10 Tips To Help You Get In The Holiday Spirit

10 Tips To Help You Get In The Holiday Spirit

It's not always easy to feel festive without snow - but these will help.
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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!

4. Bake.

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.

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.
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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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14 Things I Did This Season To Cope With My Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is a real thing.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people. I promise it is a real thing. The Mayo Clinic defines SAD as "A mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year." Mine comes in the dead of winter. So this winter, I wrote down a couple of things that made me feel better.

1. Take a hot shower/bath

All the steam in the bathroom and the heat from the water soothes the soul for real.

2. Get out of bed 

Try and wake up earlier than usual.

3. Buy a happy lamp

They mimic sunlight but without the UV rays.

https://verilux.com/collections/happylight-therapy-lamps-boxes

4. Make your bed everyday

One small accomplishment everyday.

5. Sit in your living room as opposed to your bed room

6. Eat healthier 

7. Do one small thing for yourself everyday

Get a cup of coffee or go for a walk.

8. Exercise 

I hate it as much as the next person but it does help.

9. Go out with friends 

I know sitting at home may be ideal but it's nice to be surrounded by people who love you.

10. When you're sad, let yourself be sad

Cry, listen to sad music, do what you gotta do.

11. Ask for help

Let people know what you're going through. It's ok.

12. Take care of yourself

Put on a facemask. Paint your nails.

13. Write about it

14. Try and plan a trip to a warm place with sun

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