It’s the holidays! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa. It’s “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Here at The Breast Cancer Charities of America, we hear some of the most inspiring stories from survivors…women filled with hope, celebration that they made it through treatment and to Christmas. Women that truly soak up every laughter, smile and joyous cinnamon scented moment as breast cancer has taught them how short life can be.
We will also hear from breast cancer patients that are in treatment that they are not well enough to put up a tree or holiday decorations that are a tradition, or they are unable to pay their medical bills, so how are they supposed to buy their children gifts? Suddenly the holidays are stress filled.
What can we all do to put a little spark of joy, hope, happiness and cheer into our holiday season no matter what stage of life we are going through? Take a peek at my favorite ways to (inexpensively) style your holiday season to make it merry & bright:
- Style with Sound: If you are like me, I cannot help but feel inspired when I hear a “Go Tell it on the Mountain” or “Frosty the Snowman”…music is medicine. Truly! Studies show what positive emotions are evoked through sound. So, turn up the volume and start listing to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”…and do not hesitate to sing along!
- Style with Scent: This is one of my favorite things to do and makes the house smell as if you have been baking all day. In a stove pot, mix together water, sliced up apple and orange, about 4 cinnamon sticks and a handful of clove (I’ve also added in fresh pine too)…let simmer and sit back to smell how warm and welcoming a holiday scent will make you feel.
- Style with Sparkles: Definitely my favorite as there has never been a glittery ornament I have NOT fallen in love with! Seriously, holiday décor does not have to be over the top…it can be small, simple and easy. Something as easy as a desktop tree (hello Target dollar bins…we love you at our office) or it could be a weekend spent decorating and telling stories about family ornaments and traditions. However, do a little bit of something festive, even if you are in a hospital bed and it is hanging Christmas ornaments, tinsel and a string of lights somewhere. Embrace the beauty of decorations…even small.
- Style with Giving: Giving your time is something so special and has even greater meaning and memories this time of year. Go read The Night before Christmas at the local library or schools. Or reach out to help host a holiday party at a local seniors’ center. Go caroling with your kids or go feed the homeless at the food shelter. Giving is the most stylish holiday gift anyone can give or receive.
This holiday season, when you are looking for that perfect “style” to define your holidays, think outside of what is in your closet. Style comes in many ways, shapes and forms. And maybe, this year, it’s your opportunity to be the person that provides that style and hope to someone who is in need. You never know the power of giving until you do it selflessly. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!