Embrace the holiday season this December with meaningful and fun activities. (Photo: Rich Legg)

Embrace the holiday season this December with meaningful and fun activities. (Photo: Rich Legg)

The weather outside may be frightful, but December can be delightful if you embrace the holiday spirit and find a few ways to add meaning — and fun — to the season. Assuming you already have a plan for solving potential holiday hassles, these ideas may help you take advantage of the month when work slows down and you may get a few days off.

  1. Get crafty. Giving in to your inner elf is a great way to have fun, make a memory, entertain the kids, or just save little money on decorations and gifts. The web is packed with holiday craft idea sites:
  • Craftbits promises 1,000 craft ideas, lots just for Christmas.
  • 36th Avenue provides a list of 25 near-perfect gifts that you can make for $5.00 or less.
  1. Be generous. Hunger and food insecurity affect more than 40 million Americans each year. So if you can spare it, pick up an extra bag of healthy (low-sodium please) canned goods, fruits and vegetables and take them to your local pantry. Add a box of Christmas cookies if you can.

Also consider taking a second look at your over-stuffed closets. Surely you have things that are still in great shape that you don’t need or haven’t worn for years. Let them go. Your castaways may become someone else’s treasure.

  1. Spread holiday cheer. Volunteering your time may make someone else’s day and add fresh meaning to your holiday season. Who knows, you might even make a new friend. If you’re well-connected locally, ask staff members at your church, nearby nursing home or shelter if they could use a little help with holiday festivities. Or log on to one of these national databases to find a volunteer opportunity near you: VolunteerMatch and All for Good.
  2. Consider your future. We are not suggesting you stress yourself out with a long list of resolutions — they tend not to stick anyway. But the last month of the year is a great time to think about how you would like to enjoy the year to come. Maybe you want to spend more time with friends or the love of your life. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about tweaking your lifestyle so you can drop a few pounds and improve your health. Now is a great time to make a few notes and think about how you’d like to approach it.
  3. Chill. It’s Christmas, for goodness sake, so bake a batch of cookies (a perfectly reasonable December indulgence); make a steaming cup of cocoa; put your feet up and relax. Why not check the schedule of an old-movie network or queue up Netflix to watch It’s A Wonderful Life, The Santa Claus, Miracle on 34th Street, Elf or whatever classic holiday movie is your yuletide favorite.

Happy Holidays!

About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being

We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.

To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news into your life, or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.