“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” echoes through the shopping plaza, albeit, ironically as you anxiously push past shoppers shuffling their feet. Don’t they realize you’re in a hurry to grab what is probably the last bottle of neon green hair dye in existence so your daughter can get her wish of idolizing Billie Eilish for Christmas? News flash, you’re the one who needs to slow down.
It’s easy to fall victim to the shopping sprees and people-pleasing fiascos that are seemingly strapped to the holiday season like Bob River’s pantyhose. But look around you- even when you’re shopping- there’s probably a gorgeous Christmas tree to your left, a sign for some donation drive posted in the window of Five Below, and if you’re lucky enough, twinkling snowflakes falling from the sky. Here’s how to make the most of the holiday season- the right way.
Get Creative with Christmas Decorations
Aim to be the most obnoxious house in the neighborhood and gather up your Christmas decorations. Place lights, ornaments, banners, and paper snowflakes all over your tree. Purchase tacky Christmas yard décor and hold a silent competition with your neighbors over whose home spreads the most Christmas cheer.
Build Gingerbread Houses
Baby, It’s Cold Outside. So, stay in, and make gingerbread houses with the family. You can find ready-to-go gingerbread house kits at most grocery stores during the holidays, and if you’re brave enough, you can even consider making one from scratch. Take a quick trip to the store and gather all the cutest cookie cut-outs and frosting you can find, and don’t forget some gumdrops for decoration.
Watch Christmas Movies
Rudolph and that misfit elf who just wants to be a dentist never fail to ignite the Christmas spirit. Maybe you’re more the type to deep belly laugh at Ralphie in his pink bunny suit or the elf version of Will Ferrell maximizing the amount of sugar in his cereal. Then there’s Home Alone 1, Home Alone 2, and Home Alone 3, and yes, you really can just watch the first one like everyone else does.
Get Your Coffee On
For moms, ‘That first sip feeling’ is really no match for how good you look holding your Starbucks in one hand, and a Macy’s bag in the other. Savor the flavor of pumpkin, juniper, and skinny-latte goodness as you check off items on your family’s Christmas list.
For dads, power through your last-minute shopping with the right balance of caffeine and cardio. If you’re in a rush (as you probably are), just tell the nice barista to give you something that tastes like Christmas. They’ll have you covered, but please, remember to wipe the whipped cream off your beard when you’re done.
Candles and Christmas Socks
It’s the little things that make Christmas so special. For yummy scents of sugar, spice, and everything nice, visit literally any discount department store and stare in winter wonder at the walls upon walls of candles to choose from. I’d recommend going to Yankee Candle but then you wouldn’t have enough money left for gifts.
Yeah, Yankee, that was sass. Anyway, keep walking and you should find the Christmas socks stocked as well. I recommend the rainbow toe socks for your sister, and for grandma- those ones that say ‘if you can read this, give me wine’ will pair well with an actual bottle of her favorite Cabernet.
Perform Random Acts of Kindness
We should all be volunteering and doing our part to help others throughout the year, but at least most of us remember to make an effort during the holidays. If soup kitchens and donations aren’t your speed, give that couple who just had twins a much-needed break and send over some tasty homemade casseroles.
Read some stories to little kids, actually call your mother and say I love you, or, my personal favorite, foster an animal in need. There’s always something you can do to brighten someone’s day.
Go Ice Skating
Put a couch pillow in your pants and get on the ice. You won’t look like Michelle Kwan, but you might feel like her. If buying a sparkly leotard would help, then, by all means, go do that.
The whole point of ice skating is rewarding yourself from the torture with some hot cocoa after. I’m serious, if your local ice rink doesn’t offer cocoa, find a new rink, because otherwise, it’s just you, holding onto the wall, “ice skating” with rosacea face.
Attend Light Festivals
Especially for those living in areas with less snow, lights festivals can really bring out the Christmas feeling. There are projectors of snowflakes, candles in geometric patterns, and tons of kettle corn and hot toddies to enjoy as you take in the sights. It’s one of those special events that makes a great family outing or a romantic evening with your special someone. Check your city’s newspaper to see when the next light shows take place.
Wear Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Nothing says Christmas more than an ugly Christmas sweater. Tassels and blinking lights on knitted fabric are not only for cat ladies and relatives that live “off the grid.” You know the sweater is right for you if, after you put it on, the urge to bake cookies RIGHT NOW washes over you. Buy that awful sweater and go bake those cookies.
Take it Easy
The holiday season is all about family, giving back, and being grateful for what you already have. If you find yourself swept up in shopping, stress, and the need to make things a perfect commercialized version of the season, you’ll miss out on the perfection that is already there.
Don’t let the idea of the perfect holiday season get in the way of having your version of perfect during the holidays. If you spend time doing silly things with the people you love, there’s no way it won’t be the most wonderful time of the year.