Christmas, it’s a time of the year often consumed by commercial hype, extravagant events, and exponential amounts of money spent on gifts and food. As we become increasingly swept up in the materialistic aspects of this annual celebration, it’s easy to lose sight of the real reason for the season – giving thanks, spiritual reflection, and spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. While the true spirit of Christmas varies from person to person and can be interpreted differently, here are seven ways to move beyond the gifts and reconnect with a more meaningful Christmas.
- Focus on quality time with loved ones
Christmas is often seen as an annual opportunity to reunite and gather with family and loved ones that you may not see frequently throughout the year. Aside from gathering on Christmas Day, keep your calendar clear in the lead-up to Christmas and start scheduling long overdue catch-ups with friends or extended family for the month or two before the big day. Outings don’t need to be costly either; drive around and explore Christmas lights in different neighbourhoods, watch a Christmas movie at home, or bake Christmas treats together to gift to people. You’ll create memories, strengthen bonds, and it could also help melt away some pre-Christmas anxiety.
- Prioritise generosity and giving
While Christmas is known as a time for giving, it shouldn’t mean getting the credit card out or taking out a small loan. Instead, focus on giving kindness, love, and compassion through volunteering at local shelters, donating food or clothing, or simply helping neighbours, friends or family that need assistance. Several organisations like Simply Giving, The Salvation Army in Australia, and Shoebox Christmas in New Zealand facilitate toy drives for kids who might not receive a gift. Last Christmas, The Salvation Army in Australia provided over 64,000 hampers and 26,000 gifts to those in need.
- Give homemade
Homemade gifts are fun to create and show that you’ve poured time, love, and effort into gift-giving – and they’re often more environmentally friendly! Best of all, you don’t need to be a master seamstress or an avid crafter to pull it off. A mason jar layered with something delicious like this cranberry chocolate chip cookie mix is an impressive and easy option, as are infused olive oils. For something extra meaningful, get creative with a photo project – you can transform your happy snaps into everything from socks to calendars, playing cards and pillowcases. Or you can even put your mug on a mug!
- Embrace traditions
Traditions can make the holiday season memorable, and Christmas is all about tradition. Whether you’re decorating the tree with Christmas tunes blasting, baking cookies, hosting a gingerbread house-building competition, watching classic movies like Home Alone, or carolling in the neighbourhood, creating, or embracing traditions forges connection and develops a sense of continuity across generations. If your family are light on tradition, find some inspiration from these unusual Christmas traditions from around the world.
- Support local
This festive season, send your spending the way of small businesses in your local community. Often, small businesses rely on holiday sales to get them through the typically quiet January period, so your support can make a big difference. You’ll benefit from finding unique, interesting items rather than mass-produced products, and your environmental impact may be smaller too (if you’re cutting out online shopping and international shipping). Shopping locally helps your local economy and community thrive, benefiting you too.
- Celebrate your faith or learn about others
Christmas is closely aligned with the Christian faith, as it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For those of faith, the true spirit of Christmas involves attending religious services, reflecting on the meaning of Christ’s birth, and deepening their spiritual connection. However, with over 4,000 religions worldwide, many people of other faiths celebrate Christmas in different ways, and some do not at all.
Whether the religious aspect of Christmas is for you or not, exploring traditions and cultures is a great way to understand and appreciate the diversity of the festive season, with many of them having the common theme of celebrating life and love, and spreading joy.
- Reflect and practice gratitude
There’s no better time to reflect on the blessings in your life and express gratitude for everything you have. It’s a time to appreciate the simple joys and privileges that are sometimes taken for granted. By practising mindfulness and expressing gratitude in what can be a hectic time of the year, you are creating a positive mindset and prioritising your mental well-being, which means you have the capacity to treat yourself and others with kindness and love.
Peel back the layers of wrapping paper and focus on joy, celebration and giving
Ultimately, the true spirit of Christmas is a personal and subjective experience. For some, it may be deeply rooted in religious faith, while for others, it’s about the universal values of love, kindness, and togetherness. We can all agree that it’s a time when people come together to celebrate, reflect, share in the joy of the holiday season, and spread happiness in their own meaningful ways. If all that reflection has left you seeking a property change, either now or in the new year, contact your local First National Real Estate office. We will provide you with professional guidance and expertise, and ultimately, help you find your next holly jolly home.
From all the team at First National Real Estate, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!