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’Tis the season to give back – and be together.

It’s the holidays! Whether that means you’re excited for gifts and treats or feeling a little unsure about your plans, we have ideas to help you have the happiest holidays, yet. From giving to yourself and others to ideas for creating community, it’s all in here.

8 Ways to have the Happiest Holiday.

1. Reach out. While the holidays can be fun, they can also be lonely for many members of the community. So take a moment to talk to those around you. If someone does’t have plans, invite them. If you don’t have plans, look for ways to be involved. Being around others is the best way to bring a maximum amount of love – and cheer – to the holidays.

2. Give Back. Whether you’re participating in the annual Sock Drive or decorating stockings, there are plenty of ways to give back this year. Want to be more targeted with your love? Check out the Willamette Week’s Give Guide.

3. Hunker Down. Too cold outside? Hunker down and try one of these meals that are so good, they’ll make you glad you stayed in. Don’t forget to organize a potluck and invite some of your neighbors!

4. Cozy Up. Bring in the holidays by attending or hosting a Holiday Happy Hour! Whether it’s a blood orange basil gimlet or sparkling cranberry punch, you can all toast to the season – and each other. Aren’t the holidays great?

5. Shop Local. From pop-up shops to The Holiday Market, there are plenty of ways to support local artisans while doing the gift thing.

6. Light the Way. ’Tis the time of year we’d all like more sunshine! That’s why it’s great to get out and see some of Portland’s best holiday light displays. From Zoo Lights to Peacock Lane to Pittock Mansion, we have a great list of lights here.

7. Go by Train (or Ship!) Whether it’s the Holiday Express or Amtrak to Leavenworth’s Christmas Tree Lighting Festival, taking a little trip is a great way to celebrate the season. Want to stay closer to home? Just walk to the waterfront and check out the Christmas Ships.

8. Celebrate Each Other. While the season is full of baked goods and music, candles and gifts, make sure it’s also full of those you love – or those you’d like to know better! Bake cookies for a friend; take a neighbor to lunch; or just spread the holiday cheer in your own favorite way. One of the greatest gifts we have is each other. So from all of us to all of you, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and the happiest of new years. Thank you for being a part of our virtual community.