30 Fun Ways to Get into the Christmas Spirit and Spread Holiday Cheer

christmas-spirit

My son started celebrating Christmas early this year, trying to convince people to “Get Their Christmas On” long before Thanksgiving. At first I thought he was crazy, but then I could see how happy he became with this new focus on the holidays and their meaning.

As for me, I realized that I had damped down my holiday spirit during the years I lived apart from my family. I always knew I would fly out to see them, but also used that as an excuse to not decorate my house or get too caught up in things at home.

This year feels different. My grandkids insisted I get a Christmas tree and decorated it for me. I found a few holiday decorations at flea markets and craft events and next thing I knew, my heart was opening to the joy of this time of year.

Small Town Holidays

Small town Christmas paradeMy new small town does a lot to keep us jolly. They keep us pretty busy with mini holiday parades, contests, and events with vendors and homemade crafts.

My favorite thing so far was the Madrigal event at the high school. When we arrived all of the students were in period costumes and strolling the halls, caroling and playing instruments. My granddaughter Becca was one of them, which made it extra special. It felt like being in another time and immersed in holiday cheer. They fed us, put on a great play, and surrounded us with beautiful musical performances. We ended the night with everyone holding candles and singing Silent Night.

Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

So now I want to spread some holiday cheer and I thought you might enjoy some ideas for  how we can all immerse ourselves in the joy of the holidays and share that feeling with others. Here is what I have come up with so far. 

  1. Snuggle under blankets and watch holiday movies – Netflix has quite a few.
  2. Turn on the holiday tunes and don’t be afraid to sing along.
  3. Bring special holiday treats in to work to share with your co-workers.
  4. Save some of those treats, or make more for the staff and residents at a local nursing facility.
  5. Send handwritten letters from the heart to the people in your life.
  6. Go Christmas caroling
  7. Donate presents for children in need.
  8. Be extra nice to the next cashier who helps you.
  9. Drink eggnog or eat traditional holiday treats.
  10. Give the gift of time.
  11. Decorate your home.
  12. Call, Skype or FaceTime an old friend or someone you haven’t connected with in awhile.
  13. Become a Secret Santa and give a special gift to someone worse off than you.
  14. Buy coffee for a stranger.
  15. Go to a church holiday service.
  16. Leave a nice tip.
  17. Offer to babysit so overwhelmed parents can have a night out.
  18. Bake cookies or holiday favorites and share them with others.
  19. Throw a holiday party.
  20. Do something nice for your neighbors like shovel snow or put their trash cans away.
  21. Buy grocery store gift certificates and give them to people experiencing tough times.
  22. Practice random acts of kindness where ever you go.
  23. Carry gift cards, money, or small gifts you can hand out when something inspires you.
  24. Participate in food drives or set one up yourself.
  25. Volunteer – there are so many opportunities and needs at this time of year.
  26. Watch children open presents.
  27. Listen deeply to someone who needs to talk.
  28. Watch the “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.
  29. Pay for someone’s meal or groceries.
  30. Leave Christmas trees on the doorsteps of people who can’t afford them. Ring the bell and run.

One of my clients (you know who you are) joked about wanting to help me write books that start, “1001 Ways to…” Based on the 30 items here, she may have over-estimated how many ideas I have in my brain. 

But, I bet you have some great ideas too and I would love to hear about them. Or maybe, you have a meaningful story to share. It’s as simple as leaving a comment below. Who knows? If we pool all our ideas together, we just might hit 1001.

Related Posts

20 Ways to Stay Centered During the Holidays

Giving Gifts from the Heart

30 Ideas for Random Acts of Holiday Kindness

The Four Agreements – Simple & Powerful Tools for Life

Four Agreements Book

Every year about this time I revisit The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. Some years I even lead classes about them. They are simple, yet powerful tools that can help you:

  • Feel less reactive, hurt, or upset
  • Improve your relationships
  • Let go of limiting beliefs
  • Feel more peaceful and empowered
  • Become more grounded when facing the business of the holidays

The best part is that these life changing guidelines are simple, profound, and easy to remember. 

