When I was a kid, I had more Christmas spirit than anyone I knew. I would start buying (and making) Christmas gifts in October. I would watch holiday movies as soon as it turned November 1st. Then I got to college, which seemed like the ‘goodbye’ to all my holiday spirit. Essays and holidays didn’t really mix. I would try, but it just wasn’t the same. During my senior year, I realized I had to go all out. If I wanted that childhood spirit back, I had to start getting innovative. I knew that there was something about the season I always loved – but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Perhaps I loved giving. Perhaps I was just a fan of snow. Maybe I loved getting gifts. Or maybe I just knew everybody was happier. So I mixed all of those things into a list of “must-do’s” to get in the holiday spirit.
The easiest way to get in the spirit is to become a holiday movie fanatic. One or two movies isn’t going to cut it. I’m talking 3-4 movies a week, starting a month before Christmas. It won’t be too expensive, and here are two reasons. To be perfectly honest, it looks like this year is going to be a dud for Christmas movies in the theater. So don’t worry about paying $10 for a ticket – you can rent movies for $2 – $5. Also, Christmas movies are playing constantly on primetime TV! Please, don’t miss “Elf”.
Acts of Kindness
It honestly is true what they say – you feel good about giving. This year, plan out a list of things you’re going to do to give back to your community. Whether it’s donating money to an organization you care about, helping at a food bank, or buying Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. Also, don’t forget about your friends and family. Volunteer to make dinner or pay for a movie. When you give, you feel happier, and greater happiness means more Christmas spirit.
Parties & Events
If possible, don’t miss out on an opportunity to go to a Christmas party. There’s nothing like eating great food and being surrounded by people in red and green. If nobody’s having a Christmas party, not a problem! You can have one! There are always Christmas events in any town or city as well. It’s usually the lighting of a huge Christmas tree — just a fun event with caroling, cider, and hot chocolate. Or eggnog. Yum.
I will not lie – I’m usually not a fan of Christmas music. It’s pretty boring, but if you like it, that’s good for you! If you’re like me though, you need to find an alternative. Some Christmas rock and roll. Some Christmas pop. Some stuff that’s new. Luckily, there are a ton of modern artists that make Christmas music. Make a playlist and play it whenever you get in the car. Nothing gets you in the mood like a little music.
Old Pictures and Home Videos
Nostalgia, anyone? I definitely saved the best tip for last. This is something I did last holiday season and it was really, really cool. Uncover those old Christmas photos and give them a good look – even take them out and put them around your house if you feel so inclined. Get a couple framed so you can display them every year. Then, dust off those old videotapes and give the old holidays a watch. If they’re anything like mine were, they are absolute hilarious. And trust me, you’ll want to keep watching videos from all other parts of the year too.
Ann Michaels is a freelance writer and major fan of the Christmas season. Even when she’s busy with all of the above, she never forgets to decorate her house. She loves the Christmas carolers from Christmas Night Inc.!