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Tips on Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

Updated on May 21, 2014
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing online for over 8 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.


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.

Start Simple

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.

Some people benefit from "retail therapy' during the holidays.
Some people benefit from "retail therapy' during the holidays. | Source
OK, perhaps a little too much retail therapy!
OK, perhaps a little too much retail therapy! | Source

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 toys 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.

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!

Wrapping presents - a true art form!
Wrapping presents - a true art form! | Source

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.

I am hoping me and this mini-tree have a long, happy life together.
I am hoping me and this mini-tree have a long, happy life together. | Source

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.

Bah Humbug!

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.

Happy Holidays!

Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle


Submit a Comment
  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    thumbi7 - I am happy you enjoyed the hub. Basically, people put too much pressure on themselves during the holiday season. You should be able to celebrate it however you'd like. Thanks for the comment!

    iguidenetwork - Wrapping gifts always helps me. :-) Christmas music... not so much. Hehe. Glad you are getting in the holiday spirit and merry Christmas to you, too!

  • iguidenetwork profile image


    7 years ago from Austin, TX

    As Christmas nears, the more I'm getting the holiday spirit even by just listening to holiday tunes and have a hand at wrapping gifts. Thanks for your tips. Merry Christmas to you Jeannie! :)

  • thumbi7 profile image

    JR Krishna 

    7 years ago from India

    I loved reading your hub.

    It encouraged me to look at things with a different outlook.

    It is so comforting to know I can be what I am....

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Jools99 - That sounds like a great idea doing something each day to celebrate Christmas. That is bound to keep you in the spirit! Thanks for visiting my hub!

    mary615 - It is hard sometimes being in a Christmas spirit. I am doing OK this year, but I am still not feeling it as much as I have sometimes in the past. Thanks for the vote up!

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    7 years ago from Florida

    I have to admit I am NOT in the Christmas spirit yet. I'll try and follow your tips and see if I can pull myself out of this funk.

    I would really like to just get away; maybe go on a cruise.

    I voted this UP, etc.

  • Jools99 profile image

    Jools Hogg 

    7 years ago from North-East UK

    Interesting hub Jeannie. I am late on HP today because I spent all morning wrapping pressies. yesterday, I watched White Christmas again and I felt quite 'festive' afterwards so I have decided to do something every day leading up to 25th to keep myself full og Christmas cheer ! Thanks for giving me some extra suggestions.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Baking holiday food always helps with the Christmas spirit... and eating it, too! :-) Thanks so much for dropping by my hub!

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Claudia Mitchell 

    7 years ago

    It always takes me a little while to really get in the holiday mood, but for me, baking gets me going. I put on the holiday tunes and bake tons of goodies and then I know it's Christmastime. Nice hub!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I know just what you mean. Sometimes I am not in the mood to decorate and this happens to be one of those years. Also, I am not really entertaining anyone at my apartment this year, so it just makes sense. I like your Dirty Santa gift exchange idea. We have a White Elephant gift exchange at work, which is similar, but you can buy new things if you want. Honestly, most everything is just weird or used anyway though. Thanks for your comment!

  • PaisleeGal profile image

    Pat Materna 

    7 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

    Jeannie -- great hub! Hopefully everyone will read it and realize it's up to each person to do what's best for them. Some years I just don't want to decorate my home. Not so much because I'm a scrooge or don't have the time but usually because I'm not going to be having any gatherings to share all the pretty stuff with. It seems the last few years I usually am going to others houses for this and that. I spend Christmas Eve at my son's so I can be with my only grandson on Christmas morning. I hang with them til about noon and then we each go our on way. We usually have our big family gathering between Christmas and New Years.

    I decided a few years back that I was only getting gifts for my 2 sons families and a gift for my family's Dirty Santa exchange. A few years ago we came up with an idea for our exchange. The gift is to be a "second time around gift". Something from your own stash of unwanted gifts or from a thrift or resale store. We've now been doing this about 5 years and really like it. You get a lot more for your $$ at a thrift / resale store.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    That is great! I am happy my hub helped you realize that. I am also very happy for you. Sometimes it is nice to stop and realize how much you have going for you all the time, not just the holidays. Thank you for the vote up!

  • fpherj48 profile image


    7 years ago from Carson City

    Your hub is terrific in more ways than one. It has led me to realize something positive and comforting......All that is involved with the Holiday "Spirit", gratitude....etc....are all the things that I embrace all year round.....There must be many of us who are in the Perpetual state of Holiday Spirit!! Isn't that wonderful?....UP+++

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much. I am happy you liked it. I think you totally got what I was trying to say. In the past, I've thought too much about what I was "supposed to be doing," but now I just don't care anymore. December is a lot easier when you do things your own way. Thanks for the vote and thanks for sharing!

  • innerspin profile image

    Kim Kennedy 

    7 years ago from uk

    Ooh, that was good. Christmas can be a time of stress and pressure, if you let it. We put up decorations yesterday, a week or so earlier than usual. Kind of took ourselves by surprise, and it feels great. Your reminder that the festive season means different things to different people is very true. We should put our Christmas socks on, and do what feels right. Voted up and shared.


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