We get it – feeling merry and bright may not be easy for everyone. Between the coronavirus pandemic and the isolation as a result of strict safety & health measures, many of us may still find it difficult to think of ways to get into the Christmas spirit in 2021. Still, there are plenty of ways to find, embrace, and spread love and joy this holiday season while keeping ourselves and one another safe. Use this guide as a jumpoff point to spark some new holiday traditions (or restart old ones!) and help yourselves and others find some Christmas cheer this year.
1. Press ‘Play’ On Your Favorite Holiday Music
Mariah. Nat King Cole. Frank Sinatra. Ariana Grande – Whoever sings your favorite Christmas anthem, now is the time to lean on them. Nothing fast-tracks you into the holiday spirit quicker than a festive sing-along. So, head over to Spotify, or wherever you stream your music from, and select one of the many Christmas-themed playlists — the perfect backing track to any of the following festively fun activities.
2. Decorate your Christmas tree
Stepping through your front door and seeing the warming lights of a Christmas tree — that really is magic, isn’t it? But you need to be a little strategic about when you put up your Christmas tree, if you want it to last until January 6th. Most trees will drop their needles within about four to six weeks of being cut. So, as it’s almost December – go for it!
3. Binge on festive movies
As with Christmas music, whatever you deem to be a festive film, is whatever you deem to be a festive film. Some take a classic approach, favoring Miracle on 34th Street. Others prefer a slightly left-field approach, choosing Die Hard or Gremlins.
But you know what? The film you watch doesn’t even need to be set at Christmas time, to get you in the holiday spirit. Perhaps it simply came out around Christmas and so reminds you of the festive excitement of childhood; the Lord of the Rings trilogy is one that springs to mind. No matter the films you choose, get comfy and prepare for a back-to-back helping of festive feel-good. You’ll be amped for Christmas in no time.
Which aromas really remind you of Christmas? Perhaps its mulled wine, or pine trees, or — most likely — its gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, Christmas cake and cinnamon. So, bring your house to life with all those indulgent festive scents, not by heading down to a local candle store, but by rustling up a tray of delicious baked treats.
And you don’t need to be a culinary whizz to get them right. Christmas cookies simply need flour, butter, sugar and your preferred Christmassy flavouring.
5. Host a Christmas Get-Together for You and Your Friends
At its heart, Christmas is a time to spend with those near and dear to you. And what better way to do that, than by throwing a special Christmas party? After all, having the same friend-dates can get boring after a while. A festive bash is the perfect excuse to blast out your new favorite playlist and show off your holiday-inspired baking skills.
Even better: organize a secret Santa in your friendship group. Set a financial limit and enjoy the interrogation process of trying to work out who had who!
6. Indulge in Christmas Self-Care
Sure, spending time with friends and family is what Christmas is all about. But it’s also a really important time to catch your breath and reflect upon everything else that’s happened in the year so far — especially if you’ve been feeling low on energy.
Whether you survived a breakup, hooked up with a new crush, or won a lot more clients at work, you’ve probably done a lot of stuff to be proud of during 2020. That’s why you should find time to indulge in a little Christmas self-care; a little face mask, a quick pre-Christmas makeover at the hair salon, or just cracking open a good bottle of wine. Make yourself feel as fabulous as you deserve to feel this Christmas — coz, honey, you’ve earned it!
7. Volunteer Your Time to a Local Charity or Community Cause
After a brief pause for self-reflection, it’s not uncommon to realize you want to do something to give back to your local community or help those in need. And the holidays are a fantastic time to do this. Not only because everyone deserves to feel love at Christmas, but because this is the key time that many part-time volunteers gather together, creating an amazing atmosphere at soup kitchens, homeless shelters and animal refuge centers across the country.
Scratch below the surface, and you’re sure to find a number of worthy causes right on your doorstep. So, go on, silence The Grinch that’s lurking inside you and volunteer your time to spread Christmas joy to those who need it most. And, guaranteed, you’ll feel better for doing so.
8. Do Something Special This Advent
Technically speaking, advent starts on December 1st and ends December 24th, according to the Christian calendar. But you don’t need to be Christian, or from any religious background, to do something that marks the special days which lead up to Christmas.
Perhaps your altruistic adventures have inspired you to do something, however small, to create social and environmental good, each day of December? It can be as minor as promising to make at least one round of coffees at the office every day, or you can go out of your way to perform a daily Random Act of Kindness. Wherever you spread joy, you are sure to feel it reciprocated. And what’s more festive than that?
Found Your Festive Spirit Yet? We hope so. For all its potential stressors, Christmas really is a magical time of year. But, at the end of the day, don’t push yourself to feel something you’re not. Maybe Christmas just isn’t your holiday?