When we look back on holidays and celebrations, we immediately plug into the vibe and feel of the gathering. Details about the mood in the air take precedence over even faces and foods. Whether these events are once in a lifetime (high school graduation) or annual celebrations (New Years Eve), we walk away feeling a certain spirit - be it wildly happy or inspired.
Webster defines spirit as “those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.” Simply said, the spirit to which we connect at holidays and celebrations sets lasting impressions. Paying close attention to holiday spirit helps keep us on track to maintain and create genuine thoughts and attitudes. Raise your holiday spirit through the lens of compassion, joy and hope. Tap into the wisdom of three holiday classic movies to show which way they lead us.
Spirit of Compassion
Compassion allows us to see the world through the eyes of another. Just because your friend Joe lost Aunt Emily three months ago and hasn't moved on doesn’t make Joe slow or stuck in time. He is hurting. Most of us are working through experiences that happened a while back. Don’t hesitate to check in and offer support. Hold Joe’s hand, go for a quiet walk or remind him (and yourself) that recovery takes time. Need more holiday caregiving tips?
In the early part of the classic "Christmas Carol," we learn about an angry character called Scrooge. He can't seem to muster any holiday spirit, and suffers from his painful past. One day his eyes and heart open. Through the compassion of his ghostly friends and nephew, Scrooge is able to recover and find happiness once again.
Spirit of Joy
Joy melts away frozen feelings and allows our hearts to feel lighter. If you’re passionate about bringing joy to others at the holidays, volunteer to deliver a gift to a stranger. Sing carols at a local senior center or shelter. Cook your favorite holiday dish for friends. Spend time enjoying good food and talking about funny holiday memories.
Buddy the Elf knows his mission well: Spread holiday cheer by singing loudly for all to hear. He was passionate about having fun, making friends and smiling at everyone. By repairing Santa’s sleigh, Buddy’s selfless act of service made him feel useful and it lifted the spirits of humankind.
Spirit of Hope
Hope is the bridge between pain and healing. Bring out the spirit of hope to someone. Our struggles and victories are inspiring to others. Post a story of hope on social media. I love putting quotes of hope in holiday cards I mail to family and friends. Quotes are great reminders of how hope restores peace, love and joy around us.
Charlie Brown struggled with finding the meaning of Christmas. His hope dwindled as he witnessed the constant influence of commercialism and consumerism whenever he stepped outside. When Linus shares a quote about Christmas, Charlie Brown’s hope resurfaces along with his holiday spirit.
What’s your holiday spirit this year - compassion, joy or hope? Start spreading the news and put some holiday spirit in the air. The world needs your sacred imprint. You have an incredible opportunity to make memorable and timeless moments. The world needs you!