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How to Get into the Christmas Spirit
How to Get into the Christmas Spirit
If you have trouble getting into the holiday spirit, you aren’t alone. Holidays are challenging for many people, with 62 percent of people saying the holidays stress them out. Common stressors include tight budgets, overstuffed schedules and the pressure to have everything be perfect. If you’re struggling to get into the holiday spirit this year, try some of these tips to turn yourself from Scrooge to Santa.
Give Personalized Gifts
Make gifts extra special this year by giving personalized Christmas gifts to loved ones to let them know how much you care. This is a great opportunity to welcome new family members into traditions, like adding personalized stockings on the mantel or a personalized Christmas ornament on the tree.
Create Special Ornaments to Commemorate Your Year
Make your Christmas tree a living scrapbook by preserving a memory with a special glass Christmas ornament commemorating an event from the past year. Doing this every year makes decorating your tree a trip down memory lane and provides each ornament with personal significance. Plus, when your children are grown, they can take their special ornaments with them to decorate their own trees.
Embrace the Sounds of the Season with Christmas Playlists
Blasting the Christmas classics is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Whether you love traditional carols sung by crooners, joyful choral music by some of the world’s premier choirs or modern holiday hits, you can find numerous playlists to get you in the mood.
Browse streaming services like Spotify to curate your own list of festive favorites or search YouTube for videos of crackling fires with Christmas background music to create a cozy atmosphere.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
Other than music, taste and smell are other powerful ways to stimulate your memory. One whiff of your favorite cookies baking in the oven can instantly transport you to a past holiday, which can spark some holiday cheer in the present.
Candy canes in hot cocoa can make you feel like a kid again, or try making eggnog, mulled wine or other seasonal beverages only available during the holiday season. Red and green M&Ms in a candy dish on the coffee table serves as holiday decor and an easily accessible snack during movie night.
Host a Movie Marathon of All Your Holiday Favorites
Gather the family in matching Christmas pajamas, pop some popcorn and watch all your holiday favorites. Make it a neighborhood event by hanging a sheet in the backyard and projecting the movie around an outdoor fire pit to stay warm.
The great thing about Christmas movies is there’s a subgenre for everyone. If you like your Christmas movies with a healthy dose of rom-com, check out the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies, or if you need a family-friendly offering, tune in to Freeform (formally ABC Family) for their 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon.
Check out movies from your childhood or even your grandparents’ childhoods on streaming services or channels like AMC or Turner Classic Movies.
Be Proactive about Decorating
One of the simplest ways to get into the spirit is to surround yourself with all the traditional decorations the tree, the stockings, the lights. Unfortunately, it may also seem like just another thing to check off your massive to-do list.
Decide when you are going to decorate and try to do it earlier than normal. Thanksgiving weekend is always a good time since you often have a long weekend already, or consider taking a day off work while the kids are at school to get an uninterrupted day of decorating.
Simplify Your Life from Shopping to Cooking
Since the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is packed with events, try simplifying as much as you possibly can. Shop early to avoid crowds and low inventory, or order everything online. Have gifts purchased and wrapped before Thanksgiving so you don’t have to worry about any of it while running around between Ugly Sweater parties and office get-togethers. Planning ahead also helps you stick to a budget and avoid financial strain at Christmas.
If you host Christmas dinners, make them potlucks instead of preparing the entire meal yourself. Make what you can ahead of time and freeze it, like cookie dough and holiday bread. Even consider catering the meal instead of making it to save yourself some hassle.
Engage in Family Holiday Traditions
Enjoying family traditions are often the fondest memories we have of Christmas growing up. Participating in long-established traditions or creating your own and repeating them year after year evokes a sense of nostalgia that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Some fun traditions to start include gifting an ornament to your kids each year, cutting down a real Christmas tree, writing letters to Santa or going caroling.
Send Christmas Cards
Sending snail mail may have fallen out of favor with the rising popularity of social media posts, but a heartfelt handwritten Christmas card can not only help you get into the Christmas spirit, but can also boost the mood of the person you’re sending it to.
Create your own custom Christmas cards using online templates, or take a holiday-themed photo shoot and use the image in your card design. Then, use a printing service for professional quality cards. Leave the center of the card blank so you can write personalized messages to each of the recipients, letting them know how much they mean to you.
Christmas is a time for giving and sharing joy, and there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to give back to your community. Sign up to volunteer at the local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, nursing home or hospital. There are numerous organizations, such as the Salvation Army, who are always looking for volunteers to help spread Christmas cheer.
Volunteering not only benefits those you are helping, but can also have a positive effect on your physical and mental well-being, from lowering your risk of depression to building your self-confidence.
Slow Down and Enjoy the Holidays
If you can’t get in the holiday spirit, try to remember that it’s not about being perfect or giving the best gifts. It’s about making memories with family that you’ll treasure forever. Take time for yourself when you need it to recharge your batteries, plan ahead and decorate your space and you’ll be on your way to spreading holiday cheer.