StatePoint — These days, the focus of the holidays is often on consumerism — from gift cards to glitzy décor to formal place settings. Whatever your religious beliefs, you may be looking for ways to incorporate more spirituality into the season and beyond.
Here are three ways to bring more meaning to the season:
• Skip the gift exchange. Instead of purchasing pricey presents for family and friends, do a letter exchange instead. Take the opportunity to tell loved ones what they mean to you. These notes of appreciation will be a lot more memorable and a lot more meaningful than a store bought item. The money you would have spent on gifts can be donated to your favorite charity instead.
• Volunteer. The winter can be an especially difficult time for the elderly, the hungry or the sick. While it may be a particularly busy time of year for you, try to dedicate some time in your schedule to a volunteer project that helps you connect with others in your community.
• Be introspective. There is plenty of great literature available that can help you explore your own spirituality. One new title, “Coming Home, A Spiritual and Religious Dialogue,” by Star Chang, who has studied religious scriptures, history and spiritual books for years, delves into the teachings of the likes of Buddha, Jesus, Plato and Muhammad. The book seeks to help readers navigate their own path by discovering which teachings apply to them and how to incorporate them into a modern lifestyle. This reading can be especially beneficial to those looking for more meaning around the holiday season.
More information about the book can be found at http://www.BookComingHome.com.
While there is certainly great joy to be had by getting swept up in the spirit of the holiday season, taking time to reflect and be of service to others can give this time of year even more meaning and importance.