People who consider Christmas a "religious feast" rather than just a "cultural feast" are more likely to feel happier than usual during the festive season, indicated a MaltaToday recent survey.
The survey found that people who said they see Christmas as a religious feast, opposed to not seeing it as religious any longer, are more likely to feel happier.
A total of 77 percent of survey respondents who see the day of the birth of Jesus Christ - one of the highlights in the Christian calendar - as both a cultural and a religious feast said they felt happier than usual during the festive season.
The percentage falls to 59 percent among those who primarily see Christmas as a religious feast and to just 32 percent among those who regard Christmas as a cultural feast.
While only 4 percent of those who regard Christmas as both a religious and cultural feast indicated in the survey they are sadder in the festive season, the percentage rises to 11 percent among those who regard Christmas as primarily a religious feast, to 25 percent among those who regard it as a cultural feast and to 66 percent of those who regard Christmas as being neither a cultural nor a religious feast.
To get more happiness from Christmas, following are 11 tips from as published by Meant To Be Happy.
1. Connect To The Deeper Meaning Of The Season
From family togetherness with gift exchanges and Christmas traditions to the original celebration of the birth of Jesus, as believers rededicate their lives to living a Christ-like life of faith and virtue to the popular celebration of the giving spirit of the holiday, there's something deeply meaningful for almost everyone.
2. Serve Someone
Sadness is inward-looking; service is its opposite. By making someone else's life better, joy will start to replace sorrow. Meaning and purpose will begin to reinsert itself into the holiday experience. Self-pity will give way to a growing appreciation for the bounty of life.
3. Celebrate The Season With Forgiveness
Of all the gifts you give this year, perhaps the most meaningful and life-changing will be the gift of forgiveness you offer someone who has offended you.
4. Make It Fun And Festive
Get out the lights. Put up the tree. Blast the tunes. Decorate. Dance around the house. Invite others over to dance with you. Sing carols. Pour a glass of eggnog. Pop some popcorn. Watch a funny holiday movie. Laugh out loud. Don't wait around for the season to get into you! Jump into it head-first!
5. Create A New "Family"
If sadness overwhelms the holidays because of loss or divorce or estrangement or distance, start now to create a new "family" of friends with whom you can celebrate Christmas. Loin a club and volunteer to participate on special projects. It's often in such settings where people with shared interests and values engaged in meaningful service that relationships grow fastest. No matter what happened to your family, whether decades ago or just last weekend, you can start to invite people into your life today.
6. Do What You Love
Be your own funk-breaker! Paint. Run. Climb. Sing. Swim. Serve. Learn. Play. Give. And watch what starts to happen to your holiday spirit.
7. Become The Neighborhood's Secret Santa
Bake some cookies. Buy some gift cards. And start secretly making your neighbors' day. Put a plate of cookies on a doorstep or put Christmas cards on the windshields of cars in your community.
8. List All The Things That Are Wonderful In Your Life
We often tend to over-exaggerate the negative and under-accentuate the good. Takng the time to write down all that's sweet in life can act to underscore the good and paint a picture that's not quite as dour as we would otherwise believe. Gratitude is contagious. So do all you can to catch it. Then spread it.
9. Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Out!
Some of the symptoms of depression include oversleeping, staying in bed, undressed, un-showered, self-ostracized. But such behaviors also cause the blues. They feed each other. When we're down, we don't get up and dressed. But when we don't get up and dressed, we often feel worse. So stop the cycle. Get up. Clean up. Go somewhere and do something.
10. Put Yourself On Santa's "Nice" List
Buy yourself a gift. Make it meaningful. Enjoy it. Be grateful. Believe you deserve it. Have fun with it.
11: Have No Expectations
Our biggest cause of disappointment is when our expectations are not met. If you expect little or nothing, anything good will be a wonderful surprise! Having no expectations, by the way, is not the same thing as expecting the worse.