Seven Ways to Lighten Your December

Add Some Sparkle

photo of dessert with sparklersLast Tuesday was my birthday and I started the day on a fun note being interviewed by my friend, Lin Schreiber, on her new radio show. After the show and despite the fact that it is a busy time at work, I took the afternoon off and had lunch in town at a French bistro, with a friend who was also celebrating a December birthday. We saw waiters delivering sparklers, the 4th of July kind, to a few other tables, apparently for birthday celebrations, at which point we requested ours. This little spectacle —a sparkler stuck in a lemon wedge on a plate dusted with cinnamon and paraded out for the birthday girl— delighted me to no end.

Giving myself the gift of an afternoon off was an exquisite treat. It also gave me the idea for this article and so without further ado, here are seven ways to lighten your December and add some sparkle to your life. Each one of them has been laboratory tested by me so you can feel confident that they really work.

Seven Ways to Lighten Your December

7. Take some things off your list. Let go of unrealistic expectations. Use this worksheet to identify what is truly necessary for you to address this month. Do this for work as well as personal projects. Focus on less and you’ll succeed with more. I felt much lighter after this one!

6. Choose one tradition to embrace and embellish. Remember that you don’t have to do everything every year. Honor a tradition because you want to and because it brings you joy. Inventing a new tradition is also an option.

5. Take a few hours off from work. It will do wonders for your well-being and rebalance you for the work that will still be there tomorrow. Whether it’s to have a relaxing lunch with a friend or to run some holiday errands at a more leisurely pace, take a few hours and catch up with yourself.

4. Take 10 minute breaks while working, shopping, baking, or doing other chores. Ten minutes may not sound like much but it’s enough time to get off your feet, have a cup of tea, and take in your surroundings.

3. Sing in the car and put music on at home. Nothing lifts the spirit like music!

2. Get outside and get some fresh air. Yesterday after work, I walked to the supermarket before dinner instead of driving. It was a short walk yet still revived me and felt like a reward after a long day. I kept thanking myself for doing this all the way there and back.

And the #1 way to lighten your December is to…

1. Ask yourself often: What’s something easy I can do right now to let the joy in? You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities for joy are accessible within your day. Maintaining an awareness of what is within your power to lighten your days will serve you well through the holidays and beyond.

Follow the Joy

For the remainder of this month, rather than following the stress, decide to follow the joy.

“The greatest gift you can give yourself is joy, not only because of the feeling that goes with it at the moment, but because of the magnificent experience it will draw to you. It becomes your mark, your nature, your name. It is a wonder-working technique that will produce wonders in your life."
— Jack Boland

Here's to you,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

© 2009, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

link to In the Current website