By now, you probably have already been decorating and shopping and baking, all in hopes to make this a perfect Christmas for everyone you love. Adding all this extra stuff to an already busy life can be stressful and challenging. That’s why I want to do something fun and give you some ideas to add a little joy to your Christmas.
I understand the stress you feel. It can be quite overwhelming to prepare for Christmas when the budget might be tight or your time is spread thin. Before we know it, it’s so very easy to start feeling depressed, anxious, tired, and edgy.
There’s no judgment here! The reality is that Christmas preparation can just be tough. But in the midst of all the busyness, what if we decided to make an intentional choice to try to enjoy it while we go?
I’ve tried to think of some things that would help you in making this choice! There are some ideas for listening and watching and reading and crafting.
You can listen while you wrap or bake. Maybe you can take a much needed break and just read for a few minutes. Or even do a fun craft that could actually have lasting benefits.
Hopefully, these ideas can bring a little fun and much joy into your holidays.
Music to Add Joy
As a gift to you, I put together some of my favorite Christmas songs and artists into a playlist in YouTube. I really wanted to have it downloaded right here in the blog to make it easy for you to listen. But it looks like some of the songs/videos I’ve chosen aren’t allowed to be seen anywhere except YouTube.
This means you’ll have to go to YouTube to listen. The picture below of Stephen Curtis Chapman is what it will look like when you get there. If you’ve never used YouTube before or never listened to a playlist, it’s really simple. When you play the first song, the next song will play when it finishes, and so on. Unfortunately, it will play a few ads before the songs, too, so I apologize for that! If you don’t want to listen or watch the ads, there will be an option to skip them and go to the songs.
The playlist has a mix of music styles and artists. Some are old and some are more modern. Some are very upbeat and some are just beautiful for the heart. I hope you enjoy them!!
To listen to the playlist on YouTube, go here: A Hope Dwellers’ Christmas
In case you don’t have the opportunity to listen to the playlist, I would love for you to listen to this song from the list. It’s not your traditional Christmas carol, but it’s really the essence of the story of Christ coming for us.
Movies to Add Joy
Yes, I am old-fashioned at heart! The first 2 movie clips are oldies, but they are my favorites at Christmas. If you don’t have time to watch the entire movie, here are clips from each:
1. It’s a Wonderful Life – This old movie with Jimmy Stewart is such a good reminder of the beauty of life itself and the time we have with our loved ones. The clip here is the ending and it’s 9 minutes long. If you won’t have time to watch the entire movie and you have never seen it, this clip will give you the essence of the story.
2. White Christmas – Yes, this is a musical and it may be a little cheesy in places but I do love it. My daughter and I used to watch this every year because, well, the guys just never were much into musicals! This is a feel-good movie and the singing is so memorable!! It starts Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney. The clip is 3 1/2 minutes.
3. What’s Christmas without A Charlie Brown Christmas? You know you have to listen to Linus at least once!
4. And speaking of Charlie Brown, you have to just stop – right now- and play this – and dance. Come on – you know you want to! How many times I saw our kids dance to this when they were little!
Be sure to stay ’till the end of the post for another free fun thing you can print out to enjoy!
Maybe one Sunday afternoon or some evening before Christmas you can just take a break and do a little reading. Or maybe if you have any children in your house at Christmas, you can read aloud to them!
One of my favorite stories of all at Christmas is the Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. You can read it online here at AmericanLiterature.com (And if you’re really pinched for time, you can listen to it below!)
I’ve read several variations of Papa Panov’s Special Christmas by Leo Tolstoy but this original one is the best. This story about the shoemaker who wants to see Jesus is a great reminder for us all. You can read this short story also at AmericanLiterature.com.
What is Christmas without A Christmas Carol by Dickens? Yes, I realize it’s not a short read at all, but you can read it a chapter at a time. You can also find it online, divided into 5 chapters (this site calls them “staves”) at AmericanLiterature.com
A Craft to Add a Little Joy
My friend Laura over at NaturalHealingHope.com has a wonderful craft that you can do yourself or could do with children. It’s a recipe to make an aromatherapy Christmas ornament.
Once the ornament is made, you add the essential oils of your choice, and you have a wonderful scented ornament for your tree. But there’s an extra bonus: Laura will tell you how these oils can really make a difference in how you feel, too.
Check it out here:
And a Recipe for A Sweet Treat
Okay, so I know you’re already busy baking, but if you have just a few minutes, you can make yourself some really delicious fudge and not have to feel the least bit guilty! This recipe doesn’t involve any candy thermometers or degrees in candy making. It has very little sweetener and is still delicious!
My friend Margaret is a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, and she came up with this recipe for chocolate using basic ingredients that, for the most part, are good for you. Especially if you don’t devour the whole batch at one time!
Uh…I’m not guaranteeing that it won’t happen. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
You can find Margaret’s recipe for Festive Fudge at her website: www.faithmountainwellness.com
So I hope these ideas to add a little joy to your Christmas will help bring a smile, a laugh, or some needed relief to the stress of your preparations this season.
That first Christmas, the angels reminded us they were bringing good news of great joy. The idea that God would become one of us so that we could be redeemed, that we could be like Him as He planned all along, well, yes. That indeed is good news of great joy! May we remember it in the midst of it all!
Choosing joy with you,
If you would like to own a copy of some of the items I featured in this post, and also help support the cost of operating this blog at the same time, here are some options for you from Amazon. (Just to let you know: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)
♦♦♦Once again, here’s the link to A Hope Dwellers’ Christmas playlist on YouTube.♦♦♦
And here’s the free printables I promised you: 2 fun Christmas coloring pages! Enjoy!