My newest piece, “A Year Long Holiday Spirit,” is up over at Darling Magazine. I love Christmastime, and this article explores how we can make intentional choices that enable us to live every day of the year with joy, generosity, and intentionality. It was a lovely piece to get to write, and I hope that you’ll take the time to read it at Darling Magazine!
The holiday season is here; lights flicker on trees and in windows, friends and family feast together, and the sense of excitement — even of joy — rests on these days.
What is it that makes these weeks so special, so transcendent? The parties? The food? The gifts? Perhaps. But maybe the holiday cheer that hangs like a twinkling veil over this time of year has less to do with these things and more to do with the intentional choices that this time of year births in us. Maybe the incandescence of the holiday season happens because we are choosing to live in a manner that is outwardly-focused … and that makes all the difference.
Below are three themes that the holidays tend to portray. These are aspects of the season that we can carry into every month of the year if our hearts are open and willing.
The holidays are all about giving. Gifts are exchanged and as nice as it is to receive gifts, we all know the truth that little compares to the joy of giving meaningful gifts to those we love. Their excitement, their surprise, their thankfulness — that is a gift in and of itself. Many of us also give to charities and organizations that we care about during this time of year. In light of the needs of the world and the spirit of the season, we are moved to share what we have, whether it is little or much, with those who have less than we do. Often, what the holidays help open our eyes to is how much we really do have, while at the same time awakening our hearts to the joy of generosity.
Generosity is less of a financial choice than a mental choice. If we have a mindset of generosity, we can be generous with others in every circumstance, year-round. Donating to a food pantry, volunteering our time at a soup kitchen, babysitting a friend’s child, tutoring students — the opportunities are endless. The good thing is that we can carry this generosity throughout the year. By giving to our favorite charity on a recurring basis or by choosing birthday or wedding gifts for our friends that also give back, we can make a without the holidays prompting us.
Read about Intentionality and Joy over at Darling Magazine right here!