Spreading Christmas Cheer, One Smile at a Time

Sometimes, Christmas seems to be all about grand gestures… the tremendous Tree at Rockefeller Center and the incredible decorations we see everywhere we turn. Yet, strange as it may seem, sometimes it’s the tiny little decorations which really make us smile and hit us over the head with Christmas Spirit.

For example, in my experience, it’s impossible to maintain a bad mood, even in a crowded store, while wearing a Santa hat. I do much of my December shopping wearing mine, and I see smiles wherever I go. (It’s a lucky bonus that it’s probably my most comfortable winter hat. I would wear it until March, but those smiles would turn to worried stares after the Christmas season passes.) For the really brave among you, felt reindeer antlers can be purchases.

Christmas sweaters and T shirts can be found in many stores, and they always brighten my day. For more versatility, layer a red turtleneck with a green cardigan instead; both pieces can be worn for the entire winter.

Christmas pins can be found all over, and many are very reasonably priced. When we were kids, my dad got each of us a new one every Christmas, and I now have quite a collection. It’s a lovely tradition to start with your own kids.

Another sure mood lifter is a set of small jingle bells tied to shoelaces. My kids each have a set on the shoes they don’t wear to church or school, and they love them, as does anyone who can track down the source of the sound. A bit of pipe cleaner will help attach them to sneakers containing Velcro instead of laces.

In your home and car, keep the DVD players going with Christmas music. Your library can supplement your collection. Keep it diverse, from violin and piano carols to Elvis singing Blue Christmas. But from mid December until at least Christmas, keep the music “Holly Jolly”… you’ll find that your family is too!

Take a bit of red ribbon and wind it into you phone cord. Take another bit and wrap it through the spokes of your children’s bikes, being very careful to tie it securely. And a series of red bows tied onto the bushes outside your door will look incredibly festive, especially if you choose to accent them with some lights.

Some more red or green ribbon can hold a pinecone rolled in peanut butter and bird food to a nearby tree. The birds you’ll attract, particularly on a snowy day, will remind you a bit about the spirit of the season.

In the final analysis, it’s frequently these small traditions that make a difference. I’ll always cherish the smiles we receive when shopping in our Santa hats, or when a stranger notices the small touches of Christmas I’ve added to my everyday routines. Those smiles mean Christmas to me.

 

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