If you have seen the movie Elf then you know exactly what I’m talking about when I use the word Clausometer. If you do not have an affinity for Elf culture, hop in the sleigh and let me fill you in. A Clausometer is a magical device that allows one to measure the amount of Christmas Spirit at a given time. In my house we start measuring Christmas Spirit the day after Halloween (well some of us do…others who shall remain nameless insist on Thanksgiving first).
Well, Thanksgiving officially over. It is now “acceptable” to listen to Christmas music (which I am listening to as I type), exterior illumination can be put on the house and watching Christmas movies is now a full time commitment. In my opinion, if you are watching a movie between Dec 1st and the 25th it should contain at least one cup of hot cocoa and either a snow scene or a man in a red suit. But sometimes it takes more than watching Marve and Harry fall prey to the plans of 8 year old Kevin to get the needle on the Clausometer pointing in the right direction.
My favorite way to jump start Christmas Spirit is an act of kindness. The biggest thing we focus on during the holiday season (really during the whole year, but the holidays I try extra hard to remind my kids that this is the season on Good Will towards men-women-children and animals.)
The goal is that every day we do something together to make someone’s day. It could be something big like going through our clothes and toys and donating them to a great charitable organization, leaving Christmas flowers or goodies on a neighbors door step or choosing kids off of a holiday tree and buying gifts for them. Or it could be something small such as calling a friend or relative we haven’t talked to in a while just to see how they are doing. The point is to take the focus off of ourselves and and look for ways to improve someone’s day.
So if you are already feeling overwhelmed by all of the shopping, the endless todo lists and the growing commitment to ugly sweater parties I urge you to stop. Take a moment to think of a way you can take the focus off of all the things you need to do and do something for fun that will make someone else smile.
Here are some suggestions for ways to get your Clausometer from 0 to 100 in no time at all:
- Send a quick text to someone you love or admire and let them know why you think they are so great.
- Next time you are picking up your pepermint mocha at your favorite coffee shop, grab a gift card for 5 bucks and keep it in your purse or pocket and give it to the first person you see that looks like they need a pick me up (that mom pulling her hair out with 3 kids at target? The homeless man at the freeway exit? The grocery store clerk who never stops smiling. The options are endless)
- Make some cookies and put them in bags and leave them on a neighbors doorstep.
- Gather up some old towels and blankets and bring them to your local animal shelter.
- Get out some old books you or someone in your family enjoyed and wrap with a ribbon and with note and leave where someone will find them.
- Pull a name off of a giving tree and grab a gift next time you are out shopping.
- Go through your closets and donate those things that are no longer worn or played with and give them a new life with someone who could really use them.
- Offer to go for a walk with a neighbor.
- Turn off your phone and play a game no inturruptions.
- The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear. So turn up the volume of those carols and start singing.
Any of these will get your spirits soaring. I would love to hear about ways you find a little extra joy this December.
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