By - January 14th 2015.

Here are a few suggestions to rekindle happy memories of the holiday season—and make new ones.

The Tree

Coat, hat, mitts … check, check, and check. Trudging through snow up to your thighs saw in hand … check. Finding the perfect tree … check. Dragging it home only to find it is much too big to fit into the living room … and check. (Trees always look much smaller in the woods.)

Even if this is a familiar scenario, it is likely a distant memory. But chances are, if you can remember doing this, there are happy memories associated with the entire process. The lights. The baubles. The tinsel. And sitting back to admire your handiwork with a homemade cookie in one hand and a mug of hot cocoa in the other.

While you may not have room for a tree—even a small one—you likely have a dresser where you could place a miniature artificial tree. And if you prefer “the real thing,” you may have a corner where you can tuck a small, potted evergreen, which can be planted outside in the spring.

You can decorate the tree with tiny baubles and bows available at most department and dollar stores. You can even find candy canes just the right size to add the finishing touch.
This tiny replica can serve as a reminder of those happy memories from long ago.

The Decorations

Bows. Ribbon. Garland. Mistletoe. Artificial snow in a can.
A visit to the neighbourhood dollar store can spark any number of ideas to decorate even the smallest space.
How about … window clings, a pint-sized Christmas village, snowman mugs.
A few well-place additions can brighten up your room in no time.

The Lights

From the lights on the tree to the bulbs outlining each window … from the outdoor floodlights casting a warm glow to the flicking candles … this season shines like no other.

Some miniature trees are pre-lit. All you have to do is plug them in. You may not be able to outline your window with multi-coloured lights, but you may be able to hang a lit star or snowman to bring a smile to passersby—as well as yourself.

And thanks to creative ingenuity, there are now battery-powered candles that are so realistic-looking it’s hard to believe there is no open flame.

As the sun sets earlier and earlier, these lights provide a nice alternative to harsh fluorescents … and can stir up warm and happy memories.

The Music

While not everyone gathered around “the old piany” and sang carols, seasonal songs are piped into stores and restaurants and evoke an emotional response from people of all ages. Music is a powerful tool and awakens memory centres in the brain like nothing else can.

Whether listening to favourites from your past or discovering new favourites, why not make music part of the season?
The Movies

Peruse the DVD aisles in any store at this time of year, and you’ll find rows and rows of holiday classics. It seems everyone has their favourites.

Maybe it’s time to pop in a copy of “A Christmas Carol,” “White Christmas,” or “Miracle on 34th Street.”
Perhaps just thinking about the movies you watched with your children brings a smile to your face. Go ahead and watch “A

Charlie Brown Christmas,” the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or the Burl Ives’ classic, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Enjoy!

The Cards

Not too long ago, the holidays meant mailboxes stuffed with greeting cards. Displays of cards made wonderful additions to the decorations.

With the advent of e-cards that are sent on the computer—and the ever-increasing price of individual and boxed cards—fewer and fewer physical cards are sent each year.
One of the most wonderful things about the season is bringing a smile to someone’s face. Just think how big those smiles will be if your loved ones go to their mailboxes and find a card with a personalized, handwritten note inside.

May you bring many smiles this holiday season … and may you have countless reasons to smile yourself.