I met don Miguel Ruiz a few years back and he seemed to be grounded in these philosophies that he teaches. He told me that the underlying theme is to help us let go of what keeps us in pain or stuck and unable to move forward. That sure sounds good to me.

So, what are these special practices that can miraculously change your life?

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

See how simple that is? I feel more peaceful just typing them here.

Of course, you can go deeper and learn more by reading the book, watching videos online, or studying further and I certainly believe that helps. You get to choose how deeply you want to invest in grounding in these powerful tools.

I mentioned above that I sometimes lead classes on this subject. I’m not planning a class this year, but would be happy to share a simple email course with each of you for free. It is 4 weeks long – one week to focus on each agreement. You will receive weekly emails that include more information, a short video of don Miguel talking about that week’s  agreement, and questions to help you move forward.

If you would like to receive those emails, contact me and simply ask for the free 4 Agreements program.

For those of you who know this is what you need to change your life, I also offer a 6 week phone coaching program on the subject. You can talk to me one to one, or invite friends to share in the program and cost. 

I know that I will be focusing on these strategies and re-grounding in their simple wisdom this holiday season. I hope that they will inspire you too.

Please feel free to comment and share your experiences around the Four Agreements. I would love to hear what you have to share.

2 Fun Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving More Meaningful

gvie thanks pumpkin

I do not have the benefit of family nearby to spend my Thanksgiving with, but don’t feel bad for me. I have a nice long visit with my loved ones coming up. I also have invitations for breakfast and dinners with other Thanksgiving misfits. And, sometimes I choose to spend this special holiday alone as a restful, self-nurturing day.

Whatever my day looks like, there are a couple Thanksgiving practices I never miss that fill my heart and feed my soul. I feel more grounded in the meaning of the holiday because of them. You might enjoy them, too.

Write 100+ Things You Are Grateful For – I have done this yearly since first hearing it suggested by Rhonda Britten while training to be a Fearless Living coach. It has stuck with me over the years and keeps me grounded in how blessed my life is. At first 100 sounds like a big number, but once you get started they come easily.

Anonymous Notes to Strangers – About a week before the holiday I start writing notes to people I have never met. Sometimes the notes are long and other times short, but they always contain messages of hope and upliftment. Each note is different. They may be reminding someone how special they are, that God will see them through challenges, or be full of encouraging words. I write whatever comes through me without any idea who will be receiving the loving messages.

On Thanksgiving Day, I randomly hide the notes where people will find them or put them on car windshields. It’s fun trying to sneak around and not get caught. I don’t try to figure out where specific notes go, trusting that God will guide the process and each note will be found by exactly the right person. When I am done, my heart feels happy and full.

Whatever you do for Thanksgiving, I encourage you to find ways that make the holiday more meaningful for you and your family. Enjoy the food.  Enjoy each other.  And fill your day with love, fun, and gratitude.

If you like this post, you might enjoy reading about my gratitude list last year: Thankful

Return to Gratitude

gratitude heals

For me, it shows up as a sense of being disconnected from myself and my higher power. I start to get mired in what is going wrong in my life or the world. Sometimes fantasies of impending doom or victim stories play through my mind. If I let it play out too long, it can turn into depression.

I don’t know what to call it, but I think you might know what I am talking about.

What I do know is that when we start to fall into this trap of negativity, the quickest path back to our true selves includes a return to gratitude. Continue reading

Adjusting to Small Town Life – The Shopping Dilemma

small town shopping

I’m still adjusting to my new small town life in Missouri. One of the things that still has me spinning is the whole shopping thing. Just when I thought I had it figured out and was settling in, fall weather came. And, I heard winter is on it’s way too.

My intention is to stock up and have what I need from the city before Thanksgiving to avoid going there during the holiday craziness. Columbia is 30 to 40 minutes away, depending on what part of town you are going to.  I’m trying to shop local as much as possible, but there are some things that are either not available or cost much higher here. Continue reading

6 Simple Steps to Self Confidence & Self Trust

build confidence

Confidence and self-esteem are based on a foundation of being able to trust yourself. When you know that you will take care of your own needs, you will feel safe enough to move confidently into the world.

