As I write this it is pouring rain, over cast and getting dark at 4:21! I am laughing about writing about merry and bright under these conditions! Merry and Bright- that is my theme for this month.

And that really is the point for me, for December. To end this year on an up note. Merry and bright are coming from the inside out.

There is so much shiny and pretty and festive and decorated everywhere on the outside, but it’s hard to enjoy it if you are not feeling so merry and bright on the inside. The outside stuff is there to enjoy- we don’t have to figure that out. Time spend manufacturing, growing, expanding your inner vibrance is the place to focus right now.

Think of the things that always fill you up inside. Make a list. Make a plan- each day include something that does it. Schedule it in. You are going to have to be intent about it. Be intentional, even getting yourself some accountability.

Here are some things on my list- maybe we have some in common, or borrow some of mine.

Drive around and look at the lights in neighborhoods, taking my time to really see and appreciate them. I like to take someone with me, if possible, to enjoy together, but I will go by myself, too.

Write affirmations each day that state how I want to feel. One I am going to use this month is “I am merry and bright and my days are filled with goodness.” Make up your own, hand write them out.

Write gratitudes as much as possible- to keep your focus on presence, how things are right now, how much good you have, and think more about those things than what you don’t have.

Spend time with a few special, favorite people who you love, and who love you, too.

Read beautiful magazines.

Surround yourself with beauty, fresh flowers, decorations you love. Spend time noticing them.

Journal how you’re feeling each day. No matter how you feel.

Take a few days to go on a retreat that you can drive to, or a one day or half day field trip if time or funds are short. I like to go by myself and will be taking a retreat in December less than a two hour driving from home. I am going to be confirming my plans for 2023 and confirming my strategy through using a great tool I learned about this year in my Reinvention studies called STELLAR. I just love the name! On retreat I surround myself with beauty, space and especially great food.

Support people in need, volunteer or donate.

Let some stuff go- whether mentally- maybe you don’t want to spend another year with the baggage? Or physical- getting rid of things as maybe more things are coming in. I just cleaned out every closet- my clothes, coats, shoes, boots and accessories- I let things go, even things I was on the fence about- and just like when I decided to create space in my schedule- the space in the closets is every filling. I can look in and see everything. In December I am going to once and for all clean out my office closet- a treasure trove of content and great ideas! Getting that organized will be life changing and time saving.

Take care of your aches and pains. Feeling merry and bright is nearly impossible if you don’t feel well, or haven’t taken care of routine things that weigh on you. What can you get done before the end of the year? I just had my colonoscopy- I was overdue by a year. What a relief to have it done, I know not having to take energy to think about things like that is leaving space for merriness to seep in!

Lastly, resist the urge to over schedule. I have spent the last year determining my right balance of space and stuff in my schedule. I know I don’t want to attend more than two events in a week, and one is preferable. I want to meet up with two friends each week. I sketch out my week every Sunday. If something impromptu comes up I want to be able to say yes to, I consider what I would like to give up. Also, if you can, take some time off to just be at home and not go anywhere. After my colonoscopy I pretty much napped for the whole afternoon. I felt great afterward and wondered to myself why it take a procedure like that to give myself permission to just be and rest for an afternoon- no productivity expected or planned. Keep your to-do list light and essential in December.

These are my keys to creating a merry and bright existence.

Think about all of these as possible pieces to your merry and bright puzzle- you get to experiment and put it together the way it works for you. There is no right or wrong. It can be fun! What else would you add to the list?