Make Your Christmas More Meaningful

Aaron Burden

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is a few days away. I have been busy but not SO busy that I forget the reason for the season. There are many wonderful sights and sounds during the holidays and it is easy to get caught up in it all- the quest for perfect presents, home holiday decor, parties, cookie recipes, you name it.

Heidi Sandstrom

This holiday, I want to challenge you to think about Christmas differently. Think about it other than presents, alcoholic beverages, and a zillion cookies. To help you, I’m going to share my favorite things about the holiday. This is in the hopes that you will go deeper into your heart and look beyond the tangible into the intangible. And, I’m hoping you will share your favorite enriching experiences with me so I can open my gratitude circle even wider.

  1. Giving. This is the biggest charitable season of all. I try to support my church’s ministries and be as generous as I can afford to be. When my kids were little we rolled up dollar bills and put them in the Salvation Army buckets. We didn’t have much back then but we gave a little every chance we could. I’ll bet you my adult kids still put dollar bills in SA buckets.
  2. Friends. I’ve had numerous opportunities to spend extra time with friends. We do this anyway but at the holiday season it is even more meaningful. The food and presents are nice, but what I really enjoy is quality time and unconditional love.
  3. My family. I took my mom to see The Nutcracker a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit challenging but the Benedum staff (Thanks Steve!) was wonderful. We enjoyed the ballet and I think my mom absolutely loved the experience. I am looking forward to Christmas Eve and Day when I am with many of my family.
  4. Church. My church service and our choir is so beautiful all the time but I especially love the whole experience at Christmas. We had our holiday program recently and all the young ones sang. They sounded like little angels! Church is one of the best ways to experience unity with the reason for the season.
  5. Children. We took Penny to the Christmas Light Up in Clinton, PA.  and it was enchanting. If you want to have a great experience, take a small child to a Christmas event. Sit back and say very little; watch their faces glow. This is why we need to give young ones the gift of our time and energies. Just for things like this.
Mom and I at The Nutcracker

This is a season of love and gratitude. It is easy to get caught up in the stress of the holidays so remember, easy does it. Go for experiences, not necessarily material possessions, and remember to be generous with those less fortunate. This will transform the holidays for you.

What is your most meaningful Christmas or holiday tradition? I’d love to hear from you. Merry Christmas!



Join me on my graceful journey.

11 Replies to “Make Your Christmas More Meaningful”

  1. You and your mother, both, look delighted to be at The Nutcracker, and the ways you find to make Christmas meaningful are certainly lovely. I don’t have any special traditions, though I try to avoid the Malls as much as possible; perhaps that’s a kind of tradition. Next year I may try spending more time on the Nativity Scene, by adding something special to it each day both before and after Christmas Day.

    1. I think that’s a lovely idea. I bet it would be a beautiful Nativity, certainly something to write a story about. I avoid the malls too but with so many people shopping online these days, the shopping areas here are amazingly normal. No heavy store shopping that I can see. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family Joanne! This is a tough one for me…the first without my dad and also without my son here. I got to visit him yesterday and that was nice, but it won’t be the same this year. I am focusing on the fact that he is getting well and will be with us next year. If he had stayed on the same path he had been on, I couldn’t say that for certain. I hate drugs and what they do to families. The grand kids will have a nice Christmas in spite of everything. (I have so much to tell you, but not here, LOL)
    I am so happy you get to enjoy time with your mother. There will come a day when these memories will warm your heart.

    1. Hi Cathy, I pray that everything works out and your son will focus on his recovery. Thank God for you and Don and the love you show your grandchildren. I’d welcome a call anytime if you want to talk. PM me on FB if you don’t have my number. Love, Joanne

  3. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Joanne! I read your post earlier this week on a very busy day and I stopped in my tracks and regrouped! I never grew up with a zillion presents, crazy shopping days, or even an overly decorated house! So, we still don’t go overboard. We try to keep it simple and meaningful like spending time with our friends and family, church and making special memories with our grandchildren. Instead of presents, Jim took our grandson to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio for Christmas 2 years ago! It is a memory that the two of them will always cherish! . We try to do the kinds of things where we spend and give of our time. It is so rewarding! Thank you for sharing your most meaningful thoughts!!🎄

    1. Hi Cindy, thank you so much for the Christmas wishes! We did have a wonderful holiday and I hope you did too. I love that you took your grandson to the Football Hall of Fame for Christmas. I bet you all made memories you will cherish for a long time! Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!! xo Joanne

  4. I made an effort and choice not to let the stress of my former job (as I prefer to call it this new year) to rush me through my favorite time of year and lose the meaning of it all. For me, baking cookies was a must because it brings back wonderful childhood memories of my mother, who isn’t with us anymore here on earth and I desire to continue that tradition of the love she showed to us in baking those Christmas cookies, we loved so much. And I did – I was blessed with the time to do it. I also love the neighborhood Christmas lights and decorations because for me it’s a reminder that this time is special – a time to remember the most special of all gifts to us here in the earthly realm, so I am usually sad when they are gone. But, I know that Jesus remains in my heart all through the year. Giving is a special feeling of joy because it, too, reminds us of the most precious Gift. I hope you had a lovely Christmas, Joanne, full of the promise and your New Year is full of flourishing in every area of your life.

    Marianne xox

    1. Hi Marianne,
      How wonderful that you did not rush and took the time to enjoy baking and reminiscing. I think of you often and hope that your job situation has changed for the better. I’m so glad you had this time to yourself. I count my blessings with my mom and did many things with her in 2017 that will make great memories someday. Thank you for the reminder to treasure that time. Blessings to you in the New Year! xo Joanne

Share your thoughts....