9 Easy Things to Do to Maximize the Holiday Spirit
Do you hear what we hear? Bells ringing, presents opening, and, oh boy, a knock on the door: family’s here. We love the holidays for all their joyful, sugary festiveness, and despite the vast diversity in traditions celebrated around the world, we all share some key moments during the season. From airport layovers to family road trips, home-cooked meals to fancy restaurants, and buying presents to gifting experiences, there are memories we treasure and days we dread.
So, what are some easy things to do to stay sane during the holidays? Whether you’re embracing family tradition or totally breaking free from the mold, there’s something here to keep you happy, full, and entertained all season long. Consider this your December prep.
1. Expand the holidays.
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Join your friends in their celebrations, attend a festival or concert across town, or pick a playlist from another culture. Make a latke, learn about the seven candles in the kinara, or ask a Finnish friend about the sauna elf. The department stores may be serving up Christmas all month long, but it’s only one piece of the holiday pie.
2. Start an entirely new tradition.
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There are tons of oldies but goodies, sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try out something new. Get creative. Invent a new holiday mascot. Whip up a fresh dish that will become your annual favorite. Pick a holiday-agnostic movie you love and make it a point to watch it every December. Conduct random acts of kindness—tis the season! If you’re spreading joy, having fun, and feeling festive in your own fashion, you’re #winning.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
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Don’t get discouraged if Plan A doesn’t turn out as planned. Chances are, people are too busy with unwrapping presents to notice if an ornament is slightly askew or that one tiny bulb is out. It’s all about being together, so take the little things in stride.
4. Remember the common language: food.
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Everyone loves a feast. When Grandma Sue won’t stop pushing your buttons about politics and the kids are tired of playing the quiet game, usher them to the dining room and achieve harmony by serving up some grub. Just make sure to have something for the locavores, the vegetarians, the gluten-free-ers…who’s up for takeout?
5. Embrace the cold.
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When the weather is frightful, it’s tempting to stay inside, but there’s beauty in the winter wonderland. Sure, your fingers feel like icicles, but when else do you get to throw things at your little brother without getting in trouble? (Snowball fiiiight!) Just remember what mom always told ya: dress in layers!
6. Turn your clean-up duty into cardio.
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Anything can be fun if you’re jumping around, and anywhere can be a gym if you’re crafty. (Plus, exercising in your jammies is a huge step up from neon spandex. So. Comfy.)
7. Bring the joy to your 9-to-5.
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It might not be corporate policy to allow string lights on your desk or dancing elves in the break room, but the holiday spirit doesn’t have to stay behind at home. Bring in baked goods, recommend a festive Pandora channel, or gather up some coworkers for a celebration after you clock out.
8. Let it out.
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The whirlwind of visitors, mall crowds, and blinking lights are a lot to endure for an entire month, so just accept that you’ll crack at least once. Hey, you’ve still got a few days until New Year’s Resolutions start.
9. Be thankful.
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True, Thanksgiving is in the past, but the message of gratitude lives on throughout the year. Amidst the busy days and long nights, take a moment to appreciate the good in the chaos. Happy holidays!