Growing up in the Midwest the first indicator of the holidays was snow. Moving to the South I had to retrain my brain and genuinely push myself into the holiday spirit, and while it snows every once in a while in the City of Oaks, we usually only see a dusting or two post-Christmas. This year I started feeling the excitement of the holidays in early November which indicates that if you are a Northerner moving South, it will take you approximately 6 years to retrain your internal holiday spirit barometer.
Whether you grew up in the North, South, China, or Japan I have what I like to refer to as an “ingredient” list of activities that I like to perform to push me into the holiday spirit. Let’s face it, sometimes you just need a little nudge towards the candy canes and carols, and sometimes you feel the need to conceal your early excitement (I felt the desire for a tree in late October). To really get into the mood you need to approach the holidays with all 5 of your senses, so without further ado …
1) Pick up some mulling spices and heat up some apple cider. I’m all about the scents of the seasons, and heating up mulling spices in apple cider over the stove warms up my entire home with cinnamon, orange, cloves, and allspice. Not to mention, wouldn’t this be a fantastic gift for friends or family? You’re welcome.
2) Make something, make anything. Make a gift, an ornament, a centerpiece, whatever. Pick one item from your hundreds of pins on Pinterest and make it, I triple-dog dare you! Chances are, when you open the DIY floodgates you’re in for a good time and a little holiday cheer. Turn it into a gathering of friends; this weekend I’m getting together with some of my favorite ladies and we are going to spend some time together working on different holiday projects.
3) Put up some holiday decor. As per tradition, I spend a good portion of the day after Thanksgiving decking my halls with boughs of holly (fa-lalalala-lalalala). I look at holiday decor like, “if you build it the spirit will come” (in a non-creepy way). Without snow I have to visually trick my mind into Christmas.
On a tight budget, or don’t have the time? Pick one place in your home to really deck out. Maybe the hearth of your fireplace, or the centerpiece on your table. Having a wreath on my front door to greet me when I get home is so great.
4) Bake [and eat] some cookies! Every year I like to find a new cookie recipe to try out and treat my co-workers. This year in lieu of sugar cookies I’m going to try these Almond Cream Cutouts via Diabetic Living. I love anything almond flavored and I’m sure my co-workers will appreciate me for it and maybe I’ll get them in the holiday spirit as well.
5) Listen to Christmas music or watch a Christmas movie. This is usually my last-ditch effort for holiday cheer and it works every time. My personal go-tos for cheer? *NSYNC Home for Christmas [this girl was raised in the 90s], White Christmas, or Elf. If all else fails, listening to Bing Crosby singing White Christmas gets me every single time. Honestly, I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.
What do you do to get into the spirit and excitement of the holidays? xoxo ‘n lols, crystal