Christmas is considered by many to be the best time of the year. And, let’s face it: there’s a lot to love about the holiday season. Giving gifts, bringing the whole family together, snow (sometimes), lights, parties, cider, Santa, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, candy canes, cards. Our hearts grew three sizes just making that list. But what can you do when you’re simply not feeling it? That’s a hard question to answer, but it’s a real problem for a lot of people, perhaps this year in particular. Is there a way to jump-start the Christmas spirit and get into a festive mood? Great question. We’ve pulled together some ideas and addressed common Christmas blahs concerns to get you started. Refer back to this list when your enthusiasm wanes and you may just find yourself thinking, It’s a wonderful life.
The Meaning of Christmas
What does it mean to have Christmas spirit? The holiday means a lot of different things to different people.
Christmas Spirit Is About Celebrating Jesus’s Birth
One of the meanings is the obvious religious one. Christmas was originally, and for many still is, the celebration of the birth of Christ, so one could argue that the Christmas spirit should be born of joy and hope. Christians would say that the Christmas spirit is about the peace promised by God through the birth and death of His son.
Christmas Spirit Is About Family & Friends
For many people, the holidays are the only time of the year there’s a chance to see relatives or friends who live far away or rarely have an opportunity to visit. Often, for these people Christmas is about being with those you love. A lot of us associate Christmas with reconnecting with our families and loved ones, no matter where we are in the world. A chance to laugh and talk and spend good, quality time with people we care about can be a strong motivator, even when little else seems uplifting or motivating.
Christmas Spirit Is About Giving
Gift-giving is a source of real joy and satisfaction for many, and can be the thing that makes Christmas feel special. Giving doesn’t mean only material gifts, either, but also the gifts of service, time, and effort—engaging without expectations for something in return. Giving could mean anything from volunteering at a homeless shelter to donating food to visiting a nursing home to caroling to giving blood. And for the tangible gift-givers, it’s an opportunity to show others that you know them well and have made thoughtful choices for their gifts; here, the recipients’ delight is the real gift, and it’s a potent tonic against the winter blues.
Christmas Spirit Is About Peace
One of the most powerful forces for summoning the Christmas spirit is finding peace of mind and food for the soul. That’s mostly associated with forgiveness, mindfulness, reflection, counting blessings, and having a kinder outlook overall. That’s because there’s something about this holiday that we still associate with positivity, even on a subconscious level.
How to Get Into the Christmas Spirit Early
Sometimes a slow and early entry is the best route to the Christmas spirit. Maybe you’ve just had a stressful year and need a way to build your hopefulness toward the year’s end. That’s understandable, and fortunately for you, completely doable. Starting as early as possible, even if it’s September and you’re wearing shorts, try some of these tips to ease you in over the long stretch of Fall:
Shake Your Booty
Christmas music will always get you into a joyful mood, so why not start listening to it every day, as early as you want to get into the Christmas spirit? Dance around. Jump on the bed. Hum or sing loudly (and badly?) along anytime you’re doing something that could use a musical background, like cleaning the house, working out, or commuting to work. There are high chances that listening to “Ring Christmas Bells” will make you want to put up the tree as soon as possible.
Set the Scene
Scented candles is another way to fill the home will all the best holiday aromas. If you’re a fan of apple and cinnamon or evergreen you’re bound to find some candles to purchase from online or offline stores. Just light them up every time you’re home and it will surely get you thinking about eggnog and pie.
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Make Your Own Spirit
Making your own Christmas decorations or crafts is another way to get in the holiday mood, especially when you play some carols in the background. Not only is this a wonderful way to get you thinking about how you’re going to spend Christmas, but it will also give you a head start and push you to start making amazing decorations that can either be used around the house or gifted to your loved ones.
Binge Watch Christmas
One of the things that always puts people into the Christmas mood and is available at your earliest convenience is a classic Christmas movie. It doesn’t matter if it’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or Home Alone, just pick a winter-themed movie, a Christmas snack, and daydream about the magical holidays ahead.
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How to Get Into the Christmas Spirit Quickly
Fatigue, stress, anxiety, financial or relationship problems, work-related concerns and other such things will get in the way of reaching that holiday feeling.
Here are some tricks that might just help:
Overall, the best way to get into the Christmas spirit fast is to start doing the activities that you’re used to doing at Christmas. Whether it’s more gaming nights while drinking eggnog with friends, or volunteering, or switching over to holiday-themed body wash, doing the things that you subconsciously associate with Christmas will surely make you feel excited for Christmas and everything it stands for.
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Buy Christmas Gifts
Shopping for gifts is always something that gets people thinking about spending Christmas with their loved ones. It’s something that you can start doing right away if you have some money set aside for gifts. It also helps if you wrap the presents yourself instead of having the store workers do it for you.
Bake Christmas Treats
Baking some specific winter treats can also help get you into the mood, especially if your childhood was filled with specific scents of cinnamon or oranges. When you get into the kitchen and start making the treats you remember having for Christmas, your brain will start associating the aromas with the winter holidays, and that’s bound to get you into the right mood.
Christmas Windows Embossing Rolling Pin
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Set the Mood Early
Plenty of people like to wait until the 24th of December to put up the Christmas tree, but there is no rule saying that you can’t start doing that earlier. If you have an artificial tree and don’t even have to leave the house to buy one, then you can literally start decorating the tree right away. Play some carols in the background and you’re likely to get into the holiday mood.
How to Get Into the Christmas Spirit Without Snow
Snow can be the first sign that the winter holidays are upon us, but we’re not all lucky enough to see a white Christmas. How does one get into the Christmas spirit without snow? Every idea above can be done without snow, of course, but you can bring some snowy cheer to your space in the absence of an actual blizzard.
Bust Out the Scissors
Make your own paper snowflakes. There are plenty of tutorials online that can teach you how to make your own paper snowflakes, which you can hang around the house as you please. Use string lights as support for hanging your paper snowflakes for a double holiday spirit whammy. Make them in multiple sizes, use glitter, sequins, stick-on gems, and other craft items to create your own, personalized snowfall indoors. (Kids love this project, too!)
If paper snowflakes aren’t your thing, you can knit or crochet snowflakes, too, or bake snowflake-shaped cookies to hang inside ribbon-tied plastic baggies.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
One of the tricks I learned as a kid is to put cotton stuffing under the Christmas tree. Sometimes, we would rip a large piece of stuffing into shreds and put them in the tree as well. The cotton imitated the appearance of real snow, and while it wasn’t the same thing, we still loved that little bit of white that beautifully contrasted against the Christmas tree.
You can always you fake canned snow to decorate the window sills. This way, every time you look at the window, you can at least get a little bit of that magic feeling snow usually brings for the winter holidays.
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Have Yourself a Merry Little Day Trip
If you have the opportunity, take a short trip before Christmas to somewhere with snow. Just get into the car and spend one weekend among snowy plains and hills. You’ll have a dose of real snow to put you into the Christmas spirit—even if there isn’t any back home.
If that’s not an option, wander around a Christmas tree farm. Peruse the Christmas boards on Pinterest. Spend one afternoon with the air conditioner cranked up to high, watch movies set in winter, sip a warm tea or cocoa, and check out of real life for a day to set the Christmas vibe for the rest of the year.
There are plenty of tricks that can get you into the Christmas spirit even the weather is too warm or you’re just not feeling it this year. It’s usually enough to bake something that you usually have for Christmas, have some scented candles burning in the house, or start putting together the Christmas shopping list as soon as possible. What trick do you resort to when you want to feel merry and excited about the holidays?