I think we can all identify with the need to have a little cheer this year.
How can we be cheerful despite our circumstances? It’s easy to dwell on the negatives. They are all around us and blasted on the media constantly.
I think the answer is to focus on what we can do, not on what we can’t do or on what we can’t control.
Choose – Choose to have a positive mind set. Choose to look for good. Choose to eat right and get out and exercise. Take a walk – put on those hats, mittens and scarves. It’s their time to shine! A walk around the neighborhood will improve your mood, give you fresh air and vitamin D that you need. https://www.prevention.com/fitness/a20485587/benefits-from-walking-every-day/
Connect – Find ways to connect with others. Call a friend, Facetime, Zoom or meet up if you can. Have coffee, go for a walk, shop together, work on a project, or serve someone together. Reach out to neighbors or people in need. Support a local ministry, sponsor a family in need, volunteer time at a food bank or shelter. You could even go Christmas caroling or load up the car and look at Christmas lights with others. https://find.mapmuse.com/interest/xmas-displays/MD/Hagerstown
Create – Write, cook, bake, craft – whatever way you like to channel your creative side. It doesn’t have to look great or be perfect. It’s just for you to bring you cheer! You could write by just journaling or you could write letters or cards to friends. You could write a blog, devotion or short story. The weather is getting colder so it’s a perfect time to cook comfort foods and soups. I like to make one soup a week and I usually freeze half of it to pull it out at a later date or you could give half to a friend to enjoy. Bake, it’s a great time of year to warm up your house by baking and the aroma is a bonus. Take goodies to neighbors to bring them some cheer. It’s a good time of year to craft. You can make things to gift to others. Dollar Tree has lots of supplies that make it affordable too. There are Facebook pages of Dollar Tree crafters and ideas. https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=dollar%20tree%20crafters
Cozy – Make a fire and make s’mores. Don’t have a fireplace or pit? You can make s’mores in your oven. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/indoor-smores-recipe-1941607. Pop some popcorn, grab a blanket and watch a movie or show. Play a game with your family. Do a puzzle. Read a book. Listen to music. All these things engage your mind and redirect your thoughts from the negatives to the positives.
Concentrate – on the goodness of God! We can be thankful. I have a decoration in my house that I bought for fall years ago that I leave out all year long that says, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” Give thanks for God’s provisions, for your health, family & friends. Concentrate on His unending and unconditional love for us despite who we are and what we do. Share that love with others – a neighbor, friend, family member or stranger that needs it.
I have no doubt that cheer will surely follow after you share God’s love with others! “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “ Matthew 22:37-39.
Ruthie Painter lives in Waynesboro, PA , with her husband of 27 years. She has 2 grown children that are currently attending college. She is an active member of LCBC church and loves staying connected to other women through The Connection.