Thursday, December 1, 2016

10 Ways To Get Into The Christmas Spirit!

December is here!

While I’ve been embracing the holidays for a few weeks now, I respect that most prefer to wait until closer to Christmas to get into the holiday spirit.

But now that December is here, it’s time to shake off your Bah Humbug’s and rev up for the holiday fun! Christmas comes just once a year and what a fun and beautiful time it is!

If you’re having some difficulty getting in the Christmas mood, follow my 10 sure fire tips for getting into the Christmas Spirit!

1. Have a holiday baking day with friends 

This is the time of year when gingerbread and sugar cookies can be considered a daily treat, and “too much icing” is really more of a guideline than a restriction. 

Have a few friends over, warm up some cider (or mulled wine), pop on some carols and bake the day away!

Even if it's just store bought cookies so you can focus more on the mulled wine and company.

Or alternatively, have everyone bake a few batches at home and then host a large group for a cookie swap! Have everyone bring their favourite homemade cookie (and a few recipe cards to hand out) for a fun filled evening of snacking!

2. Visit a Christmas market 

Is there anything more beautiful and romantic than a Christmas market? 

The pretty lights, the hot drinks, carolers, trinkets for sale… A cozy spot where you can snuggle up and take it all in. Sounds perfect to me!

3. Watch bad made-for-TV christmas movies 

We ALL love Elf, Charlie Brown and Rudolph… but I’ll let you in on a little secret: bad made for TV Christmas movies are my FAVOURITE. 

The predictable plot lines, the B-list acting, the cheesy lines… It just makes my heart happy! 

I’ll usually have these movies running in the background while I clean, or cook. I won’t get distracted (like I do when I watch the Grinch) but I still get some holiday cheer! 

So far this year I’ve watched "Once Upon a Holiday", "Journey to the Christmas Star" and "Angel of Christmas" while I cleaned and decorated my apartment for the holidays. Ho Ho Ho!

4. Make a Christmas craft 

We all become our mothers eventually, and my mother LOVES a good Christmas craft! 

I’ve made more tree ornaments than most people have on their trees (and as a result my tree is REALLY full), somewhere between the assembly-line style snowman making and being old enough to wield my own glue gun, I grew to love this annual tradition. 

Take a look at some of my favourites in this post and get inspired! Nothing says Christmas like pipe cleaners and glitter glue!

5. Plan a holiday meetup with friends for cocktails (and have a dress code!)

Christmas is a time to spend with the people you love, family and friends alike. 

With everyone running (or flying) off to spend time with family, be sure to fit in some time with friends! 

Have someone host a potluck, or meet up at one of your favourite local spots for dinner and drinks. Make it extra festive by insisting on a dress code like silly sweaters, at least one red piece of clothing, or insisting on something sparkly! 

Eat, drink and be merry!

6. Go for a nighttime walk to see the lights

In the summer, I love to get out during the day for a walk in the sunshine; at Christmas time, I like to go for my walks as outdoor holiday lights begin twinkling in the dark! 

Take a walk and marvel at the displays of your neighbours, or visit a gorgeous old neighbourhood to walk through and explore. 

Don’t forget your cute gloves, hat, scarf, coat and your hot chocolate for warmth!

7. Shop (and wrap) early!

I am a big believer in getting to the stores early at Christmas time! 

Not only does shopping for gifts always get me in the holiday mood (it IS about giving after all) but it also helps de-stress your month. 

Plan to have all your shopping and wrapping done by the 14th (or better yet, the 7th) so that you can spend the rest of the month enjoying all the fun (and less expensive) parts of Christmas!

8. Build a gingerbread house

Any excuse to eat candy! 

Head out to buy some of your favourite candies in bulk and then get together with friends and make gingerbread houses! Make one giant house (fortress, winter scene), or compete to see who can be the most creative. 

Then you can enjoy your masterpiece for a few days… or tear it down for snacking during a Christmas movie.

9. Attend (or host) a carol sing

Every year, my extended family gets together for a Christmas carol sing. 

This has been going on for decades and has grown into a potluck style event with over 50 guests attending. We eat, we catch up on the past year, and we sing! 

If you can wrangle your family into it, why not suggest a holiday sing along? There are also great community or church events that will organize something similar you can attend. Don’t miss out on the chance to FA-LA-LA-LA-LA!

10. Go Skating! 

Let’s face it, not everybody gets a white Christmas. Some people don’t even get a COLD Christmas… luckily ice rinks are everywhere! 

Whether you’re twirling at Rockefeller center, or falling flat on your butt at your local indoor arena (more my style) or skating on your local frozen river. Skating is usually pretty cheap, you can rent the equipment, and it’s a fun way to spend some time at Christmas! 

Even if you can’t skate like me, getting out with friends to fool around or play a pickup game of hockey is a treat. And besides, the best hot chocolate and snacks you can find are at the ice rink!

Your turn! I gotta know...

How do you like to get in the holiday spirit? 

Have you been celebrating since Halloween ended (no judgement!)? 

Are you planning on trying out any of these activities this December?