If you’re in a climate that roses are still blooming, and lettuce is there for the picking, consider yourself lucky – you’ve got a reprieve for a while. For those of us in colder realms, ripe tomatoes and flipflops are just a fond memory. We deal with gray skies, spitting snow and afternoons that go dark before getting home. (So much for the benefits of daylight savings.)
Halloween’s over – and the holidays haven’t started yet. What helps, to keep your outlook cheerful?
Never underestimate the power of color. A bowl of apples, a new pillow or bright sweater can brighten your environment fast. Choose a nature-based color color like sky blue, lime green or warm yellow…or that visual tonic: red.
Keep things light. Pillar candles cast a warm circle on dreary days. (Who knows – perhaps flames bring up long-lost memories of comfort from our pioneer ancestors. An open fire can warm in more than one sense.) People are buying oil lamps as an emergency measure – why not use one on your kitchen table every evening? Drape a string of twinkle lights over a mantel…around a window…even around the headboard of your bed for a night-time fairy tale effect.
Or, if you have serious problems with depression when the days get shorter, try light therapy. The Ott brand mimics natural light, and comes in a wide range of sizes, from floor to desk and craft lamps. (See a comparison of the Ott vs florescent and incandescent lights here.) P.S. Visit the Ott Lite website, and a 20% off coupon pops up, good on your first order. They’re offering free shipping, too.
Don’t wait until the holidays to treat yourself. Bake Christmas cookies; you’ll feel smug as you stash most of them in the freezer for later – and have some with coffee. (Ask a friend over – they could probably use some cheering up, too. Light the fire, while you’re at it.)
Did you buy a video for your son or daughter, or your partner for Christmas? Let them unwrap it early, pop some popcorn and enjoy it some evening. It will bring more pleasure now than it would under a heap of other presents. The Brick and I often give each other early Christmas gifts. At first it was because we couldn’t wait any longer; now they’re a cherished way to say “I love you.” We’ve never missed those presents on Christmas morning.
Plan ahead. What can you do now, to be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa holidays later? Bake a cake, make a present now – it will come in handy later. Even better, it reminds you that further pleasures are coming. Very soon.
Cindy Brick is a personal property appraiser, judge and national teacher who loves to write about frugality and other personal finance topics. She has written six books and hundreds of articles, but often focuses on quilting, her teaching specialty. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two golden labs and a flock of very suspicious chickens. Find out more at Brickworks, http://www.cindybrick.com, or visit her personal blog: http://www.cindybrick.blogspot.com