How do you celebrate Christmas? If you are not a “religious” person or not a Christian, read onAmeric. Christmas is an American tradition and a national holiday. All are welcome.
I’ve heard some say, “It doesn’t feel like Christmas this year.” Others have said they personally “are not in the mood.” Here are my top ten ideas for celebrating Christmas this year. Drum roll, please…
10. Look up in the sky. Jupiter and Saturn are preparing now and aligning as the great conjunction on December 21. What’s so special about this? Jupiter and Saturn have not been this closely observable since 1223! Find the moon, then scan the sky for something that looks like the brightest star or even a double planet. If you miss it, this “great conjunction,” as scientists call it, will not be observable like this again until 2080. It is said that the Wise Men did this.
9. The holly and the ivy- Don’t let the Grinch or government steal your Christmas joy. Decorate, even if you don’t feel like it. A tiny tree and a little glow go a long way to bring light out of the short days at this time of the year. Or, add some Americana with red, white, and blue lights outside. (I have a small section of red, white, and blue along with traditional Christmas colors 😉 Bring out at least one of your favorite Christmas treasures to display.
8. Gifting, American style- I just passed by an American flag coffee mug at the grocery store. It would be a gift that is a great way to remind us, the old year has gone, and a new one will begin. It also reminds us of what we have in common, not our differences.
7. Sharing is caring- I usually sit down and decide which organizations will receive monetary support from me this year, in addition to giving to my church. A food pantry, a veteran’s organization, and disaster relief are among those receiving a donation from me. I like to have the Christmas carols playing as I decide and then make donations. Don’t think your gift is too small. In these times, no donation is too small. Helping someone, when we can, helps us. Americans are the most generous population on the planet.
6. Go to a second-hand store. They may have something you need right now and save you money. Best part! You help these organizations in the process. If you don’t need anything, consider donating items. You’ll feel a sense of relief as you give useful tools, clothes, or decorations that you no longer use to someone who can’t afford these items at full price right now. Bonus: your donation may be tax-deductible.
5. Calling all bakers! Your chocolate chip cookies will bring joy to the elderly neighbor who doesn’t get out much or to a family whose mom is ill during the holidays.
4. Remember those who are suffering through the loss of a loved one this year. Tell them you are thinking of them at Christmas time. Many Americans are stoic on the outside but grieve deeply at this time of year. You can be a balm to their anxious souls.
3. Americans traditionally go to church during the holidays. During the pandemic, there are so many services streaming online. Find one that you can enjoy with your family or alone. Honoring the spiritual side of Christmas may find you ready to give and receive an extra measure of love, joy, and peace.
2. Early Americans didn’t have money. They gave simple gifts, like a pencil, for example. If money is scarce, the gift of your time can be the most valuable possession you have and the one that is the most needed gift of all 🙂
1. We have been asked not to shake hands or get close during this time. You can still be with family and do it safely in a way that allows loneliness to dispel and joy to fill a room. Plan to have a joy-filled holiday, American style, focusing on what matters most.
How will you be spending this Christmas?
Merry Christmas from Common Sense Civics and Citizenship! ??