When the holidays are within reach, sometimes we don’t know how to deal with them. Families are spread out across many miles. It isn’t always possible to be with your family for every holiday. It cost money to travel and if you make a trip from California to Florida for Thanksgiving, you probably can’t afford to make that same trip a month later for Christmas. Maybe it is time to start your own holiday traditions.
* If you are alone and cannot be with your family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you don’t have to celebrate in the traditional manner. Instead of having a big turkey dinner, why not have an Oriental Dinner Party with some friends who are away from their families too. If you don’t like Chinese, make it Italian or Greek or whatever. It is the social aspect of it that is the important part.
Each person would bring the ingredients for their recipe to your home. Then everyone would pitch in to cook and clean-up. If you want to cheat, order Chinese take-out, or pizza or whatever, you get the point! As long as you get together with your friends the food is second!
* If you decide to have a dinner just for yourself, you can buy a small package of turkey cutlets. They are easy to prepare and you will avoid all the mess of a big turkey. If you don’t want turkey, who says you can’t have a big, thick juicy New York Strip steak or shrimp for dinner? Make the meal that makes you happy. Impress yourself with your creativity!
* Another new tradition would be to invite an elderly neighbor for dinner. Perhaps the neighbor’s family is far away and can’t be there for the holiday. Make it special, but make it comfortable for your guest. If Mrs. Jones can’t eat fattening or fried foods, be sure to leave such foods off the menu.
When you invite an elderly person for a meal, be sure to find out if they have any food allergies or food that they cannot eat. Don’t let them leave empty handed. Be sure to send them home with some leftovers that can be reheated the next day. Give them a small gift, maybe a picture frame or a plant would be appropriate. Just do something special for someone else!
* Visit the local nursing home. You don’t have to buy gifts for each person, just a smile and a “Merry Christmas” would mean a lot to the residents. If you would like to take something for the residents to share, be sure to check with the facility first to find out if it is appropriate and what items they would suggest.
* Check with a local church and find out if they are collecting for families that are in need. Ask what you can contribute to the food basket or if there are children who are requesting certain toys. Give up a Starbucks coffee for a few days and buy a toy for a child instead!
There are many ways to fill your time and make the holiday special. Whether you spend the holidays with friends or volunteer to help with strangers, you will be starting your own new holiday traditions. Be thankful for what you have. Giving of your time and of yourself will make your holidays even brighter as well as theirs. Enjoy!