Didn't get those tickets to Handel's "Messiah"? Find a Christian church in your area with a big choir and attend services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. You might not hear the "Hallelujah Chorus," but the traditional hymns sung with care can inspire and bring the promised calm. If nothing else, you'll get to sit still for an hour and let the music take you outside yourself.
Churches with good choral programs usually advertise their Christmas services in the newspaper. Your local chapter of the American Guild of Organists may have a concert calendar as well, or try Beliefnet's House of Worship Finder.
Never got those Christmas cards out? Give up the mass mailing. Instead, sit down to write one long, gushy letter to your best friend, or someone you have lost touch with. If you can't bear the thought of not tagging back everyone who sent you a card, send one e-card that will arrive long before the postal service can get it there.
Too embarrassed to knock on doors and sing? Organize a neighborhood caroling klatsch. Make a handout inviting your neighbors to meet at a central location--a streetcorner or small green area is fine--to sing Christmas carols and stuff it in their mailboxes. Early evening, when many people are finishing up Christmas dinner is a good time. Show up with copies of lyrics to favorite carols and a box of candles for extra cheer (a flame also helps people read the lyric sheets in the dark). If you're up to it bring along a couple of thermoses of hot chocolate or cider.
Want a quicker fix for that Scrooge-ish feeling? Writing a check to a charity is a remarkably uplifting way to keep the Ghost of Christmas Present at bay. If you don't have a favorite helping agency, check out our Holiday Giving Guide.
Hassled with pre-Christmas baking? Bake with meaning. Make an oplatki, a Polish tradition emphasizes reconciliation with others for forgiveness.
Endless wrapping trapping you indoors? Spend a few hours at a local nature preserve. Check the Nature Conservancy website for a protected place near you. If holiday traffic prevents you from leaving your own doorstep, try this door-blessing liturgy to ask God's blessing on all who live or visit your home.