Well, it’s that time of year again. The world is aglow with festive cheer as some of the biggest holidays approach: Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years and even Valentine’s Day. But thanks to global warming, we don’t always get our wish for a white Christmas. Somehow, the holidays just don’t seem as magical without a little snow, and it definitely puts a damper on all the holiday cheer. Usually, I’m one of those annoyingly festive people who starts listening to Christmas music and putting together my New Years Eve plans in November. But for the past two years, the lack of snow has really had an impact on my holiday cheer. So it’s time to regroup - here’s a few fun things to do to help you get into the holiday spirit!
1. Listen to Frank Sinatra.
Any Christmas music is good really, but good old Frank really gets me into the festive spirit for Christmas and New Years.
2. Roast chestnuts.
There’s a reason there’s a song about roasting chestnuts...it’s because they’re seriously delicious. It’s a fun activity for a cold weekend afternoon. And no, you don't need an open fire to do it.
3. Curl up with a blanket and a candle for an evening.
Particularly a cinnamon or christmas tree scented candle. Grab a good book and you’re good to go!
Nothing reminds me of the holidays more than a warm, toasty house that smells like baked goods. It doesn’t matter what it is - pumpkin cheesecake, apple crisp, or just good old chocolate chip cookies - your house will smell good regardless of what comes out of your oven!
5. Make your own festive concoction.
Don’t feel like baking? No problem - there’s one more way to make your house smell delicious and festive. Fill a pot with water, and throw in some cinnamon sticks, (or just regular ground cinnamon) apple peels, some cranberries and maybe even cut up orange. Put it on the stove to boil, and your house will smell AMAZING in no time. I like to do this when I make desserts like apple pie and apple crisp - it puts those apple peels and cores to good use! Experiment with which ingredients you get the best results from! This method is usually much more effective than burning a scented candle.
6. Watch the best of the best.
Love Actually, Elf, Home Alone, The Santa Claus series, or any other plethora of Christmas movies will do the trick!
7. Get on your Christmas present grind.
Buy, make, create, wrap - something about finally finishing off all the christmas presents I need to get done just gets me all excited for one of the biggest days of the holiday season.
8. Make use of those turkey leftovers.
Thanksgiving or Christmas - there’s usually always plenty of leftovers! Instead of some midnight turkey sandwiches, why not whip up those leftovers into a delicious turkey pot pie?
9. Light it up!
Sometimes your home needs a little help feeling Christmassy - don’t just decorate your tree, string Christmas lights around your house (either inside or out!) and maybe throw in some snowflake decorations too! In the absence of real snow, we’ll have to get creative. Making your own Christmas wreaths can also be a fun activity!
10. Make plans for the new year.
Alright, everyone knows that 2016 was a flaming pile of garbage of a year. But I'm optimistic about 2017. Start thinking about all the good things to come next year - even if there's nothing set in stone, it's packed full with 365 days of possibilities. Make a list! And get excited about that wonderful, eventful night when 2016 finally, officially ends and a new blank chapter begins.