There are many different reasons why you aren’t into the holiday spirit. Chronic illness. Cancer. Divorce. Grieving a loved one. Financial difficulties. Depression issues. Don’t let this get you down. These are 20 ways to help you get into the Christmas spirit. Even if you don’t wanna.
I’m kinda smiling at the irony of this post. I’m writing on my laptop, sitting on the couch, with the Christmas tree lit, a fire in the fireplace, the stockings hung, Puppy Hannibal asleep on the blanket beside me, and watching Love at the Christmas Table (with Danica McKeller – remember Winnie Cooper from Wonder Years!?!?) on (It’s a Wonderful) Lifetime. Pretty idyllic.
Considering many years where Christmas wasn’t so great.
Despite Mamma Fortitude being sick with Addison’s Disease, she always made sure my Christmases growing up were pretty special. The house was always decorated. The pile of presents went to the ceiling. I have so many fond memories of all of our traditions.
Fast forward to Christmas 2010. I was engaged and spending my first Christmas with my new family. Something every girl dreams of. Except, this year, I was also going through cancer treatment.
Christmas 2011. Cancer was in the rearview mirror, but I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an Autoimmune Disease. We also recently moved to the Homestead. We were surrounded by moving boxes and Mamma Fortitude made sure we had a decorated tree.
The next several years, Christmas was hit or miss. I enjoyed everything about the holidays and making new traditions with my new family. But the growing debilitating fatigue was limiting. Functioning on a normal basis was difficult, let alone all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I did everything I could and often paid the price. But it was worth it to have special holiday memories with my family.
Christmas 2019. This was our first Christmas grieving the loss of Mamma Fortitude. The hole in my heart was huge. But we managed to make it through.
Christmas 2020. We are knee-deep in dealing with the Rona. And toilet paper hoarding and masks and social distancing and staying home. That “idyllic” scene described above in the beginning is true. But what I didn’t mention is that Hubby is working from home and on a conference call in the next room and competing with the TV. Puppy Hannibal is sprawled out on his back letting it… um… all hang out and farting up a storm. Legit real life.
That was a rough year for everyone.
So I decided to take the weight of the world, the bone-crushing fatigue, and everything else going on and just throw it out the window. And just celebrate. I hope these ideas and resources provide you with some inspiration and ways to get into the Christmas spirit, not just this year, but for many years to come.
20 Ways to Get into the Christmas Spirit
1. Plan plan plan
Ok… ok… I know I’m starting with the most un-fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. Guilty as charged. But hear me out. If you make a plan, it’s so much easier to handle and juggle everything. Which keeps the stress down. Hubby is a Green Beret and this article shares our PACE (primary-alternate-contingency-emergency) Christmas planning strategy that is worthy of any Special Forces mission.
2. Know your limitations
If you are struggling, it’s for a reason. And that reason is totally acceptable. Your feelings are valid. But that doesn’t mean you can find your inner fortitude and make the best of the situation. This article was written for those with Autoimmune Disease, but the principles ring true for everyone.
3. Listen to Christmas music
I don’t have any resources linked here because it’s a pretty basic one. What is your all-time favorite Christmas song? Like #1 BEST. SONG. EVER.? Turn it on and turn it up and sing as loud as you can. I have two – Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC, and Christmas Eve Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I also have 16 Christmas playlists saved on Spotify. Depending on my mood, I always have something to listen to, sing to, and lift my spirits.
4. Watch your favorite Christmas movies
My favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. Don’t laugh. But if you want a laugh, you need to read the dialog in this article about my family discussing our favorite holiday movies. Plus, I’ve got 40 for you to choose from and listed by rating. In addition to all of these movies, there are plenty of channels which stream movies all season long – Hallmark and (It’s a Wonderful) Lifetime I’m looking at you.
5. Participate in Advent
Yes, Advent is the Christian way to read scripture and count down to the birth of Baby Jesus. If it’s been a few years that you have paused to reflect on the real reason for the season, then this is the year to do it. See below for some great ways to enjoy the Advent Season.
