I wonder if a large part of the Christmas spirit isn’t the anticipation of the gifts they will be buying and receiving. For some, it’s the anticipation of giving gifts to loved ones and to people they will never meet, the recipients of charity. For others, it’s the anticipation of receiving something they have been wanting.
If this feeling of anticipation is responsible for lifting the mood of people at Christmas, why couldn’t we use that same strategy for the rest of the year?
Let’s take, for example, a vacation from the cares of your everyday world. Most people plan their vacations with great anticipation. They get on the Internet and look up hotels, B&Bs, places of interest, transportation, clothing, etc. and they may even try on a variety of outfits to see which ones they want to take. There is more in the planning than in the doing which is why so many people need a vacation from their vacation.
But it’s the anticipation of that vacation that gives people that lighthearted feeling that sustains them from the time they decide to go on one until the time that it becomes a reality. So, how is that different from the anticipation of Christmas?
What if you don’t have the money to go anywhere? In these hard times, many people can’t afford to go on vacation but maybe they can afford to do something different.
It doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. Even the anticipation of what you’re going to do with your income tax refund could spark some enthusiasm. Perhaps the anticipation of getting together with friends or trying out a new restaurant or seeing a movie that you’ve wanted to see might give you something to look forward to.
The idea behind this approach is that when you are doing the same thing day after day, with nothing in sight to relieve the sameness of your life, it can be depressing. But if you have something to look forward to, it can elevate your mood considerably.
If we give ourselves something to look forward to once a week or once a month, we might find ourselves looking at our lives differently, with more optimism and more happiness. With nothing to lose, it’s certainly worth a try.