5 Ways to Get into the Holiday Spirit
Each year, we anticipate the holidays for months in advance. Stores usually follow Halloween with aisles of gift wrap and Christmas decorations. By the day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday—the holiday spirit has arrived in full steam. Sometimes, by the time the actual holidays have arrived, you’re already feeling exhausted. If this sounds all too familiar, here are some tips to perk your spirits and get you in a festive mood so that you (and the people around you) can enjoy the holiday season to the fullest:
1. Mail out Christmas Cards.
Christmas cards need to be sent out a month before Christmas so they make it to the recipients on time. Once you start sorting through your boxes of cards covered with Christmas trees, sparkling glitter, and reindeer, your holiday spirit will be sparked. If you are out of cards, venturing into the department stores will help you get in the mood, thanks to the rows of Christmas decorations and trees lit with glittering lights. Another great way to get into the spirit is to send cards to strangers. For example, deliver a box of signed Christmas cards to your local retirement home, or send them to the American Red Cross to be delivered to troops and their families. This type of generosity and thoughtfulness is what the holidays are all about and will no doubt put you in a jolly mood.
2. Play Some Christmas Music.
Get out your CD collection or MP3 player and listen to some Christmas songs. Or, crank up the radio where you can expect to find at least one station playing traditional as well as modern holiday-themed music. Sing out loud and with others, particularly children, for even more musical inspiration—and fun!
3. Bake a Holiday Dessert.
Bake something that reminds you of the holidays, such as a homemade fruit cake, a yule log roll, or sugar cookies. The smell of freshly baked desserts will no doubt entice your holiday senses. You can also purchase rolls of premixed cookie dough, if you are less comfortable in the kitchen. Shape cookies using Christmas-shaped cookie cutters, such as gingerbread men or stars. Doing this with your children at least once during the season is an absolute must, not only for getting everyone in the spirit of the season, but also for establishing traditions that your children will remember for a lifetime.
4. Start Decorating Your Home (and Yourself!).
A tried-and-true method of getting in the holiday spirit is to hang that first sprig of mistletoe above your doorway. Once you start unpacking your holiday decorations, you'll be hearing sounds of jingle bells in your head. Wear your tacky Christmas sweater, elf shoes, jingle bell necklace, or any other Christmas-themed accessory. Go buy a real tree from a Christmas tree farm, unless you already have a faux tree. As soon as you get the tree in your house, the real tree smell will stir up the holiday spirit. If you are using a faux tree, buy some real tree spray to add scent to your plastic arbor.
5. Watch Christmas Movies.
Whether you are a fan of the old-school Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or prefer the more comedic “Mixed Nuts” featuring Steve Martin, pop a bowl of popcorn and watch your favorite holiday movies. Among the hundreds of holiday-themed movies now on the market, you are sure to find something to stir up your holiday spirit. Don’t forget to watch the kid’s Christmas classics too—they’re bound to put a holiday smile on your children’s faces, as well on your own!
If you find yourself alone for the holidays because of unexpected or unfortunate circumstances, it can be even more difficult to get into a jolly mood. Reach out to others for help in boosting your holiday spirit. Volunteer to serve as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, or offer to babysit for friends and relatives who need to go Christmas shopping. Surround yourself with others and make an effort—it’s amazing what a difference a positive attitude can have, any time of the year!