It seemed only right that I do a similar article for the Winter holidays after writing one for the Halloween holiday, in order to get into the Halloween, pre-holiday spirit. The day after Thanksgiving, or for some the first day of December, signifies the beginning of the Holidays -- a time filled with the generosity of giving, the stress of Christmas shopping, and bright lights.
But even for those of you who have been listening to Christmas music since the day after Halloween, here are a few more activities for you to fully indulge in the Holiday spirit.
The lights, the trees, the stocking by the fireplace, and of course the wreath on your front door. Whether you’re decorating your dorm room with as many paper snowflakes as you can or your extravagant, 7-foot tall Christmas tree at home, go all out! There’s something about Christmas lights that incite the holiday spirit in all of us.
2. Listen to MORE Christmas music.
From Michael Bublé and Justin Bieber’s iconic Christmas albums to jokes that Mariah Carey’s career rises from the grave at this time each year with her all-time hit, “All I Want For Christmas”, the holiday tunes are endless. Although you may run into the dilemma of choosing which version of her ultimate Christmas song to listen to, as there's the regular, extra festive, and super festive version featuring Justin Bieber.
3. Donate and give back.
The holiday spirit encircles the concept of giving. One of the best things about the holidays is that everyone is always feeling a bit more generous than other times throughout the year. Donate food or clothes that you no longer wear, or volunteer at a local homeless shelter. If your holiday schedule is too hectic and doesn’t allow time for such things, you can still help by purchasing some extra, non-perishable food, the next time you grocery shop and leaving them in the food donation bins at your local grocery store. You never know how great of an impact you can make on someone else’s holiday.
4. Secret Santa.
Also in the spirit of giving, don’t forget about those close to you. Secret Santa is a great way to ensure that everyone gets a present, without emptying everyone’s wallets! Whether it’s a secret santa, white elephant, or Yankee swap party, get together with friends and family to exchange gifts and enjoy each other’s company this holiday.
5. Make/Drink festive drinks.
The staple of the holidays. There’s something about cold winter weather, that makes hot drinks so appealing. And no one has capitalized better on this than Starbucks. Whether you’re doing it for the red holiday cups, the Snapchat story, or the actual drink, you’re guaranteed to buy at least one holiday drink this season.
But let’s not forget the good old fashioned, homemade hot cocoa with marshmallows. Sipping on a mug of it, cuddled up by the fireplace is practically a rite of passage during the holiday season.
6. Bake Holiday treats.
What’s a holiday without food? From gingerbread men to Christmas tree and candy-cane shaped sugar cookies, decorating the cookies with your favorite colored frostings are an event in itself. And of course, who could forget the Pillsbury ready-made cookies. Although you may have already had them for both Halloween and Thanksgiving, you couldn’t possibly ever get enough of them!
7. Watch Christmas movies.
Snuggle up by the fireplace with your freshly baked cookies and homemade hot cocoa, perfectly paired with some classic Christmas movies. It wouldn’t be the holidays without watching all-time classics such as The Polar Express, Elf, Home Alone, and of course ABC’s 25 days of Christmas-- which is now Freeform’s 25 days of Christmas. From your favorite childhood Christmas cartoons like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, to the newer Holiday movies like The Night Before, there never seems to be enough time to watch them all.
8. Go ice skating.
This is one winter activity you can do even if you don’t live in a place where it snows. Whether you’re a master at ice skating, clutching onto the sideboards of the rink for dear life or falling on your butt every 10 seconds, it’s all part of the holiday experience-- so go all out!
9. Christmas shopping.
Buying into consumerism is one of the hardest things to avoid doing during Christmas. With the help of social media, excessive advertising, and the holiday spirit, Christmas shopping-- for both yourself and others-- is surely going to be on your list of Holiday activities.
10. Go caroling.
As old-fashioned as going door-to-door may seem, keeping more simple -- and perhaps more cliché -- Christmas traditions alive is what makes the holidays so special. No matter how much time goes by, sharing a meal with family and friends, exchanging presents, putting up decorations, and embracing the cold, winter weather never seems to change.
People today are often so caught up in the newest and latest, that when something constant and nostalgic comes along we are often refreshed and quick to embrace it.
So indulge yourself in holiday festivities because you made it through another year! Happy Holidays!