endless.
2. Do Things With Your Family – No one ever regretted spending too much time with their family. Load yourselves up in the car, crank the holiday music up, and go look at Christmas lights, catch a local Christmas parade, go ice skating, walk around a Christmas tree farm, or attend a performance of The Nutcracker are just a few of my favorite things to suggest.
3. Things to do at Home – Put on Christmas music and deck the halls, make hot chocolate with a ridiculous amount of marshmallows, make holiday cookies, watch Christmas movies, make a gingerbread house, or make salt dough ornaments.
4. Give the Gift of Your Time – Show up, be present, and interact with your family. Don’t pass up on opportunities to do things with them. Tomorrow is never granted to any of us, live life with no regrets.
5. Stop and Feel the Moments – Close your eyes, take it all in, stop and listen to the laughter, feel the warmth, and then open your eyes to really take it all in. Wake up early and catch a sunrise where the frost on the ground glistens on each blade of grass. Stop to watch a sunset with the ever changing deep colors that you get with cool crisp wintery night. This step is one of my favorites, capturing the still moments of life in motion.
6. Give With Your Whole Heart. Seek out your favorite charity or even find a new one and give. Give of your time and your money. No one has ever regretted giving from their heart. I have had many favorite charities over the years and those connections and my donations to those organizations blessed me more than the dollars I ever gave. Give and give with a grateful heart. Donating your time is just as valuable as your dollars, charities need both.
7. Attend a Candlelight Service. The reason we have Christmas is because of Jesus. Keep him at the center of your season and your life. Candlelight services are one of the most beautiful parts of the season. Attend one and bask in the beauty of the service and give thanks to the almighty.
Give love, receive love, and embrace life now and in the future. May everyone embrace the holiday season and enjoy every last moment. Live without regrets!
Raise your Cabernet glasses to living life to the fullest, experiencing the holidays, and to lives well lived. This one is for you dear friend that is now an angel in heaven!