"Make every day a holiday
and celebrate just living!"
Having spent a very festive weekend in the very festive New York City, taking in all of the lights and sounds and decorations of the holiday season, I began to see very clearly that festiveness really does make me feel happy. There’ve been times in my life when I’ve arrived at the month of December and thought, “Really? Do we really need all of this hoopla?” But even on those years I’ve always come around and realized that being festive isn’t worth resisting because it really does warm my heart and allow my mind to focus on some pretty awesome topics -- happiness, love, and peace.
While shopping at the beautifully decorated Bloomingdale’s, I saw many mentions of those three topics. Neon lights and writing on shopping bags reminded me that some of the most important things about the holiday season could be summed up in three words: happy, love, peace. What it really comes down to, when we think about all of the work that goes into preparing for the holidays, are those three words. We all want to feel happy, to feel loved, to feel at peace -- and what better time to do it than right now, when all of those feelings seem to be streaming through the radios and being celebrated in everything from commercials to window displays? It might be tempting at times when you’re feeling a bit like Scrooge to resist the festiveness of the holidays, but, in my experience, you’ll be a whole lot happier if you just take a deep breath and plunge into the glitter and lights and colorful mess that is the Christmas season.
Obviously over the past few days traveling around the Big Apple and taking in all of the sights and sounds of Christmas, I’ve given some thought to how being festive really can equate to being happy. As you know, I believe happiness is a choice and happiness is something that comes from within you, but I also believe that sometimes there are things outside of us that can bring us some pretty awesome doses of happiness. For me, being festive is one of those things. (Please note: being festive doesn’t have to relate only to Christmas; it can be something you do at any time or for any occasion, though I have to say that it’s pretty hard for me not to think about it in terms of Christmas at this time of year!) The more I think about it, the more I realize that being festive as many benefits. Here are just a few that I came across this weekend…
5 Benefits of Being Festive
1. Embracing happiness. Generally being festive requires a happy, positive attitude and when you embrace being festive, you also embrace being happy. Even if you're feeling weighed down by your life's pressures or you're overwhelmed by stress, taking some time to join in on festivities can really lift your mood up. I don't have any real evidence to back up the idea that being festive makes you happier other than the fact that I find that being festive makes me happier, but give it a try and see if it works for you.
2. Participating in a group. I've read somewhere that participating in a group can have a lot of happiness benefits and I think that's probably true. When I'm feeling down and I spend time with friends, I usually feel a lot better. Celebrating holidays and special events with others can help you to surround yourself with the festiveness of others. Being around others that are having fun and surrounding yourself with those who have positive attitudes can really lift up your spirits.
3. Giving to others. Often partaking in festive activities means giving to others -- and not always in the form of presents. Giving your time and energy to celebrating is a gift in and of itself and it can mean a lot to those around you. When you give to others, you feel good. When you take part in festive activities, you give of yourself and you bring joy to others and to yourself. Remember, you don't have to give gifts to be festive. Giving of yourself can be an even better gift to those around you -- especially giving of your festive, positive self!
4. Looking for the good. When I find myself in a festive mood or situation, I always find myself looking for the good. It's hard for me to be negative when all around me people are celebrating and everything is decorated for fun. Therefore, when I find myself being festive, I find myself celebrating not only the event but also the good things in my life. When I'm celebrating a holiday or a birthday, I have a chance to really see the good shining through in my life and that brings me a great deal of happiness.
5. Experiencing the now. Celebrations and festivities have a way of keeping us in the moment, of helping us embrace the now. Now I know festive situations aren't always about the present moment since many celebrations often center around traditions, but I really think being festive can help us to experience the now more fully. When you're preparing for the event or holiday, you can be focused on your preparations and when you finally arrive at the big day you'll be able to fully embrace the now.
As you can see, there are some great benefits to being festive. I know sometimes it might be hard – maybe you’re not in the mood, maybe you’re going through a really hard time in your life – but I really think it’s worth it to take part in celebrations and to celebrate any occasion that calls for festivity. You lose a lot by holding back from the festive celebrations of a holiday or special occasion. If you want my advice, I'd suggest partaking in the holiday season (or an upcoming birthday... or just any old day you want to make festive). You'll miss out if you don't and you can gain a lot by joining in on the celebration!
How do reap the rewards of being festive in your own life?
What are your favorite festive activities?