Tips on Getting Into the Holiday Spirit
The Holidays are Here
Whether you like it or not, the holidays are here. It doesn't matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or anything else, once Thanksgiving ends the countdown begins. Many people automatically get excited and feel the holiday spirit. Then there are the rest of us that struggle to feel festive. Many of us just can't believe another whole year has passed. So what can you do if you are not feeling the holiday spirit?
Now is the time to stop being a scrooge and attempt to feel a little holiday joy. It can be difficult if you've experienced a recent loss or you are having personal issues, but perhaps you can find a way to enjoy this holiday season anyway. Here are some ways to give it a try.
What I would first recommend is to start small. If the holidays overwhelm you, tone it down. The Christmas police are not going to come to your house and arrest you if you don't bring out every single decoration you own. You are also not required by any holiday laws to buy gifts for everyone you know. Yes, this is all true no matter what any of your relatives try to tell you otherwise! Simply put your foot down and allow yourself to enjoy the holidays the way you'd like.
Basically, the holidays mean something different to each person. Focus on the activities you really enjoy and limit doing the activities you don't enjoy. No two people are the same during the holidays; what one person will enjoy, will make a different person unhappy.
Bake Some Goodies
If you enjoy baking, perhaps baking some traditional holiday treats would make your day brighter. It doesn't even have to be for anyone else. If it brings you joy eating all your holiday goodies, go for it. However, if sharing your holidays treats does make you feel happier, by all means, you should do it. Perhaps you can start small by baking one type of treat and see if you enjoy it. Once you get into a baking mode, you could bake cookies, brownies, cakes, candy, etc.
You can certainly feel in the holiday mood once you begin decorating the baked goods. Many stores sell Christmas containers specifically for holiday baked treats. You might find that you enjoy going to the store and purchasing those items. If you don't have a lot of money, the dollar store tends to sell many holiday containers, sometimes 2 or 3 for just a dollar. It is always a sweet gesture to give friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others in your life baked treats in December. The spirit of giving will often improve your mood!
Wear Some Festive Clothes
If you are not feeling terribly festive, you can also start really small with some holiday wear. Perhaps you have some Christmas socks you'd like wear. Maybe you have a Hanukkah scarf you'd like to put on one day. Even if you don't want anyone else seeing you try to get into the holiday spirit, you might even have holiday pajamas you can wear to bed. You can be a scrooge by day, but a Santa fan by night.
You could even find that some jingling Christmas earrings might put you in the holiday spirit. Sure it might annoy the people around you with all that jingling, but hey, isn't that half the fun? Fun holiday jewelry can certainly go a long way in feeling more festive this holiday season, even if they are really small.
Shop Like You Mean It
Shopping is often a source of major stress during the holiday season. If this is the case for you, don't even bother shopping at stores. Buy as much as you can using online shopping sites. Whatever you can't find online, try to make one trip to a store like Target for everything else. If shopping stresses you out, then by all means, do it as little as possible.
If, on the other hand, you actually enjoy shopping, then do it! Clip your coupons, prepare with all your sales papers, visit as many store websites as possible, and go on your shopping adventures. If you find Christmas music or screaming children are ruining your good time, make sure to take your MP3 player or iPod. You can drown out the misery of the unhappy shoppers around you, and go into your own happy shopping zone.
If you used to love buying toys for your children or grandchildren, but everyone in your life has outgrown toys, you can still feel the Christmas spirit this season. There are many charities that are more than happy to accept this holiday season so they can distribute them to children in low-income families. Not only can you get a lot of joy picking out fun toys for kids, you can also feel really good about helping children that would not have gifts if it weren't for someone like you. toys
Wrap Some Presents
Some people would rather pay anyone at all to wrap presents for them during the holidays. Wrapping a Christmas gift is totally not their thing. That is cool; that is why gift bags sell so well at stores. If wrapping presents is merely a nuisance to you, pay someone at the mall to do it for you or simply throw your gifts into bags.
If you happen to love wrapping presents, then wrapping some gifts this holiday season is bound to get you in the Christmas spirit. If you don't have a lot of gifts to give this year, volunteer to help others wrap presents. As previously discussed, plenty of folks are looking for someone that would like to wrap their gifts for them. Maybe they like to bake sugar cookies and you like to wrap presents. I see a great exchange in the future!
Listen to Christmas Music
Christmas music is either the highlight of the season for some folks or the evil that plagues the rest of us all during December. If you happen to enjoy Christmas music, find a radio station that is playing it all day. Trust me, you'll be able to find one anywhere you go in December! Play that holiday music whenever you get a chance and you are bound to feel festive in no time!
Help Someone Else
Besides helping folks wrap presents or giving gifts to children, there are so many other ways to help people this holiday season. If you have the time, you can volunteer your time at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, animal shelters, churches, or food banks. Most places are busiest during the holiday season. Your time and energy will certainly be appreciated. When you see how much you've helped others, you are likely going to feel full of holiday spirit and perhaps spread it to those you've helped.
If you don't have the time to volunteer, you can always donate money, food, or gifts. You can adopt a family in need and provide items from their Christmas list. You can also donate food to churches and food banks. If you receive gift cards to stores you don't plan on using, such as Target, Walmart, or grocery stores, you can certainly donate those to many churches so they can purchase items for those in need. The holiday season is a wonderful time to help others, but don't forget, it is appreciated all year long as well.
Deck the Halls!
If you enjoy decorating your home for the holidays, decorate your house when you are ready. Don't let anyone pressure you into decorating the day after Thanksgiving. If you want to ease into the holidays, that is just fine for you. Many people automatically feel the need to decorate. If that is not for you, don't worry about it.
I remember a time when people looked at you crazy if you started putting up the Christmas lights in November. Now, I see people doing it earlier and earlier each year. In a few years from now, I expect to see people putting Santa in the yard while placing the pumpkins outside for Halloween. If "premature decorating" is bringing you down, don't do it! Just because the neighbors are doing it doesn't mean you have to do it.
Another major downer for some folks is cleaning up the decorations or feeling overwhelmed packing or unpacking all the decorations. The solution is simple! You don't have to string lights all over your whole house or decorate a giant tree. Start small with your decorations. If unpacking all of it brings you down, then don't. Have one box full of simple decorations that you unpack each year. Keep your other holiday decorations for the next time you are in a holiday mood. If you aren't ever in the mood to decorate your entire home again, donate all that stuff.
I've found that a small tree in my livingroom, some lights in my hallway, and a wreath on my door is plenty enough for me. Sometimes I don't even bother to decorate the tree. Whatever makes you happy this holiday season is just fine. Don't feel overwhelmed because of boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. Sometimes less is more.
If all else fails, then just don't worry about it this year. Yes, I am giving you permission to be a scrooge this year. If you are just a little down this holiday season or just too busy this time around, that is totally normal. Don't let the holidays make you too sad.
However, if you've been down for a while or the holidays really upset you, you are not alone. You should seek help from a trained professional. Some people won't understand and they may try to judge you, but we all go through tough times in life. Don't go through it alone. Forget about the holidays and work on you for a while.
For the rest of you, I hope the suggestions inspired you to put a little Christmas spirit (or Hanukkah spirit or Kwanzaa spirit or Yule spirit or anything else) in your life. And if you have any extra baked treats left over, just let me know. I'd be happy to take some of the extras off your hands.
Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle
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