Time to get the sweaters out! Here we are with fall turning into winter and thoughts turning to holiday festivities. There’s the organizing: decorating, who’s making what for the traditional holiday meals, where the gatherings are going to be, who is coming and so much more! It’s the ruckus that we love (and sometimes moan about) that makes the season cheery – and even more importantly, it’s the intention that we do it all with that makes the season truly bright.

Acting intentionally can make all the difference between a feeling of, “Oh, wasn’t that so stressful,” to “What a joyous holiday!” Acting with intention always makes things more purposeful and powerful.

Start with the intention to honor yourself and your boundaries with self-care. Sometimes the holidays can stressful and bring out our shadow sides when triggered by past traumas. Rather than react from familiar pain, take a breath and step back and consider making an intentional response to break a long-standing suffering. Making choices to heal yourself and help bring more peace on earth, starting with you.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas, here are seven ways to help make your season truly merry and bright – intentionally!

  1. Cover a door or a section of a wall with a blank piece of paper. Every day write on it something you are thankful for. Have family and friends add to it as well!
  2. Learn how to say Thank You in 3 other languages. Go for the languages that are present in your community or that are part of your family and friends’ heritage.
  3. Intentionally take just 30 seconds each day to thank someone silently with your full heart as you remember the kindness they have done. It helps if you make a practice of doing it at the same time every day. When you wake, when you brush your teeth, when you get into bed; you get the idea!
  4. Do one random act of kindness every day. It could be as simple as complementing someone, taking a neighbor some cookies or paying for someone’s coffee. Be creative! You’ll be surprised at how much this brightens up someone’s day, and yours as well.
  5. Start a Holiday Circle story. Come up with the first two or three sentences and pass them along to a family member or friend asking them to add and pass it along. This can be done verbally as a group or in written format to be shared with all.
  6. Pick another country’s holiday tradition and add as part of it to your own tradition. You can find a Dozen of them right here.
  7. Get together the family or a group of friends and tour the neighborhood decorations or go to the part of town that is most decorated and take a stroll around. Don’t forget to bring the hot chocolate!

Whatever you do this holiday season it is my intention for you to have a joyful and loving time.

Many blessings,