A few years ago, I challenged the Organizing Maniacs to write about their clutter-free Christmas memories. What came out of those stories was a clear picture that when it comes to the holidays, it’s not about the stuff – it’s about the people we spend time with and the memories we make. As I look back to my childhood, I cannot remember a single toy – but I remember waking up on Christmas Eve and all the anticipation and fun I shared with my three siblings. I remember all of the fun we had at my grandmother’s house and our trips to church to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. I remember the friends we fed during the holidays. And I remember working at the soup kitchen to feed the less fortunate.
As I grew older and lived away from my family, I learned to appreciate the friendship and kindness of people. There was always a place available for me to have dinner and a feeling that I belonged! One Christmas day, a stranger took me to the movies. It is by far the best Christmas memory I have – and we have been lucky to spend every Christmas together since.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanzaa or any other holiday this time of year, the idea is the same: you can make it special by making it less about stuff and more about people, kindness, and taking time to make someone else feel welcome, wanted, and loved.