6. Take a drive and look at the Christmas lights
No extra resources for this one because it’s simple and easy. Whether it’s an evening walk around your neighborhood or drive through your town or maybe a nearby area that goes all out with lights, looking at the Christmas lights is a great way to lift your spirits. I have a friend who is Muslim and obviously doesn’t celebrate Christmas and she says that she still enjoys the spirit of the season and all of the lights are her favorite. I wonder why sparkly lights put smiles on our faces?
7. Sip on healthier wine
It’s common to drink a little more this time of year. And feel the after-effects. Please drink responsibly, and seek help if you need it. And while drinking in moderation, it’s time to check out healthier and more all-natural wines with less sugar, less alcohol, and no additives.
8. Create a hot chocolate ritual
Yes, drinking a cup of (vegan) hot chocolate will make anyone feel better. But sometimes, it’s not always about the cup of cocoa, it’s about the ritual, Create a ritual whether it’s a certain time in the afternoon, with your favorite movie, a good book, or with a warm blanket and cozy fire.
9. Embrace the scents of the season
I remember my house growing up always smelled like Christmas. The scents of the season bring back so many wonderful memories. You can recreate those nostalgic scents in your home too!
10. Learn some fun DIYs
My crafty readers are like WOO HOO! My non-crafty readers are scrolling down to the next idea. You don’t have to be super crafty or creative to have some fun. These two DIYs use everyday items and are easy to put together. Have fun!
11. Take a walk
You don’t have to live in a small town covered in snow to take a walk and enjoy the season. Regardless of the weather and temperature, take a walk around your neighborhood, through your city or town, or in a park. The fresh air will do you some good after being cooped up inside.
12. Give back
Even if money is tight, you can still give back. Whether it’s a traditional present, DIY, or act of kindness, the act of giving is proven to produce happy endorphins. Find your favorite people, cause, or need, and give back.
13. Go full-on Elf
Who says you need to have kids to participate in Elf on the Shelf? I mean, it’s super fun with the kiddos. But it’s also kinda fun to do on your own as an adult. And if you have kids, why not let Elf teach them about gratitude this holiday season?
14. Eat healthy (or healthier)
This is the time of year where it’s easy to overdo it with junk food and treats. It’s also easy to make excuses that it’s the holiday season and you’ll get back on track in January. I’m not saying you have to go Whole30 over Christmas (unless you are a glutton for punishment) but you can enjoy delicious whole foods to balance the treats.
15. Enjoy a few treats
That being said, if you are going to indulge in some sweet treats, you CAN make them healthier!
16. Pamper Yourself
It’s oversaid, but self-care isn’t selfish. Take care of yourself. Pamper yourself. Take care of your skin and put some glamorous makeup on. It’s amazing how if you look better, you will feel a little better.
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17. Decorate for Christmas
You don’t have to go all-out. But even a few decorations and lights will help you get into the Christmas spirit. After Mamma Fortitude passed, Dad decided to decorate, even though he’s the only one to see the decorations. He tells me every day how glad he was that he still decorated. This year, I picked up one of those nostalgic ceramic trees with the lights. It was pink cuz… well… yeah. It’s in my office and even though it’s small and silly, it makes me smile every time I see it.
18. Embrace the nostalgia
Christmas is a season of memories and traditions and nostalgia. Whether it’s making new traditions from old traditions or enjoying new traditions from vintage Christmas past, it’s fun to embrace the old with the new.
19. Journal Christmas memories
Speaking of memories, it’s always great to journal throughout the month of December. Here are 30 great prompts to help you get started!
20. Have an attitude of gratitude
Last and certainly not least, have an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful is a big part of the holiday season and a great way to help you get into the Christmas spirit. Did you know that gratitude and negative emotions can’t occupy the same space in your mind? Have I convinced you yet?
These are just a few ideas to get you started. How are you deciding to get into the Christmas spirit this season?
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Love, hugs, and getting into the spirit of the season.
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