This may feel hard or impossible in some moments, but it doesn’t need to.

Simply practice the following steps to increase self trust and the confidence that you desire will naturally follow. Continue reading

How to Bring Balance to Your Relationship with Time

relationship with time

We can feel driven by our clocks, calendars, and the expectations of others. Even more so by the expectations we have of ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but when I get caught up in this full on “doing” mode, I find that I miss out on the little special moments of my days. When the day comes to an end I may have a long list of wins, but did I really live? Was I fully present with and enjoying what was before me?

There are times when driving ourselves feels good or necessary, but it shouldn’t be our only way of being. Continue reading

25 Ways to Stay Positive in Trying Times

stay positive in trying times

Life gets rough at times. You may be experiencing personal challenges, surrounded by negative people, or inundated with bad news, but you don’t have to feel yucky because of it.

As I write this we are nearing the presidential election and I find that talk of politics and all of the negativity involved is upsetting me. My clients feel the same way.

So this may be the perfect time to find some ways to feel good when when life is dragging us down.
Continue reading

Did You Know I’m Not Just a Life Coach?

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I started my business as a life coach in 2002, which is a long time ago. A lot can happen in 14 years and it is really interesting how my business has expanded and evolved. It’s also really fun!

You most likely know me as Life Coach Linda and always think of me that way.

  • Supporting people as they go through challenges
  • Providing tools and fresh perspectives
  • Guiding them through healing journeys
  • Lifting them out of stuckness and into their dreams
  • Helping them reconnect with their true selves
  • Building their confidence and self love
  • Bringing more peace into their lives
  • Helping them create something new that is calling to them

Continue reading

How to Stay Calm When Stretching Your Comfort Zone

Stretch Your Comfort Zone

I recently was a guest on a radio show and was a little nervous about it. So, I wrote up a few notes and set them in front of me as the interview started. What happened next was a little strange. My left eye became blurry and I couldn’t read. My notes were useless and I knew I had to “wing it”. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and fear started telling me to run.

When comfort zones are stretched, fear will start chattering about staying safe. “Don’t do that. They may not like you. It’s too big a risk. Why put yourself out there? I can keep you safe if you don’t do it.”

If we let that voice of fear control us, we stay stuck and play small. Without building new skills and meeting new people we miss out on the possibilities before us and will eventually regret not living our lives fully.  Continue reading

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk

 

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

I took a walk this morning between rainstorms. The plants were all smiling as the water dripped from their leaves. The air was fresh and clear. I was smiling too.

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

I love these old weathered buildings. Did you notice the pump behind this one?

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

Here is another one that caught my eye.

morning-mailbox

I seem to like mailboxes, too.

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

This must be a very mobile family. 

morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

For some reason, I find this house very intriguing. It is probably the worst one in town, but looks much better since they mowed the lawn around it this week. Before that you could hardly see the house at all. It’s for sale. Maybe I should check it out. 

There is a lot to see on my walks here in town and there are still streets I haven’t been down yet. I was a little nervous taking pictures, half expecting someone to come out of their house and yell at me. No one did. Maybe because everyone here is so nice.

I realize this post is different than what I normally do. If you would like to see more posts like this (or less), let me know. I seem to be in the mood for picture taking and will be playing with them whether they are shared in my blog or not.

Disclaimer 1: My small town has many beautiful homes and these pictures don’t do it justice. I just happen to to find old weathered things more interesting.

Disclaimer 2: It’s probably obvious I am not a photographer so please pardon any lack of skill on my part.

How to Move On Quickly When Something Has Upset You

BAM! lifecoachlinda.com feeling upsetWe have a lot of potential upsets in our lives, big and small. Some we can move through gracefully and others that keep us stuck. Like walking through glue.

