Celebrating the Spirit of Christmas

Darshak Rana

The holidays are a time of joy and cheer, but sometimes you can feel lost in the flurry of events.

If you’re not careful, your stress levels will go through the roof. Why not take some time to get into the Christmas spirit? Here are some ideas that will help you relax this holiday season.

1. Set up a gingerbread house contest

This is always a fun way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Supply all the materials and let everyone go to work building their dream gingerbread house.

The best part?

Eating the houses when it’s all over!

2. String popcorn and cranberries to make a Christmas garland

This is a great project for kids — not only will they enjoy making it, but they’ll love having a festive decoration hang on their bedroom door or around the tree.

It still reminds me of childhood Christmas activities!

3. Have a Christmas movie marathon

What’s more Christmasy than curling up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and watching your favorite holiday movies?

Pop some popcorn, break out the Christmas cookies, and get ready for a festive night in.

4. Host a white elephant gift exchange

This tradition dates back to medieval times, but it’s still as fun as ever.

For those who aren’t familiar with the practice, people bring over wrapped gifts and put them in a pile. Everyone draws numbers and takes turns choosing presents.

The goal is to “steal” another person’s gift and unwrap it first — but once you do, you can claim any present except for the one you originally had.

The best part about this game is seeing how creative people get with their gifts: some of them are priceless!

You’ll never know what will show up next…

5. Bake up a storm

If you’re like most people, the smell of fresh-baked cookies and cakes is what gets you in the Christmas spirit.

So why not channel that feeling into an afternoon baking session with family and friends?

You’ll probably burn off more calories than you consume, so it’s a win-win!

And when you serve your goodies at the holiday party, they’ll be that much more delicious later on.

6. Volunteer together

Not only does this help out those less fortunate, but it can strengthen your bond as a family unit while helping others.

It doesn’t need to be anything huge; spend an hour or two helping prepare food at a soup kitchen or reading stories to kids at a local shelter.

7. Put together a gift basket for someone in the hospital

Here’s another great idea for families; it doesn’t take much time, and you’ll feel great knowing you brightened someone else’s day.

The best gifts are homemade: look around your house and put everything you find into one basket (some examples include holiday-themed trinkets, packets of hot cocoa and tea, puzzle books, etc.) Then deliver it to the patient with a big smile!

8. Spend an evening admiring Christmas lights

This is a great way to enjoy the festive holiday spirit.

Drive around town and take in the twinkling lights-it won’t be long before you’re feeling merry. You can also go from house to house if that’s what you prefer-just bundle up!

9. Get into the giving spirit by donating gifts for kids in need

Many families don’t have enough money to buy their children Christmas presents every year, so make a difference by bringing a present or two to a local shelter or organization that cares for children.

Your gift can brighten someone else’s day…and yours too!

10. Hang up a stocking for your pets

No one expects them to get presents from Santa, but they’ll still enjoy seeing their stockings hanging above the fireplace.

Just make sure you include something special inside — a few treats or a new chew toy should do the trick!

11. Go ice skating at your local rink

This is a classic Christmas activity, and it’s even more fun when you’re having a holiday party with family and friends.

Let everyone lace up and hit the ice…it’s a great way to burn off some calories while creating memorable experiences that will last a lifetime.

12. Watch “The Grinch” together

This movie has become an annual tradition for many families. It’s wonderfully entertaining, hilarious, and has a great message for kids of all ages — it’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening.

13. Go see your favorite holiday show

Musicals are particularly popular during this time of year …and there are plenty out there to choose from!

From “White Christmas” to “Avenue Q,” you can find just about any show that will have you singing carols at the top of your lungs. Just pick one that everyone will enjoy, sit back, relax, and have fun with family and friends.

14. Travel to see Santa at the mall

No, it’s not childish!

This is actually something my family did when I was younger; we’d get all dressed up and visit Santa at the mall.

It’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, and you can take pictures to remember the occasion. Just make sure that you’re prepared for long lines!

15. Go caroling

As soon as it starts getting dark at night during this time of year, put on your favorite Christmas jumper and go for a little walk around the neighborhood.

Knock on people’s doors and sing some festive songs — just make sure to bring a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine along with you!

16. Listen to some holiday tunes

There are so many great Christmas songs out there…and not enough time to listen to them all.

Pick a few of your favorites, blast the volume and sing along as loud as you want. Or find a local choir or carolers that will serenade you this season.

16 1/2. Drop your worries and wear the beautiful smile

Take a break from all life’s problems and enjoy some of these fun activities to get into the Christmas spirit!

Remember, Christmas is not a festival; it’s an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of living!

If you’re looking for ideas on how to get into the Christmas spirit, look no further!

The best thing is to get together with your loved ones and spend quality time. It doesn’t matter what you do together. Just be together!

Merry Christmas! :)

#Holidayjoy

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