Now that the elaborate dinners have been made and consumed, the cookies baked and gobbled up and the presents wrapped and unwrapped, I have been giving a lot of thought about how I can capture joyfulness all year long. Despite the frenzy that the holidays bring to our lives, it’s worth investing the time to create life long memories. When you strip away all of the materialism and formalities, we are left with sentimentalities of the season. So if you want to live with kindness, graciousness and generosity all year long, here are a few things you can be mindful of.

Your presence is a present so be available to people you value and need you. Things are often the least of what we actually really desire. Many of us long more for the company and time with our loved ones. Carving out opportunities to be together and creating special times throughout the year is something we should all make an effort to do even when the hecticness of every day life takes over.

Send a good old fashioned note of thanks to express your gratitude. People love to get something special in the mail. It is never too late to share how grateful and appreciative you are or just to let someone know you were thinking of them.

Donate your time to a needy cause. Volunteering or donating at the holidays are incredibly appreciated, but making a commitment to do so consistently leads to a richer, more fulfilling life.

Make time to do special activities together, whether it’s an art project, playing a game, doing a puzzle, watching a movie, visiting a museum or library or taking a special excursion. In our busy life, we have to be intentional to slow down and create space for those simple pleasures.

Form traditions, perhaps it’s a Sunday family (or friends) dinner, celebrating anything big or small, putting away the electronics, cooking together or whatever resonates with you. It is important to fully focus (without distractions) and enjoy the company of others.

If your family is far or you are not close, there are lots of people who would value your company and contributions. Remember that clubs, educational seminars, charitable engagement are good ways to connect with people while also investing in yourself.

If money is tight, remember that kind gestures do not cost anything and go a long way. Look out for your neighbors, help a friend or coworker, make or buy a treat for someone just because you wanted to be considerate.

It is important to remember that the holidays are not just dates on a calendar, but a time to bring out our generous spirit. The goal is to channel that feeling and do a little more for others. In doing so, the spirit of the season can live on and we can slowly transform the world with one kind gesture at a time.

Roopa Weber
About Roopa Weber
Roopa Weber is a first time children’s book author who has created the Penny the Peacock series. Roopa’s inspiration for Penny came from the values and love provided by her mother. She wanted to find an avenue to instill her mother’s wisdom in her own daughter and carry the message forward generationally. And, so she wrote.