I have always loved Christmas. The minute Thanksgiving ends, I deem Christmas season officially started, and there’s several things I do to get in the Christmas spirit. Whether Christmas is your favorite holiday, or you’re a bit more like Scrooge, doing these things will make the start of December a little more cheerful and a little more fun.

1. Put your favorite Christmas album on repeat.

My family has a long history with Christmas carols. My parents used to be professional carolers, we’ve gone to nursing homes and walked around the neighborhood singing from door to door as a family since then. Christmas songs are ingrained into my brain at this point, but even though I’ve heard most of them a couple hundred times by now, I still love listening to them year after year. This year, my picks are “A Pentatonix Christmas” and Kris Allen’s “Somethin’ About Christmas.”

2. Decorate.

The weekend after Thanksgiving is the weekend to decorate at my house. We’ll normally spend all day Saturday or Sunday picking out a tree (real live ones are where it’s at); hauling out the ornaments and assorted other décor; and putting up the light-up reindeer in the front yard.

3. Bake some Christmas-themed goodies.

The month of December is one of the hardest months of the year to diet, because of the plethora of Christmas goodies everywhere – and that’s okay. Give yourself a break and make some sugar cookies cut into the shape of stockings and candy canes, get yourself some actual candy canes, and chow down on some homemade fudge. Tis the season, after all.

4. Go ice skating.

This is one that I don’t always get to do, but is nevertheless one of the best things to do to get into the Christmas spirit! In Colorado Springs, we have a seasonal outdoor ice skating rink downtown, and trying to not fall over in the midst of all the shimmering lights and holiday shoppers with a friend or significant other is a great way to bring on the Christmas cheer.

5. Watch some Christmas movies.

This is a no-brainer! There’s so many good movies that we have on rotation every year in my house (Elf is our absolute favorite, if you were wondering). Whether you end up watching all three Santa Clause movies, Home Alone, Eloise at Christmas Time, or simply have the Hallmark channel constantly on in the background, Christmas movies definitely help bring on the Christmas season in full force.