If you don’t feel Christmassy yet, or you know that you usually struggle to do so, then we’ve compiled a list of ten thingsthat may help lift that Scrooge-like mood.
Busy lifestyle? Getting old? Feeling stressed with work? Feeling the pinch financially?
There are so many reasons why you may not be feeling the Christmas spirit this year. There’s nothing worse than having December pass you by without that magical feeling of Christmas excitement.
So, in a bid to help you feel Christmassy, here are ten things you can do.
- Do some Christmas baking
Even if you’re not a baker and don’t particularly enjoy cooking, why not lock the doors, pop some Christmas music on and try and make something distintively festive? Mince pies are a great place to start, and are surprisingly easy.
It’s likely too late to make your own mincemeat (writing this in mid-November), given it needs a bit of time to mature. However, you can buy jars of mincemeat for less than £1 these days. If you don’t fancy making your own pastry, then buy it pre-made – you’re looking for sweet shortcrust pastry. All you have to do is roll it out, cut it, and pop your mincemeat in.
Then you can sit back and relax while the unbeatable aroma of mince pies fills your home.
- Watch a Christmas movie
If there’s one thing that should help you feel Christmassy, then watching a Christmas movie should be it. Whether you want to watch something old or something new, something high-budget or a budget TV movie, a Christmas film can transport you in to a festive wonderland.
Need some help choosing? Check out our Christmas movies page.
- Attend some Christmas markets
There is something unmistakenly festive about attending Christmas markets, whether you do it in the UK or somewhere in Europe. Those wooden chalet-style stalls twinkle with tinsel and lights, while the smell of grilled bratwurst and mulled wine makes your mouth water.
If you’re on a budget, find out where your nearest market is and just spend an hour walking around it at night. Even in the rain or bitterly cold weather, there is something incredibly alluring about Christmas markets.
- Lock the doors and enjoy some down time w/xmas music
Sometimes Christmas comes around so quick that you just don’t have time to enjoy the run-up to it during December. You work all day, come home and spend a couple of hours cooking, cleaning, sorting kids out or whatever else.
Well, time to make some Christmassy time for yourself. One evening, preferably a weekend, take the time to get your chores done and then lock the doors, pop some Christmas music on and enjoy some festive down time. If you fancy a spot of mulled wine or mince pies, then all the better for it. Make it as festive as possible with few distractions. Maybe do some Christmas shopping on your computer while you do it, read a good book or begin thinking about your menu for Christmas Day!
- Do some volunteering in the community
Christmas is the season of goodwill, so if you have time to spare, why not dedicate some to helping people less fortunate, or even just assisting with a local good cause. It could be volunteering in a local homeless shelter, putting some decorations up in the local community, or helping an aged member of the community to do their Christmas shopping.
Sharing the goodwill at Christmas, or in the run-up to it, will not only help yourself to feel Christmassy, but it’s going to help cheer up someone else’s life too, and that’s what it’s all about.
- Put some new decorations up
Perhaps your lack of Christmas spirit is down to the lack of Christmas decorations in your house, or even because you put the same decorations up year in, year out? Well, time to review your decoration set-up!
If you don’t have many decorations, then pop out and buy some new ones. You don’t have to spend a fortune either, your local bargain store or pound/dollar shop will have lots of bits and bobs that can transform your living room for just a few pounds/dollars.
Perhaps you use the same decorations each year, or have the same Christmas tree theme? Again, try moving things around or refreshing the decorations that you have by purchasing some new ones. Check out our cheap Christmas decorations article for more ideas.
Also, consider going retro. If your memories of fun-filled Christmases feature shiny foil garlands and paper chains, then go and buy them again – or better still make them. Even if one room in your house has a 1980s retro Christmas feel, nobody is judging. Make it what it needs to be for you to feel Christmassy.
- Take the festive upper-hand in work
Some workplaces are great at Christmas, but probably a greater number are most certainly not. Dull office cubicles, drafty builder’s yards and non-descript reception areas everywhere will remain unchanged and unloved in December. If this is your work place, it’s time to drive the change.
Don’t worry about offending people, but get suggesting a programme of festive activities or decorations. Send your boss an email, and if you don’t like them, then send it higher. It can be as simple as having everyone bring in their favourite festive treat (e.g. mince pies) one day in December – a Friday is always good, or can range up to Christmas jumper days, desk/cubicle decorating competitions or a full-blown programme of workplace festive decorations and activities.
There is so much scope to improve the Christmassy feel in your workplace. Read our article Christmas in work – make it festive for more ideas and inspiration.
- Start a new tradition
For many people, Christmas is about tradition. Millions of people around the world have the same routines, habits and traditions around Christmas, and it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
If you’re struggling to feel Christmassy, perhaps it’s time to look at introducing some new traditions in to your festive plans. It can help you feel festive this year, but also in future years it can build in to something truly traditional and Christmassy.
Your new tradition can be absolutely anything, from inviting some old school friends or sporting team mates for pre-Christmas drinks, a crazy Christmas Eve shopping dash when you don’t need anything but want to be among the frenzied Christmas rush, a big family meal, or perhaps a small party for neighbours from your street.
Do something, anything, but don’t let another Christmas pass by without trying to make it better.
- Make a gift for someone
Sometimes, Christmas can seem so expensive with only the usual, boring, over-priced gifts available – and it just about drowns out any festive spirit you may have. A possible solution to this is to make your own gifts. How? Well, how about a hamper of sorts? If you’re loved one has a particular hobby, then get a few bits to do with that hobby and pop them together in some sort of container or basket.
Or, mix all of their hobbies and favourite foods together to create something truly unique. It’s likely cheaper, it will be things you know they love, and it makes you feel a lot more Christmassy because you’re taking the time to think about somebody you’re buying for.
- Donate to charity
If you don’t fancy, or don’t have the time, to do any community work, perhaps you can donate to a charity? Lots of charities would be glad of your help, and the likes of Operation Christmas Child even has a Christmassy flavour.