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Wrapped up in Holiday Spirit

December 8, 2016 - Tiffany Larson
For the last few years I have been slow to get into the Holiday Spirit. I found myself procrastinating up until the week of Christmas for gift-buying and decorating my house. My attitude was more “Bah Humbug” than Christmas Cheer. An injury, surgery, loss of a loved one, and a case of winter blues all played a role in my Grinch-like emotions. Even with a large wonderful family celebrating, radio stations playing non-stop music, and sparkling Christmas lights painted across the town, nothing seemed to ignite a spark in me. I simply coasted through the Season with a smile on my face for the benefit of those around me.

This year is different. A magic switch has been turned on from within, and I can’t get enough of the Holiday fun. I feel like a kid in a candy store thinking about the decorations, the music, spending time with my family and friends, spoiling my nephew rotten, the food and sipping on “Christmas in a Cup” from Mornin’ Glory. It all started while helping plan for Christmas in the City, which took place on November 20 in Webster City. I found myself flashing back to my favorite childhood memories and snippets of Holiday movies while working with fellow Chamber Board members and area businesses to perfect the details for the event. We wanted children and families to experience ornament decorating, a Christmas tree lighting, making wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoying caroling and goodies, all while having the opportunity to shop local. All of these mentioned activities have spiraled into this former Scrooge getting wrapped up in Holiday Spirit. You may be wondering, how does one get wrapped up in the Holiday Spirit? For me, it was sitting down and creating a “Christmas Bucket List.” I must admit, I did not come up with this idea alone. I owe my addiction to Hallmark and Lifetime movies, Pinterest, and an informal poll on social media for the inspiration. There were a ton of options to choose from, but I narrowed mine down to my Top 10:

1. Spread Holiday Cheer with others through Random Acts of Kindness: I have already started sharing kindness this past week. I purchased a few cups of java anonymously. I still have a few more tricks up my sleeve to share before Christmas Eve. It warms my heart hearing and seeing others sharing their kindness too. Just this past weekend, a random stranger purchased my meal in the drive-thru. Paying it forward will create a ripple effect throughout the Season.

2. ‘O Christmas Tree: I intend to have my house clean and covered in Holiday Décor by December 16. This may seem like a given, but this busy bee has neglected to do this in a timely manner the past few years. I have just over a week to meet my deadline.

3. Share my time and talents: I rallied with local SHIFT Happens youth to volunteer our time to help winterize homes with Central Iowa RSVP for their Warm Hearts, Warm Homes Project. In addition, we purchased gifts for a few youth from the Angel Tree at the Webster Theater. I will continue to look for additional opportunities to give back and intentionally share kindness with others into the new year.

4. Be more present: The pun is intended. I am taking more time off this year to spend time with family and loved ones, and catch up with friends. I am eager to play games, sing, laugh, and enjoy the time we share together over the Holiday Break. It is important for me to slow down and enjoy this magical time of year and all of the wonders that it brings.

5. Realistic Wish List: Earlier this year I saw a “4 Things”” list that kids could fill out. This list not only helps minimize the commercial aspect of Christmas, but also helps families simplify shopping. I thought as a thirty-something adult it would be fun to participate too. I am in the process of narrowing down my list to something I want, something I need, something to wear, and something to read.

6. Repeating Old Traditions: It has been years since making Christmas Cookies with Grandma Larson. I was the first grandchild to experience making our almond-bark dipped crackers and peanut butter treats. Finding time to scatter sprinkles while making more memories is definitely on my to-do list.

7. Sharing Traditions: I want to share with my nephew all of my favorites. Ornament decorating, singing carols, driving around looking at the lighted displays, and more!

8. Candlelight Service: There is something about being at church for Candle Light Service on Christmas Eve. It fills my heart with such joy and happiness singing songs like Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Silent Night with the congregation.

9. Build a Snowman: I am relying on Mother Nature for a White Christmas to help make this happen. I haven’t participated in a good snowman build, sledding, or snow ball fight since college.

10. Embrace Holiday Attire: It’s time to dig out the ugly sweaters, the Christmas socks, and anything red and green. From now until Christmas I will do my best to dress with one thing that corresponds with the theme. As the Holiday Season continues, and Christmas draws closer I encourage all of you to ponder what gets you into the Christmas mood? What are some traditions you would like to revive? What are new ones you can put on a bucket list? How can you share Holiday Cheer this time of year? Remember that not everyone is looking forward to the Holiday. How can you share kindness and support with them? What can you do to get yourself and others wrapped up in Holiday Spirit?


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