There’s something so sweet and magical about the Christmas season. People are kinder and give more openly and often than the rest of the year. Love is all around us.
For those of you that haven’t bought into the hype of the holidays yet, fear not! There are meaningful activities you can do as a couple that are sure to bring you some holiday cheer.
According to several recent studies by university psychologists, giving is the number one thing you can do to make yourself feel happy inside. Need an instant mood lifter? Give. What you give to someone else makes no difference. This could be something you bought, made, or even just giving someone your attention and time. It’s the simple act of giving something to someone else that releases the feel-good hormones throughout your brain and body.
This can even become a date idea by buying a toy for a child at Walmart, or Target and then going to a toy drive together to watch children open the gifts. Check with your local police station for dates, as they normally do a toy drive every year.
Visiting a senior living center and just taking the time to talk to some of members might make a world of difference for their holiday and yours. A lot of the time these people are not visited often, and sometimes not at all. You could potentially be the only two people who visit someone all year.
Volunteer at an animal shelter together with your partner. There are actual volunteer positions called “Cat Cuddlers,” where volunteers sit and play with cats. Petting and playing with animals are not only therapeutic and great for your self-care, but it’s also healthy for the animals to get some play and exercise time. Doing it with someone you like makes it better, so get ready for a free and memorable date.
Volunteer at a local food bank, or soup kitchen. There is at least one food bank per county, so check the Internet for one near your area. At emergency homeless shelters, most will serve a big meal on, or right before, Christmas Eve.
Bake Christmas cookies as a couple and then give them to the homeless teenager you always see on the side of the freeway. This way you get to taste the sweet treats for yourselves and see someone else experience a little holiday magic. You can also give the sweets to a neighbor that doesn’t get any visitors, or your boss.
Write a few anonymous Christmas cards and leave them on people’s doorsteps, or in their mailboxes. Though you won’t get to see their reactions when they open the cards, telling them that you’re wishing them a happy holiday will make you both feel good. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving them at apartments or houses, you can also give them to employees at restaurants you eat at. The servers will appreciate the time you took and hopefully, they will pay it forward with great service for the rest of their shift.
The holidays can be expensive and stressful, but they can also be filled with kindness and generosity. Time is something priceless to give because it can never be given back to you. If you give a little this season, see how much you get in return from real joy and happiness.