Have you started to feel the holiday spirit yet? Granted, this time of year is naturally ultra busy, but now that I am an empty nester, my calendar is not all that full. It definitely isn’t like in years past when there were a million activities mostly centered around what the kids were involved in. No kids, no cute holiday programs. Since my husband now owns his own business and I am mostly a freelancer, there are no company parties to go to. I was out of town for our annual church party. So, in actuality, we really don’t have any of the regular holiday obligations that we had counted on in the past to supply us with that warm holiday glow. I have needed to regroup and figure out new ways to join in the holiday fun.
A fallback has been the Hallmark Channel and it’s nightly Christmas movies. I love Hallmark movies and ever since Thanksgiving, the Hallmark Channel has shown Christmas movies from their archives as well as a couple of new movies featured for 2011. I prefer the Hallmark Channel to the ABC Family Channel’s 25 Days to Christmas nightly fare. On the ABC Family channel, some of their movie choices are more commercial and silly rather than the warm fuzzy feeling that the Hallmark Channel always seems to provide. If we have other things going at home or just want a chance to hold hands on the couch, we’ll watch one of these shows. I DVR them so that we aren’t tied to a particular time and place. Love the convenience of technology.
Another great resource to participate in the sights and sounds of the holiday is at your local schools. Just because you don’t have kids involved doesn’t mean you still can’t attend. Pick your preference. If you like the little kiddies with all of their cute little antics, call your neighborhood elementary school and see which nights they are featuring the lower grades. For a more sophisticated program, check with your neighborhood junior high and high school. Their choral and instrumental programs always have special holiday events planned and they would love the extra support. Since you don’t have anyone featured in the programs, you can sit in any seat and leave right after the grand finale without worrying about getting stuck in traffic. Your local schools are a wonderful resource for quality entertainment.
I was aware of a nearby high school (not one that any of my kids attended) that has a nationally renown theater department. This December, Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, was awarded the opportunity to put on Phantom of the Opera. I got tickets for us and a few other empty nester couples to attend. We all went out to dinner before. Our seats were amazing and cheap. We saw the most outstanding production ever. It rivaled the Broadway version we had seen in the past. We had to keep reminding ourselves that it was a high school performance. Simply magnificent. It was an evening never to forget.
Decorating the house and the tree, baking and sharing cookies and other kitchen marvels, helping out someone in need….all great activities to feel the holiday spirit. Simple, easy ways to make new holiday joy.
What are you doing to bring home some good cheer?