There is a quick and easy solution to getting over them. All you have to do is choose to use it.  Continue reading

So, I Just Hired a Life Coach…

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Surprised? No need to be. Coaches need coaching too, and we know that it works.

Going through this process of hiring and starting with a new coach reminded me what it feels like to be a client. It made me a little nervous. Why?

Hiring a coach is making a commitment.

  • To yourself
  • To your coach
  • To taking action
  • To facing down fears, resistance, and false belief systems

Why did I hire a coach?  Continue reading

Living the Small Town Life

 

small town life lifecoachlinda.com

When people find out I moved from Southern California to a small town in Missouri, they seem surprised that anyone would want to do that. And then they start to look amused and ask how my transition is going. They know that I am a fish out of water, a stranger in a strange land, and am sure to be a source of silly entertainment as I learn to navigate this new world.

And, they are right.  I’ve done some silly things. And, I’m learning a lot.

My new life in this small southern town is not better or worse, it’s just different. Here are some of the things I have noticed: Continue reading

When Someone Upsets You – Remember This

feeling upset - remember this -lifecoachlinda.com

There are some people….   You know what I mean.  They don’t do or say what you think they should and sometimes people get hurt. Maybe even you.  It could be a spouse, relative, politician, or someone you work with.  Just thinking about them makes your stomach clench, your body tighten, and your heart rate go up.

They make your life miserable.  Or, do they?

When someone is irritating you, it is important to remember three things:  Continue reading

Fear, Love & Scaredy-Cat Joey

fear love lifecoachlinda.com

This is Joey, my little scaredy cat.  He is on constant high alert and can disappear at the speed of light, running to his safety zone under my bed.  His latest fear is the air coming from the vents when the air conditioner comes on.

Recently, I noticed that his anxiety was getting worse.  He was spending entire days under the bed and had a constant look of panic when he was downstairs.  It was breaking my heart.

So, I decided to immerse him in love therapy.  Every chance I had, I would pet and love on him.  He took to it well and soon he was following me around everywhere I went and I was totally covered in cat fur 24 hours a day.  His confidence grew.  His fear dissipated.  And, he became an active member of the family again.

I have heard that fear is the opposite of love.  So, is it also possible that love is the antidote to fear?  What would happen if we learned to focus on loving ourselves through our fearful experiences?  Love the experiences?  And, even love fear itself?

It wouldn’t hurt to try.  Shall we?

Weathering the Storm

storm

My son and daughter-in-law’s van after the storm

Just when I thought my transition from Southern California to a small town in Missouri was moving along gracefully, Mother Nature sent a welcome committee to test my commitment.

We were hit by a storm with 70 mph winds while I was still unpacking. It was the worst storm in decades and left most of our town (including me) without power for a couple days. Continue reading

Road Trip Magic

Utah 19

My friend Traci and I drove from California to Missouri with 2 cats in the back seat of my car. We took I-15 and then I-70 straight across the country, joking that it would be less likely we got lost with such a direct route.

We experienced California deserts, the glitz of Las Vegas, a tiny tip of Arizona, the dramatic red rock of Utah, majestic beauty in the Colorado Rocky mountains, the big sky of Kansas, and finally arrived in Missouri on the third day.

We were in awe of the scenery before us and even experienced a sunrise that brought us to tears.

Common themes in our conversations were:

  • Our country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes
  • How God’s hand was clearly evident in what we were seeing
  • Respect for the courage of  pioneers who traveled through these lands
  • How blessed we were to be experiencing it all

Looking back at the photographs I took it is hard to believe I was actually there. Even though the photos were taken through the car window and the quality is questionable, they still bring back those magical moments.

I would like to share a few with you:

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

 

Now just imagine the colors brighter and clearer, because they were.

Can you believe I was actually there? I saw these miracles with my own eyes?

I feel so humbled and blessed.

Letting Go of Stuff

Letting go of stuff - releasing clutter life coach linda

The Shipping Cube with What I Decided to Take

While preparing for my move to Missouri, I decided to sell or give away more than 1/2 of what I owned. For some people this may not have been a big deal, but I lived simply and didn’t have much to begin with.

