Christmas has come and gone. As we sit anticipating the new year, there’s excitement to rid ourselves of the year of the pandemic, and there’s a caution for what’s to come. There’s no better time than the present to clear the path for incredible possibilities.
- CLEAR THE CLOSET
Take time and clear your closet.
All of them. The coat closets.
The linen closet.
The bedroom closets.
The kitchen closets.
Separate what you’ve worn and those items that appear to be taking up space. You can spend thirty-minutes on each closet, pulling out what you have identified as questionable items. Don’t linger. Make a quick decision. Must keep items stay hanging or left on the shelves. ‘I like it, but’ — go directly into a box or bag. Schedule donation pickup or plan to drop off within 24 hours. No cheating. Once it is in the box or bag, it’s no longer yours.
Come on. After the year we have had, many of us have realized what we can live without in our day to day living. We have one more step to this assignment. Return to the ‘must keep’ items in your closets. Take another look. What things could you sell to make some year-end or first of the year cash? Clothes and home goods sell great on Poshmark. Start an account and take a few images with your mobile phone and upload them to begin selling. [Poshmark] NOTE: Join me on Poshmark—my favorite app to buy & sell fashion and more. You’ll save up to 70% off of top brands! For a limited time, use my code SIPTALKSHOP to save $10
2. WATCH ANOTHER CHRISTMAS MOVIE
To me, here is something meaningful about watching a few good Christmas movies after December 25. Often, we jump ahead to the next holiday and celebration. This year was different. Take a moment and breathe. Sing Silent Night, Oh, Holy Night, or Joy to The World one more time. Light your tree. Turn on the television and watch another Christmas movie. You might as well fully enjoy the days between Christmas and the new year. While you are at it, make some memories and consider a new tradition.
3. BECOME A PHILANTHROPIST
Give. I believed one could not become a philanthropist many years ago unless you were giving hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars away. I have since learned that was false information. You can become a philanthropist by giving the smallest amount of money or time to a nonprofit organization or cause. Fidelitycharitable.org defines a philanthropist as “a person who donates time, money, experience, skills or talent to help create a better world. Anyone can be a philanthropist, regardless of status or net worth.”
Today, many organizations need financial assistance. With so many facing food insecurity, there is a need for monetary donations to help those who are hungry. A great organization to give to and help feed millions of people, including hungry children, is Feeding America. www.FeedingAmerica.org
Another organization is the Polaris Project located in Washington, DC, which takes a comprehensive approach to ending modern-day slavery. This organization advocates for stronger federal and state laws, operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, provides services and support for trafficking victims, and works with survivors to develop long-term strategies to ending human trafficking.
Do you love history and the arts? The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. The museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts, and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. Visit www.nmaahc.si.edu for more information.
Identify one to three organizations that make your heart sing and give throughout 2021. It can be monthly, quarterly, or a one-time gift. You can give $1.00. Just like pennies added together makes a dollar. Dollars added together can make ten, twenty, fifty, and one hundred dollars. Remember, some people are doing good without 501c3. Remember them as well and after your research, give to their cause. Don’t delay. Start giving today.
4. TAKE TIME TO SEE
What do you see? As I look out my window, I see snow. I see beauty. I see calm. I see how the snow rests upon the leaves that have not fallen. I see the lights. I see birds. I see a neighborhood. I see community. I see…
Do you remember playing, “I Spy?” This game caused you to pause and focus. Pause. Focus. See.
Stop what you are doing and take a look. What do you see?
5. WRITE A NOTE. SEND A CARD.
I miss handwritten notes and cards. I miss receiving Christmas cards. I miss the creativity and the art of writing handwritten notes. Let’s go old school—plan between now and the new year to send three cards with a handwritten note inside. Put a stamp on the envelope and place it in the mail. Brighten someone’s day. I used to have so many cards delivered during the Christmas season to outline each door opening. In the last few years, I barely have enough cards to line my coffee table.
Text messages are fine when you are in a hurry, but something is exciting about receiving mail addressed to the person you love. Go a step further. Send notes to three people that includes a word of encouragement or a prayer of blessing.
6. START YOUR SAVINGS PLAN
The title says it all. Go online and find a plan that works for you.
7. HAVE FUN
Laugh. Love. Okay, those too, but have some fun. Do something you enjoy doing even if you go at it alone. Love life. Find that one thing that brings you joy and do it! Laugh at yourself. Watch that comedy on television and laugh out loud. Sing throughout your home off-key. Grab the toilet paper or paper towel holder and start singing, jumping, twirling around, and dance with laughter!
8. CHALK YOUR DOOR
Celebrated on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 3, 2021). Chalking the door is a centuries-old practice around the world. It is not very well known in the United States, but after the year we have had, why not start a new tradition of using chalk to write above your home’s entrance and dedicate your year to God by asking for His blessing on the home and those who dwell in or visit the home.
“May Christ bless this house.”
Here’s how it is done.
Take chalk of any color and write the following above the entrance of your home: 20 + C + M + B + 21. The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the initials of the Magi — Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar— who came to visit Jesus in His first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “21” at the end mark the year. Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request for Christ to bless those homes so marked and that He stay with those who dwell therein throughout the entire year. The numbers represent the New Year.
- C M B stands for “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” latin for “May Christ bless this house”
- C M B also stands for the traditional names of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior, & Balthasar
- The “+’ signs represent the cross, and the four seasons of the year; 2021 is the year.
- End with a prayer covering over your home or apartment.
Want to add to this list? Feel free to do so in the comment section.
Blessings to you as you look back over the last twelve months and step into a new season of your life. Remember, there’s nothing magical about a new year. It’s a mindset where you decide to do something new according to God’s plan and purpose for your life.
Happy New Year!