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How to keep the magic of Christmas alive as an adult

Updated on June 14, 2014
Christmas with my brother in Union Square in San Francisco
Christmas with my brother in Union Square in San Francisco

Christmas has always been my very favorite holiday, in that it is a perfect opportunity to treasure your family, friends, and other things we have while celebrating the year that has passed and the sacrifices made for us by those we love. There are a lot of things that I associate with Christmas and that help me get into the Christmas spirit each season.

However, I feel that as I have gotten older, it has been more difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit. I attribute this difficulty to more work, less play, and also perhaps the matter of whether or not Santa does or does not exist.

Nonetheless, there are still a number of things that I do each year to help ensure that Christmas continues to hold meaning for me. I know that this meaning differs from person to person, and so the following list pertains to my personal beliefs and values. Thank you very much for reading and I hope that if you do believe in Christmas, that the holiday will forever hold a special place in your hearts!

  • Take time off from work. When I first graduated from college and started working, I worked all the way up to Christmas. By the time it passed, I realized that I completely missed doing everything that makes Christmas special to me. I didn't have as much time to spend the holiday with those I loved and to look back on the things that I had. I vowed that from that point on I would save vacation hours during the year for the holidays - if only a day or two - so I can savor the season and all that it brings.
  • Bake cookies. This seems trivial, but to me, baking Christmas cookies has always been a chance to show people that I care about them and am thinking about them. To me, Christmas cookies are very personal and have a lot of love in them :) And delivering them is a way to connect with people again during the holidays if only for a short time!
  • Write cards. Similar to the cookies, cards allow me to show others that they are on my mind. I like to write a lot in my cards and let people know that I appreciate what they mean to me and everything they have done for me.
  • Watch favorite shows and movies. My mother recorded old TV holiday specials on VHS in the '80s and early '90s. We ended up watching those shows every year and it didn't feel like Christmas if we didn't watch them. Sadly, those tapes were stolen (who steals VHS tapes?!), but fortunately we were able to recover some of the shows on Amazon and YouTube. We watch our shows and movies as a family and laugh over them together. I couldn't imagine Christmas without them.
  • Listen to favorite music. For me, Christmas music is very important because of the memories that I share with my mother listening to our favorite holiday albums. We start our holiday season driving an hour to go Black-Friday shopping (it has become a holiday tradition, even if we don't buy anything), and we listen to our favorite Christmas music the whole way there.
  • Visit favorite holiday spots. In the Bay Area, there are a lot of places that have grown special to me over the years as holiday hot-spots. This includes Union Square in San Francisco and Christmas in the Park in San José, to name a couple. It is a great place to sit back, enjoy the scenery, and watch others do the same during the holiday.
  • Volunteer. It is important to me to volunteer and donate during the Christmas season, whether it is for a food drive, family giving-tree project, or soup kitchen to try to help others better enjoy the holiday.
  • Make gift-giving special. I don't believe in token Christmas gifts. If I am giving a present to someone for Christmas, it is because I care about them, not because I have to give a gift. My gifts are always very personal and meaningful, not just something on sale or something re-gifted. When finding or making a gift, I think about what the person means to me, the memories we share, and the things I would like for them to enjoy now and in the future.
  • Spend time with family. There's no question: Christmas wouldn't be the same without those you love. No matter what kind of disagreements I have with family during the year, I still take the opportunity to see them, give them a hug and tell them I love them. Though my family gatherings have grown smaller over the years, I feel fortunate for the time I do get to spend with my loved ones during the holidays.

What do you do to make each Christmas special?

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    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 3 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for commenting! I've found I've had to re-remind myself to do this again each year - it's harder and harder to do so!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Your list looks a lot like mine. It is easy to let all the things one is expected to do and that are expected of others fill up all the time leaving little if anything left for those things that are special to ourselves. That is a good reason to begin planning early and to do those things ahead that one can so there will be time to enjoy the day and all it includes.

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 5 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      I think it does take more effort as you grow older, especially if you don't celebrate it with family. But my husband I always carve out a special day and we have our rituals. We also have a gathering on Boxing Day, the 26thm, since it's a British holiday and he's from the UK. It has turned into an annual ritual that people expect. Well-written hub with good ideas.

    • Letitialicious profile image

      Letitialicious 5 years ago from Paris via San Diego

      This is really wonderful. I love Christmas time for all the small things you've mentioned, yet sometimes with everything else going on it zips by and all that's left are credit card bills. It's good to take some time to enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love Christmas too. I think we all turn into little kids during that holiday. Great suggestions my friend!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Family first and foremost. Good hub on the Christmas season.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      A wnderful summary of doing all these beautiful things. Yes, Christmas is special and we should celebrte it accrdingly.

    • pseudo-scripto14 profile image

      pseudo-scripto14 6 years ago from Philippines

      Though xmas is over before I read this hub, until now I can still feel the spirit of the Holiday Season besides, Philippines celebrates Xmas longer than any country I know. When the "ber" month starts the atmosphere of xmas is in the air. Xmas songs and any symbol related to it are all over the place. BTW, I do most of the things you've listed and only at this time or season I can emanate the child in me! And again thanks for the commentary which will serve as my motivation to write more. Wish I could emulate you!

    • laurathegentleman profile image

      laurathegentleman 6 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      Absolutely wonderful Hub! I am in college now and starting to realize that Christmas isn't quite as magical as it was when I was a child. But I'm determined to keep the spark alive! Thanks for the tips!