The Caregivers is a unique series focused on the challenges and triumphs of caregiving. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between AARP and Word In Black.

Decorative street lights are shining throughout city and town centers. Mailboxes have been stuffed with coupon books and ads. Oprah’s Favorite Things List has gone public, too. So yes, it’s official. The winter season is here.

Whether you’re celebrating holidays that include Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and the New Year, or simply embracing another day on earth, here are some ideas for inviting connection, warmth, and lifelong memories into your world:

Curate an experience with books, films, and music. 

Music, films, and books have the power to comfort us, challenge us, and introduce us to worlds unknown. Whether you are living near your loved ones or far away, write down a list of films, books, and music that you love. Share that list, if you’d like. Then, choose one or two from your list and create conversation. Experiences like these are taking place in-person and online, too. Make use of social media platforms to find an event that you and your loved ones would appreciate. 

Devote your time to a good cause. 

Massive shifts in our lives over the past two years have created great need around the world. What is a cause that is important to you? Investing in small businesses? Sharing your expertise with peers or strangers? Contributing to an organization with a mission that aligns with your calling? Pick a cause, devote some time to it, and experience the joy of giving back. 

Share kind words or a smile. 

It’s so simple and costs so little. Your words have the power to shift the course of someone’s day, so make an effort to transmit kindness. You can send a text message, mail a letter, or make a phone call. Whatever the method, connect with a loved one. If you’d prefer, you can also spread your kindness to strangers. 

Visit a local museum or theater event. 

Many museums and theaters are back open and hosting programs through the end of the year. This includes virtual exhibitions, lectures, and shows. Check the AARP Virtual Community Center for virtual listings (and, hey, you may even find other exciting events of interest). 

Try — or create! — a new recipe 

Healthy meals keep us alive and aging gracefully. Be bold and try a new spin on traditional meals and, if you’re courageous enough, then share it. Who knows where that experimentation could take you.