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33 little ways to get into the Holiday Spirit

    1. Don't schedule yourself too tight this month. Before making an appointment, ask yourself, "Can this wait until after the holidays?"

    2. Personalize your Christmas cards with a handwritten note.

    3. Throughout the holiday season give your family the gift of sweet disposition.

    4. Take the entire family to select the Christmas tree. Choose one that's a little too big.

    5. Do what the Irish do: Put a bird's nest in your Christmas tree for good luck.

    6. Introduce a child to the wonder of snowflakes. Chill a dark sheet of construction paper; then examine the flakes with a magnifying glass as they land on the paper.

    7. Smile at all salesclerks.

    8. Take a decorated miniature Christmas tree to someone in the hospital or a nursing home.

    9. Before going to bed on Christmas Eve, read about the birth of Jesus in Luke, chapter 2, by candlelight.

    10. Create a special place of honor for the Christmas card from the farthest away.

    11. Don't wait until just before Christmas to wrap the gifts; wrap them as you purchase them.

    12. Attend a children's Christmas pageant. Sit up front.

    13. Enjoy a couple of meals illuminated only by the Christmas tree.

    14. Bake Christmas cookies while a Johnny Mathis Christmas album plays in the background.

    15. Create a homemade sled from a large appliance box. Then look for the biggest hill you can find.

    16. Offer to run Christmas errands for an elderly friend or relative.

    17. Buy a tree ornament for each of your children. Choose one that represents an event that was important to the child in this past year.

    18. Answer your phone by saying, "Merry Christmas."

    19. Don't write the word Christmas as Xmas.

    20. Enjoy the holiday fragrance of cloves, orange peel and cinnamon sticks simmering on the kitchen stove.

    21. Videotape family members recaling their favorite Christmas memories.

    22. Bake or buy delicious coffee cakes to take to neighbors on Christmas morning.

    23. Take a shut-in a scrumptious Christmas dinner.

    24. Don't forget our feathered friends. Spread peanut butter or pinecones, and then roll them in birdseed. Hang them on a tree near the breakfast-room window.

    25. Create a gag gift that is passed on to a different family member every Christmas.

    26. Go caroling.

    27. Don't give anyone a fruitcake.

    28. Buy Christmas mugs for everyone in the family. Use them all throughout the holidays.

    29. After you've opened up the presents, hug all family members and tell them they're the best gift of all.

    30. Don't forget to put out the milk and cookies for Santa Claus.

    31. Don't forget to hang the mistletoe.

    32. Don't forget to buy the batteries.

    33. Don't forget whose birthday we're celebrating.

- H. Jackson Brown Jr.