It was interesting observing how my thoughts about the things in my life shifted as my move date neared. It seemed to come in layers:

The Garage Sale – At this point I was still invested in the value of my things. After all, I was going to sell them and get money in return. I felt like I was being bold in my choices of what to include, not realizing this was only the beginning.

The Remains – When the garage sale was over I was faced with leftover items that I still thought were worth selling. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of just leaving things that I could get money for. This started a period of offering items in my city Facebook group and Craigslist. Some sold. Some didn’t.

Giving – And then, I just let the attachments go. This opened the door to my favorite part of the process, giving things away.  And, not just little things. I would go through my house each day and find more and more to give. I fell in love with giving and it made it much easier to release what I owned. It was also a lot of fun.

Leaving – The buyer of my house had said that I could leave things and didn’t have to clean the house. At first, the idea of doing this was appalling to me. But, when the 100 degree heat wave arrived on my last week, I could only do so much. Packing and loading under the blistering sun was getting to me and making me dizzy. So, when I said goodbye to my house, there were still some things left behind. I feel sure they will find good homes. Everything I was taking to my new life was packed into a 6′ by 7′ pod to be shipped to my new home.

Wanting Less – As I am unpacking and settling into my new home I am being very careful about what I invite in. Surprisingly, I will have even more to give away. Some things just don’t fit my new home or life. Maybe living without them for a couple weeks diminished their importance in my mind. Whatever the reason, they feel like clutter and I just don’t want them anymore.

Balancing with More – I love simplicity, but am not sure I am a minimalist. I have made some purchases recently for my new lifestyle, a new washer and dryer and yard maintenance items like a weed wacker. I also plan on bringing in a new sofa that fits with the colors in my new home. What is different is that I am being very careful about what I bring in. I only want things that I use regularly or love. And, I don’t want very many of them.

Moving provided me with the opportunity for a fresh start. I have empty closets and cupboards with only a few items. Everything is organized and makes sense. (Well, almost everything. I haven’t got to the office yet.) I even have an extra bedroom that I don’t know what I will do with. The one thing I’m sure of is that it won’t become a junk room full of stuff.

My experience of letting go has revealed how tightly I held onto stuff that really wasn’t that meaningful to me. I was also attached to the idea of getting a return on what I thought was valuable. It was only when I let go and began to give things away that I felt truly authentic, peaceful, and was able to have fun with the process.

Even without a lot (although I had more than I thought) I was being smothered and controlled by my things. In the simple living movement about 20 years ago there was a slogan that said, “Don’t Stuffocate!”  I think I get it now.

At a Loss for Words

Linda and Traci

Linda and Traci after two 10 hour days of driving.

I’ve been quiet. Very quiet. And, I have also been very, very busy.

It has been several weeks since I last posted and I keep waiting for the words to come, but my brain seems to be busy synthesizing all I have experienced. I think it needs time to catch up with my life.

So, maybe I will just start writing and see what happens.

In the last month or so, I have:

  • Sold my house in California
  • Sold or given away more than 1/2 of my possessions
  • Packed what was remaining in a moving pod in 111 degree heat
  • Welcomed my friend Traci who flew in from Tennessee to drive cross country with me
  • Road tripped with Traci from CA to Missouri with my 2 cats in the back seat of the car
  • Worried about my stressed out kitten cats the entire way
  • Experienced the incredible natural beauty of our country including red rock in Utah, mountain vistas in Colorado, and the big sky of Kansas
  • Felt awe at the courage of the pioneers who crossed our country in tiny wagons, often on the same land we were traveling
  • Felt tipsy and giggly after 2 sips of a Margarita on night two of our trip – it was Traci’s fault
  • Drove up to my new little house in Missouri on the evening of day 3
  • Was welcomed with wide open arms by my son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren
  • Took Traci to the airport and cried as she left
  • Started settling into my home

Yep! I’ve been busy. This was a courageous step for me and I couldn’t be happier.

Stay tuned. There is more to come…