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Woman displaying the holiday spirit to a homeless man

5 Ways You Express True Holiday Spirit


Experiencing the holiday spirit is a special time of year for many people around the world. It offers a chance to celebrate, connect with loved ones, and reflect on the year that has passed. Decorations, parties, delicacies, gifts, and time with friends and family characterize the holiday season.

Beyond these external attributes, it is a significant season that brings about joy, love, hope and giving. However, the holidays also hold a more profound significance, as they provide an opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and focus on what truly matters.

One of the primary reasons the holidays are so important is that they give us a chance to spend time with our loved ones. Whether through gift-giving, holiday dinners, or simply spending time together, the holidays provide an opportunity to strengthen our relationships and create lasting memories. This is particularly crucial for those who might not get the chance to visit their loved ones as frequently as they would want because of hectic schedules or distance.

The holiday season can also provide a welcome respite from the pressures of daily life. It’s simple to get sucked into the daily commotion, whether brought on by job demands, school, or other obligations. The holidays provide us an opportunity to stop, take a deep breath, and then resume our activities.

What is the true spirit of the holidays?

The holiday season should not be about materialism or consumerism. While gift-giving and exchanging presents is a common tradition during the holiday season, it’s important to remember that the true meaning of the holidays is not about accumulating material possessions. 

The holiday season is truly about togetherness, appreciation, and the joy of loving and giving to one another. It is in practicing kindness, selflessness, forgiveness, and betterment inside ourselves. Without these essential components, the holiday season will be a one-time event without enduring significance.

The true spirit of the holidays is also about connection and compassion. It is about reaching out to those around us, whether through acts of kindness or simply spending quality time together. It is putting aside our differences, uniting as a community, and realizing that we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Hindrances to experiencing the holiday spirit

Not everyone gets to partake in all the good things the season brings due to one reason or the other — ranging from a misconception about the point of the celebration to being unappreciative of the blessings one has received in the year, religious beliefs, or for health reasons.  There are a variety of factors that can hinder an individual’s ability to participate in the holiday season fully. Some of the most common hindrances include:

Financial constraints:

The expense of presents, decorations, and holiday festivities may rapidly increase during the holidays, making it a pricey time of year. For those who are struggling financially, the burden of these costs can be a significant hindrance to fully participating in the holiday spirit.

Time constraints:

Holidays can be a hectic time of year for many who are balancing jobs, school, and other obligations. It may be difficult for already overburdened individuals to find the time to participate in holiday customs and rituals.

Physical distance:

For those unable to be with loved ones due to geographic distance, the holiday season can be a difficult and lonely. This can be especially true for those unable to travel due to health or financial constraints.

Emotional challenges:

The holiday season can be challenging for those dealing with grief, depression, or other emotional challenges. The expectations and traditions of the holiday season can be overwhelming for those struggling, making it difficult to participate in the festivities fully.

Cultural differences:

For those from different cultural backgrounds, the holiday season can be a time of cultural conflict or disconnection. This can be especially true for those who have recently immigrated or live in diverse communities where holiday traditions may differ.

Many factors can hinder an individual’s ability to participate fully in the holiday season. It is essential to recognize these challenges and be understanding and supportive of those struggling during this time of year.

Ways to express holiday spirit

The holiday season is a joyful, festive time when people come together to celebrate. It’s a time to attend holiday parties, give and receive gifts, and spread cheer. But for many people, the true meaning of the holidays goes beyond the outward appearances of gift-giving and festive decorations

So how do we express the true spirit of the holidays? Here are a few ways:

Spend quality time with loved ones:

Making time for the people who matter most to you is one of the most crucial ways to embody the true spirit of the holidays. Whether it’s through holiday dinners, gift exchanges, or simply spending time together, connecting with loved ones is a crucial aspect of possessing the holiday season.

Give back to your community:

Another way to express the true spirit of the holidays is to find ways to give back to your community. This can take many forms, from volunteering at a local charity to simply offer a helping hand to a neighbor in need.

Practice gratitude:

The holidays are a time to give thanks for everything we have. Take some time to reflect on the things you are grateful for, and express your gratitude to others through words or gestures of appreciation.

Show compassion:

The holiday season is also a time to show compassion and kindness to those around us. Whether it’s offering a warm smile to a stranger or reaching out to a friend who may be struggling, small acts of compassion can go a long way in spreading joy and positivity during the holiday season.

Find joy in simple pleasures:

Last but not least, the holiday season is a time to rejoice in life’s small joys. Whether it’s spending time with loved ones baking cookies or going for a peaceful walk in the cold, take some time to slow down and enjoy the moments that make you happy.

The importance of appreciating holiday spirit

Overall, there are many ways to express the true spirit of the holidays. We may embrace the deeper meaning of these particular festivities and make the most of this special time of year by spending time with loved ones, giving back to our communities, cultivating appreciation, displaying compassion, and finding delight in life’s simple pleasures.

“I love the holidays, and what I love most about them is the opportunity to pause and to reflect on the blessings of the past year. It’s a time to be grateful for all the good things in our lives, and to look forward to the year ahead with hope and optimism.” — Oprah Winfrey

It’s critical to appreciate this particular time of year and remember the seasons’ deeper meaning: one of appreciation. It takes a minute to be grateful for everything we have and to acknowledge the people and experiences that make our lives enjoyable and meaningful. It involves showing gratitude to others, whether in speech or deed.

In addition to the personal benefits of the holidays, they also positively impact society as a whole. As people unite to support one another and those in need, the holiday season is frequently linked to deeds of compassion and goodwill. This feeling of camaraderie and compassion might encourage people to continue their deeds of kindness throughout the year and contribute to the development of a more optimistic and inclusive society.

The holiday spirit is all about spreading joy, love, and compassion to those around us. Whether through gift-giving, acts of kindness, or spending time with loved ones, the holiday season is a time to come together and celebrate all that is good in the world. During this holiday season, be thankful for the people and circumstances that have made your lives enjoyable and fulfilling. Celebrate the current moment and look ahead to the future with optimism and hope.

So, go on and fully express the true spirit of the holidays, not just this season but every day afterward. Happy Holidays!

Where to Go From Here

I hope you found this short guide on knowing when to quit useful. If you’re looking for more ideas on getting motivated and staying that way, check out the Passion Struck podcast and my episodes with behavior scientists Ayelet Fishbach, Katy Milkman, Astronaut Wendy Lawrence, NASCAR driver Jesse Iwuji, and Vice Admiral Sandy Stosz along with my over 80 solo episodes.

This article is based on an episode of Passion Struck with John R. Miles, one of the 50 most inspirational podcasts of 2022.

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotify, Podcast AddictPocket CastsStitcherCastboxGoogle PodcastsAmazon Music, or your favorite podcast platform.



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