I am not feeling the holiday spirit like I used to. Instead of enjoying this time of year I am only thinking about all the things that used to be in my life that aren’t anymore! How can I get into the spirit?

The “holiday spirit” means something different to each person. Perhaps in the past it meant large gatherings with special people in your life or decorating or gift giving. It is natural for the holiday spirit to change over time. Maybe you used to have a big office holiday party and now you are retired and no longer have that built in group of people to celebrate with. Perhaps a special family member used to throw a party each year and now that person has passed away and no one took over that tradition.
Change is almost always difficult, but it also an inevitable part of life. You may decide to ignore the holiday time and go about your daily routine. If that works for you and reduces your stress, then I encourage it. However, if you miss the holiday spirit and wish you still had that in your life then I urge you to look for other ways to bring this back into your season.
Think about what aspects of the holidays used to bring you joy. There may be elements you can still incorporate in a different way. If you had a special person you celebrated with who is no longer living you may want to consider finding a way to honor that person’s memory. Visit a restaurant you enjoyed together, cook their favorite meal for a friend or connect with nature by visiting a place you used to enjoy together such as a walk on the beach.
It may be time to redefine the holiday spirit for yourself. Instead of throwing a big party you may try volunteering your time at a local agency that is hosting a holiday party for their clients. Lending our time and talents to those who are less fortunate can be a wonderful way to do something good while also reminding ourselves of all that we still can be thankful for. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people during this time of year. Consider donating to a special charity or paying for someone’s coffee in line. Doing something good can bring such an enriching feeling to us and spread the joy we are seeking.
It may be time to look forward and create new traditions. If you are involved in a religious organization, you may want to see what they offer during this time year. You are not alone in your feelings. Reach out to people you know who might feel similar and start your own group. It is never too late to make new memories. Figure out what works for you and most importantly, be kind to yourself. It is okay for things to be different. Find what brings you joy and to let go of comparing to years past. The holiday spirit can be whatever you want it to be this year.



Free Community Holiday Dinner at Temple Adat Elohim Thousand Oaks
Wednesday, December 25, 11:30am – 2:00pm
Temple Adat Elohim: 2420 E Hillcrest Dr, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Temple Adat Elohim invites the community to help spread the word about its 25th annual Christmas dinner. Free and all are welcome.

Eating Healthy on a Budget
Thursday, January 2nd, 1:00pm – 1:45pm
Simi Senior Center: 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley, CA 93063
This nutrition class will give you tips for making meals and snacks that both are healthy choices and allow you to stay within your budget. Topics include how to shop to get the most value out of your budget and how to make cost-cutting meals. This is a free presentation, but space is limited. Stop by the main desk or call (805) 583-6363 to sign up.

Emergency Preparedness Day Expo in Moorpark
Sunday, January 5, 2020, 2:45pm – 4:45pm
23995 Peach Hill Rd, Moorpark, CA 93021
Pick up information from different agencies preparing you for all disasters starting at 2:45pm. Starting at 3:15 hear from the experts with questions and answers. The event is free. For more information: 805-367-6322 or moorparkbb@yahoo.com (Contact person Gene Hatton)

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