Rituals are a great way to bring the spirit of playfulness and gratitude back into your life. Here are 12 fun, inspiring and spiritually uplifting holiday rituals to try, so enlist a friend or two to take the journey with you.
1. Sometimes it’s those little things that make you feel good.
Inhale an uplifting scent like jasmine, vanilla, orange or geranium.
Eat a “happy food” — oranges, mangos, anything vanilla or a good piece of dark chocolate. Carry a “happiness object” — a fun photo, happy face sticker or a small stone that will remind you to lighten up.
2. Put down your phone and take a digital detox.
Take an hour out of your day to turn off your phone, computer and tablets. Now breathe!
Take a nap, walk in the park (no texting allowed), or have a face-to-face conversation with a friend.
3. Throw an exchange party with your friends.
Go through all your old jewelry, shoes, accessories and clothes. Pick out things that you’ve outgrown because it no longer feels like you.
Invite your friends to do the same, come together and have an exchange party. Everyone can leave with a gift or two and no one has to spend a dime.
4. Make a gratitude jar and then share it with someone.
Think of the people in your life for whom you are grateful. For each person place a coin in a jar. Name what you are grateful for. For example, I place a coin in the jar for my friend Joanne who always encourages me to take risks.
When you are finished, take the money and give it to charity, a friend in need or someone who will appreciate it. Know that you are spreading love and appreciation out in the world.
5. Random act of kindness make for good karma.
It is great to be kind to friends and family, but how about doing something for a complete stranger? Help someone cross the street or buy the person next to you in line a latte. Practice looking at each person you meet as though you were God in disguise.
According to Hasidic tradition: “Every time you help one person an angel is born.”
6. Celebrate a new holiday that’s unfamiliar to you.
Have you ever been to a Christmas Mass? A Chanukah party? A Kwanza Celebration? If you can’t find a celebration to attend in person, find a video that allows you to experience it. Experiment with foods of different cultures. Taste Potato Latkes (a traditional Chanukah potato cake), an English Christmas Mince Pie, or the French version of a Yule log: the Bûche de Noël. You can even sip on some spiced hot chocolate from Peru.
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I like to make a vision board of all the things I want to accomplish in the next year. Prominently displayed it reminds me of where I want to be and whether I am on the right path each day.