This is a collaboration blog by Erika Del Sordo and Meredith Kimmel, ACC. This blog can also be found at www.MeredithKimmel.com
Keeping the Holiday Spirit Alive
I LOVE collaborating with Meredith on our blogs because we offer you two different perspectives. We usually have the same ideas, but it’s our different perspectives that speak to everyone, well, differently!
For this week’s blog, we both wanted to keep it within the holiday-themed spirit. “Keeping the Holiday Spirit Alive” is something I long for every year. Somehow, once the middle of January arrives, the holiday spirit seems to fade. I don’t know if it’s because the decorations come down, the cold weather turns hot (for us Floridians), the peppermint mocha’s are no longer offered at your local coffee shop, or if it’s because the gift-giving season has left, but that merriment that we hold dear during the holidays doesn’t last.
What Makes Us Come Together During the Holidays?
It seems that, once Thanksgiving comes around, and after everyone’s done beating each other during Black Friday, communities come together to celebrate holiday festivities, families come together to eat and exchange gifts, office parties commence and the world just seems, friendlier!
This past weekend was Lake City, Florida’s Christmas Parade through Downtown. I happened to be in the parade with HiTONE Fitness where I’m a Personal Trainer/Kickbox Instructor. I was SHOCKED to see the turnout of the community. People lined the streets for what seemed like miles. This made me so happy I almost had to fight back tears! I only wish we had this community involvement throughout the year.
Holiday Blues Really Do Exist
While some of us wish the holidays would stick around all year to keep that festive, kind, gratuitous momentum, others wish they would go away as quickly as possible.
Sometimes you can’t always see the warning signs in friends and family either. Unless you ask specifically how someone is doing, or how they’re feeling in the moment, you may never know that they’re actually SUFFERING during the most festive time of the year!
If you aren’t handling the holidays well, or you know someone who might need help, please contact your doctor to find a mental health professional who can assess the situation.
I didn’t mean to bring anyone down, but I do feel that it needs to be known that this happy, festive time of year for most, isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be for some.
Now, here’s where I tie it all in………..
Since this time of year makes most folks happier, nicer and more optimistic, that spirited mood can actually LIFT the spirit of a broken soul.
One Smile Can Change Someone’s World
I’ll end my portion of this collaborative blog with this thought, which wraps this up full-circle.
We have always heard that a smile is contagious. Since most people are happy during this time of year with the spirit of the holidays, remember that it’s your smile, your optimism, your gratitude that could actually lift the spirit of a broken soul. So, keep jammin’ to the tune of the holidays all year long because you never know who needs to see your smile or feel your kindness.
Meredith, what do you think?
Thank you, Erika. I absolutely love your message above. I truly do believe the one smile can change someone’s world. I love smiling and I try to do it as often as I can when I am out running errands or at a restaurant. I’ve worked in retail, and I know how difficult it can be in a store, especially around the holidays. I try to always flash a smile or give the person behind the cash register a compliment to brighten their day, and hopefully they do the same with their customers.
November, December, and January
In our Thanksgiving Blog Post, Erika and I discussed the importance of giving thanks all year long and not just on Thanksgiving. The same is true about keeping the holiday spirit all year long. We don’t need to just do it in December.
Erika mentioned above that the holidays can be extremely hard for people suffering during this time. That suffering should not be minimized. People are struggling all year long, but it is just that much more difficult during the holidays. Those of us who are not suffering need to be there for our friends and family who need the extra help.
About two weeks into January, I notice that I get what I refer to as the “January Blues.” I love the fall, the cooler weather, the college football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the December holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.) and of course the hope of the New Year. All of that ends at the beginning of January. Therefore, I get the blues. The excitement of the Fall is gone, and it doesn’t come back for another 10 months.
So, what do I do to counteract the January Blues? I do two things:
1. I look forward to February which is my birthday month, and I celebrate all month long, and
2. I do my part to keep the holiday spirit alive all year long.
How Can You Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive All Year?
Here are tips for keeping the holiday spirit alive all year long:
- Practice gratitude every single day.
- Keep smiling.
- Volunteer or be of service to your favorite organization.
- Incorporate family traditions that you have at the holiday time to other parts of the year. Why not have a Thanksgiving type dinner in June?
- Carry the merriment of the holiday season with you for the rest of the year.
- Plan and start your holiday shopping over the summer.
- Be available to spend time with friends and family.
Just because the weather got warmer, the decorations come down, and they no longer serve peppermint flavored coffee doesn’t mean that we can’t keep the holiday spirit alive all year long.