The Best Christmas Ever

Dec 17, 2020    Julie Cooley
How to give yourself the Best Christmas Ever?!?

NO, I am not kidding.
Yes, I am fully aware that this is Christmas 2020!

How many of you are having the Christmas you expected to have? How many of you are traveling? Seeing all of your family? Attending Christmas Socials? How many of you are upholding your family traditions this season?

This can be a year where Christmas can easily be a season where you look at what you DON’T have instead of really focusing on what you DO.

There is a freedom in letting go of your expectations and creating the #BestChristmasEver…
You have 7 days to make it happen! Let me give you an easy recipe to make it happen.

8 years ago, I found myself in a little funk and I searched for ways to bring myself joy. A friend of mine, Jennifer, from a duty station we were living at during that time posted a simple FB post that changed my trajectory and has allowed each Christmas since to be the #BestChristmasEver… in fact, every Thanksgiving has been the #BestThanksgivingEver as well.

Jennifer posted ‘Honest November’ posts each day that month. She was raw and honest with her friends and I looked forward to seeing her posts each day. I knew we were on to something and I quickly found a way to keep it going through December. ‘December Blessings’ took over as our theme.

December 1 of 2012, I shifted my focus. A tradition I have seen through nearly every day of every December since. No matter the circumstances I have created the most amazing moments and have given myself the gift of the #BestChristmasEver each and every year. Simply put, I took the weight off of myself by looking to serve others each day of each December.
(more on my ‘how’ below)

Here’s where you question whether any of the 8 years have looked like 2020… and yes, we have had some hard seasons. We have lost family members during the holidays. We have had TDY’s that have lasted nearly the entire month. We have had strep and flu and pink eye and fever. We have even had December PCS’s that took me to my breaking point.

In 2017 I thought I was looking at the #WorstChristmasEver. (Many of you may be there right now)

We had ‘orders’ to move to Barksdale. Well, "orders" is a strong word… I had a husband who had moved to Barksdale while we were left behind at Maxwell due to trouble with our orders. Our house sold super quick and we were left homeless and orderless staying in a TLF until we could get it sorted out. Our youngest daughter and 2 of our dogs with me on Maxwell, Casey and one dog staying on FamCamp at Barksdale, one daughter living at college, and our oldest away at Air Force BMT (for Thanksgiving and Christmas), and everything we owned sitting in a storage facility. That Christmas season, our family of 5 was living in 4 different temporary locations.

We finally made the move to Louisiana on December 23rd. A $29 plastic tree and a 5-minute phone call from Basic Training in a big empty house were what we were excepting for Christmas 2017. By 5 days before the move (exactly 3 years ago today) I found myself sad, frustrated with everything, and falling into a depression. This was until I remembered my promise of years past. In 2012 I promised to change my mindset each December and create the #BestChristmasEver and the best Christmas season ever… and through all my personal turmoil I had given up my control to my circumstances.

Immediately, I got back on track...and I want to help take back control of your Christmas and give you the #BestChristmasEver too!

My big secret… the way to take the weight of the world off your shoulders this week… intentional kindness through small acts of generosity.
Every. Single. Day.

It’s that easy!

Whether today is baking cookies for your next-door neighbor, buying groceries for your friend’s with Covid, dropping Christmas cards by the Police Department, Fire Department, or even your command (these were a few of my acts today).

Stop what you are doing and do something for someone else…today!

When we have the spirit of generosity our outward action is kindness!

The amazing thing about Kindness is its level of contagiousness!
I believe it is like 6.4 times more contagious than this pesky virus ;-)

When you are kind to others, they feel awesome, but you also get a wonderful feeling down in your soul. But here is where you really change your mindset. After a few days you begin to start seeing opportunities all around you to show generosity and kindness and it can become almost a competition with yourself to outdo yesterday. After a few days you have to start really thinking about cool new ways to show kindness.

So, you have 7 days to show kindness to others around you and give yourself the gift of happiness and fulfillment this Christmas.

What is that old saying? It’s better to give than to receive. When you decide to show generosity through small acts of kindness this old saying will truly make more sense.

That’s it… That is my recipe for creating the #BestChristmasEver no matter your circumstances.

I would love to know what ideas you come up with and how it affects your week going into the Christmas holiday!

– Julie