If you need help boosting your holiday spirit this year, maybe I can help. I’ve heard several friends say they can’t get into the mood of Christmas this year. Also, I’ve been slow to find my jingle too, which is not like me in the least. Of course with so much turmoil in the world, it’s easy to feel out of sync with the holiday. Here’s the thing—it is completely possible to worry and show concern for those suffering while still being grateful and celebrating the good in your life.
One doesn’t have to cancel the other.
Today I’ve jotted down 20 ways to get into the holiday spirit. These are ideas that work for me, and maybe, just maybe, one or two will up your holly jolly game too.
20 Ways to get into the Christmas Spirit
- Bake or make something for someone else. It’s true—there is magic in the GIVING. Not only that, filling your house with the warm, sweet aroma of baking cinnamon and sugar is a mood lifter like no other.
- Play Christmas music and sing along. If the traditional songs make you teary, skip those in favor of cheerful new ones. Scroll YouTube or Pandora for a new-to-you song or artist. Nope, there’s no reason to dig yourself into a Blue Christmas rut.
- Make your kitchen merry and bright by buying a poinsettia or amaryllis or Norfork Pine and placing it front and center on your kitchen counter. You’ll be sure to notice it every time you check the fridge for something yummy to eat.
- Hang a Christmas wreath or holiday swag on your front door or back gate or kitchen window. If you’d rather not purchase one, make your own using foraged materials like magnolia leaves and fir tree branches or discarded clippings from a Christmas tree lot. (Ask before snipping from someone’s magnolia tree though!) Or, check out the local thrift stores. They have LOTS of gently used holiday decor needing a home.
- Pay it forward in the drive-thru. Imagine how happy the person behind you would be if you anonymously purchased their peppermint latte.
- Read a book set during the holiday or winter season. My favorites are Little Women, A Christmas Carol, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but if you prefer something new, browse the local library for one of the many holiday books that launch each Christmastime. (The Chicago Public Library offers THIS LIST of 33 contemporary Christmas novels.)
- Send Christmas cards with handwritten notes to people you’ve not seen in a while. Buy Christmas stamps too!
- Attend a Christmas parade, play, or live musical performance. Being around others in a celebratory mood will boost your own. If you can’t do this, stream one.
- Read the Christmas story from the Bible. Luke 2 Verses 1-20. Lo, King James Version is my favorite.
- Invite a friend over to decorate cookies or enjoy morning coffee or hot chocolate. Sprinkles and marshmallows are joyful things. Ooh, maybe even make your marshmallows.
- Admire the holiday lights brightening your neighborhood and downtown area. Go window shopping / notice all the festive retail windows.
- Adopt a Christmas angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. You’ll make someone’s child very happy.
- If you enjoy wrapping presents, offer to wrap your neighbors’ gifts.
- Drop money into a bell ringer’s bucket every time you see one. Just a few coins are fine.
- Watch a favorite holiday movie—one that makes you laugh out loud.
- Donate to a coat drive, toy drive, food drive, etc.
- Volunteer at a food pantry or crisis hotline. On December 16, participate in Wreaths Across America, helping to lay wreaths on the graves of fallen servicemen.
- Add twinkle lights or a string of garland to something inside your home—a Christmas tree, houseplant, your doorway or mantel.
- Offer to babysit so parents can go shopping, or offer to run errands for a shut-in.
- Buy yourself a small present, wrap it and place it under the tree, and wait until Christmas to open it. Remember you ARE a present to so many of your friends and family! 🎁
👉 Many of the 20 suggestions on my holiday spirit list actually benefit other people, and therein lies the real meaning of the holiday.
What would you add to this list?
Some people get horribly sad at Christmas, and their depression extends well beyond anything a string of twinkle lights or cup of hot chocolate can alleviate. Please remember—I’m trying to spread a little Christmas cheer, but I’m not a therapist. In no way am I making light of this very real problem.
If you are clinically depressed, my wish is that you will reach out to the free resources available. Call or text 988 for assistance from the national crisis hotline.
With only ten days until Christmas, let’s all remember to celebrate the little joys in the season. By doing so, I suspect someone else’s Christmas will be more joyful too.
I’m curious—what sort of things enhance your holiday spirit?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.