Ah, ‘tis the season to be merry—except not everyone can turn on their holiday cheer like a light switch. You’re not exactly a Grinch, but you could use a little help gearing up for the ubiquity of the holiday season.
Even if your heart needs to grow a couple of sizes to prepare for the explosion of the holidays at every turn, here are 10 best things to do during the holidays!
1. Decorate with all of the Bells and Whistles
Decorations are like the icing on the cake for any holiday. It’s why retailers stock their stores with a bounty of home décor months before the actual celebrations begin.
Follow their lead to get yourself into the holiday spirit by decorating your space in preparation for the big day (or if you celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, the big week).
Strings of paper snowflakes, tinsel, lights, candles, mistletoe, and garland that trails across the mantle are all decoration staples that bring the warm holiday feeling into any home. Although it’s a hot debate about when exactly to start decorating for the holidays, there’s something to be said about starting early to jumpstart your holiday cheer.
2. Bake Your Heart Out
There’s something to be said about homemade cookies. Maybe it’s that extra ingredient of love or the thoughtfulness behind creating something sweet from scratch, but baked goods seem to capture the true spirit of the holidays.
Cookie decorating brings people together—whether they’re icing artists or just in it for the laughs. Decorating cut-outs isn’t just for kids, either.
After all, who doesn’t enjoy eating the fruits (or cookies) of their labor? If you’re feeling ambitious, you can spread cheer like wildfire by making assorted cookie tins for friends and family. That’s bound to get you on the nice list!
3. The Merriment of Lights
Sure, it’s a little depressing during the winter when the clocks are set back, and you realize just how quickly the sun sinks below the horizon. The early darkness feels isolating, but the bright side is that it’s the perfect time for outdoor lights. Adding just a few strands can transform an ordinary house into a festive one.
4. Throw a Little Holiday Cheer
Holiday parties are, quite simply, one of the best things to do during this season. With winter bringing the cold and the dark, everyone feels a little trapped. A festive holiday party with cocktails, punch, warm food, and games is the perfect antidote to the December blues. Throw on a party dress and some holiday music, and you’ll be feeling merry and bright in no time!
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5. Begin a Holiday Tradition
It seems like every family has a holiday tradition, but if you’re still finding yours, try:
- Opening a present on Christmas Eve.
- Throwing a holiday party.
- Having a board game night.
- Going caroling.
- Cooking a big holiday feast.
- Visiting family.
Holiday traditions don’t have to be complicated, just fun! They can be as simple as making construction paper chains, stringing popcorn for the Christmas tree, or just making a trip to visit family and friends every year.
What are the holidays really about? Giving to those in need is fundamental to the holiday season. Whether you give money, toys, food, or your time, giving to others is the ultimate way to spread good cheer. It’s not about the presents, the fancy decorations, or which house has the most lights; it’s about giving—not getting.
This season, find a charity that speaks to you and give what you can. Volunteer at your local Salvation Army center or drop off your spare change to the dedicated bell ringers that stand outside in the cold. Donate to a local fundraiser or canned food drive, or check on your elderly neighbor by bringing over a hot meal.
7. Alexa, Play Holiday Music
There’s a reason why radio stations start busting out the holiday favorites so early on: the classics are bound to get everyone in the holiday mood. Throw on your favorite seasonal album, or ask Alexa or Google to DJ a curated holiday playlist. Everything becomes more festive when the air is filled with a festive soundtrack.
8. Dress to Impress
This December, don’t let the cold get you down. Dressing up for a holiday party, whether it’s a fancy winter dress or an ugly sweater get-together, can take the gloom and chill out of a harsh winter. It may be cold outside, but remember that you can warm up next to a cozy fire and look festive while doing it!
9. Holiday Movie Marathon
One of the most fun things you can do to get in the holiday spirit and celebrate this December is to indulge in seasonal movies in one long marathon. Play the classics this year and make a night (or week) of a festive movie marathon with friends and family. It doesn’t matter if it’s just background noise or the main event; it’s fun either way!
The holidays are really about friends, family, neighbors, and reaching out to those in need. No matter what you decide to do for the holiday season, a surefire way to celebrate this December is by gathering with your loved ones. Presents and things aside, there’s nothing better than connecting with the people you cherish.