Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Making every day merry in little ways


As regular readers might have guessed, I just love December and the Christmas season.  This beautiful and oh-so-meaningful season passes so quickly.  One thing I like to do, to make the season last longer,  is to give every day during December a little bit of a festive feel.  This is especially helpful if, like me, you happen to be an empty-nester, or if you are single -- or even if you are a mom in a busy household.  If you don't make things festive for yourself, no one else is likely to.  So here are some of the things I do.

* Use festively flavored coffee as your everyday coffee during this month.  What we do is to buy Christmas coffee at the after-Christmas sales.  Places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx often have it for 75% off a day or two after Christmas.  (They often have regular coffee in Christmas packaging on clearance, too.  We snap it up.  Coffee is coffee!)

* Or use regular coffee and a festive flavored creamer.  Sometimes I use fat-free half & half along with just a splash of the flavored creamer.  Still gives the jolly flavor with less calories.

* If you enjoy tea, stock up on the holiday teas as you have opportunity and sip a mug daily.  Sometimes these are reduced after Christmas and sometimes not.  Some of my favorites are Christmas Tea by Twining's, Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings, and White Christmas by Stash.


a tea wallet I made as a gift
* If you frequently use lotion or cream on your hands, feet, etc., switch to a holiday scented one for the season.  My daughter found me some Candy Cane Lane lotion (with green tea actually in it) by Jason.  I have also used a sugar cookie scented cream and a cranberry one.  I use it on my feet, and when I take off my boots there is this lovely cheering scent.

* Some people use their Christmas dishes all through the month of December, and I think this is a great idea.  I've actually moved my Christmas dishes to a more easily accessible cabinet to facilitate this.  Setting the table with Christmasy colored placemats is a nice idea too, and do add a simple Christmasy centerpiece. (Mine at the moment is a red, white, and green striped bowl filled with cookie cutters.  And little tea lights in shiny tart molds -- in the Yankee Candle Gingerbread Maple scent.  You can't imagine how nice they smell!)

  At the very least, using Christmas mugs or teacups for your coffee or tea is fun.  These also may be acquired for very little money after Christmas.  The vintagey-looking ones below were 75¢ after Christmas at Walmart one year.

* Listen to Christmas music as you go about your daily work.

*  Do an Advent Bible study for your devotions.  I'm a bit late suggesting this, but it does help keep one focused on the true meaning of Christmas.  If you jumped into one now, it probably wouldn't be too late; you could double up on a day or two here and there.  Another thought is to do a Christmas Scripture writing challenge.  Or, refresh your memory on some verses from Luke 2 or Scripture passages where the Savior's birth is predicted or described.  I like to review Luke 2:1-20 every Christmas season.

* Take time to do some fun things like attend a Christmas concert, watch a Christmas DVD, bake some goodies or craft some simple ornaments.  Set up an Advent calendar or a Christmas countdown.   Yes, even if it's just for you!  A friend sent me an online Advent calendar with activities for every day.  So much fun!

* Decorate with fresh greens or festively scented candles for an energizing scent.

*  In fact, put something small and Christmasy in every room of your house, like this little soft blue tree on my bathroom counter one year.  (Both bathroom and counter look completely different now!)  Little touches like this will make you smile every time you see them.

There are a few ideas!  I'm sure you will think of more.  We have so much to celebrate -- the coming of our Savior to earth, to be born as a Baby in a humble stable, to grow up and die, then rise again, so we would have a way of salvation.  No, Jesus was almost certainly not born on December 25, but this is one time of year when the focus is on Him.  Let's go about each day with a merry heart, ready to share His love with others at this festive time!


(This is adapted from a post on my Christmas blog in 2014.)

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Terrific ideas and thank you for the inspiring thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome! I hope the ideas and thoughts are a blessing to you as you put them to use or share them with others in this lovely season.

      Delete
  2. I like all your suggestions Mrs T. So many feel there is no need to make the effort just for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Arlene. They should probably rethink it. This is a time for believers to celebrate, regardless of where their circumstances find them.

      My grandmother (a widow) lived alone for many years, as did my great-aunt (also a widow, but childless) and they both decorated and enjoyed the season to the hilt. Great role models for me!

      Delete
  3. Precious post here! Having just come from the blog of a dear friend who is alone, as I am, this Christmas and is feeling the blues intensely, I see the wisdom in it. Wish that she might be comforted by doing such things for herself, but I am afraid that she is deeply entrenched in her sorrow. It really is a choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vee! I have been so thankful, SO thankful, for how the Lord is helping you through this season without your beloved. You are such a wonderful testimony. I know it's only by His grace, but His grace is more than sufficient!

      Thinking of your blog friend and her choice to be entrenched in her sorrow -- we must never forget (and I know you haven't forgotten!) that our joy is not dependent on our circumstances. I hope that your friend will come to the place where she fixes her eyes on the Lord and not her circumstances, and can choose joy for herself. I've been there ... not widowed, but deep into distressing circumstances. A line of a hymn often came to me: "joy in the place of sorrow, peace in the midst of pain, Jesus will give, Jesus will give; He will uphold and sustain."

      Delete
  4. Thanks, Regine. I am glad you enjoyed the post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Mrs. T.! I love all your ideas for having a blessed Christmas. Thank you for sharing.
    As far as the question about the strawberries in my Christmas jam, I have always used the sweetened ones, in juice. You're a no reply comment blogger, and I normally email to blogging friends. Hope you can try the jam! I enjoyed reading your posts! Merry Christmas blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kitty! I definitely hope to try the jam -- if not for this Christmas, then for next. Thank you for sharing so generously.

      Merry Christmas blessings to you as well!

      Delete
  6. Delightful things to do to keep the festive spirit in your home! May the joy of the Lord be with you during this season of remembering His birth :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marilyn! I am happy that you enjoyed the post!

      And yes, a joyous season indeed. This one is different for me in some ways but the joy of the Lord is our strength even in busy and different seasons.

      Delete

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my kitchen table! I love company here in my kitchen, so be sure to leave a comment so I'll know you've visited! I'll answer your questions and comments here on the blog unless you request otherwise.