We’ve officially entered December which means opening the first little windows or flaps of your Christmas calendars. (Don’t have one? Get in the spirit and go buy one now!) The twenty-four days leading up to Christmas Eve can be hectic but also delightful as you get ready for the festivities and the days off when you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy a nice glass of glögi or a hot cup of cocoa. Not sure how to spend those days leading up to the 24th ? Here’s a to-do list to inspire and console during year-end stress!
Day 1 and 2
We’re already pass the very beginning, but the first days are usually just for the delight of finally entering December! If you haven’t yet, start blasting those Maria Carey songs to get in the spirit!
Bring out your Christmas lights! There can never be too much. Then, cry as you can’t untangle them. If you don’t have enough, go buy more and complain when you can’t untangle those.
Get yourself a Christmas tree. Small, big – it doesn’t matter as long as you have the lovely symbol of the festive season to decorate your space. The beauty of the tree is that you have the freedom to decorate it with whatever ornaments you like: mere lights, flowers, cutouts of your favorite quotes – imagination’s the limit.
As you’re cleaning up the rest of the dropped needles, start planning your gifts to the closest to you. And if you think personally made gifts are a silly idea, think again. (It shows you care, dear.)
While trying to painstakingly study for your final assignments and exams, try setting up a date with a friend to spend some quality time conversing and blowing off some steam.
Start your own Christmas baking season by trying to bake the classics: ginger snap cookies, of course. After the first ones get burnt because you got distracted, take a break, and start again. I suggest making many more hear-shaped ones because we could all use a bit extra love.
Why not start writing and sending out Christmas cards – even if the people you know live in the same city. Anyone could use some lovely little greetings from their friends written by their own hand.
Buy candles! Whether they’re real or LED, candles are a great way to improve your mood during these darker days. Why not buy some of your chocolates while you’re at it – and glögi.
Seeing that this is a Friday, thank whatever deity that it is Friday again and that there’s only one week left until classes are over. Check out your schedules for any deadlines for the upcoming week and whether you have any books to return or borrow from the library.
Cleaning day! These two might be some of the most horrid words there are – or not, to each is their own – but see if you could give your home a thorough cleaning for the upcoming weeks. You’ll also feel refreshed, and your home is cleaner for the possible upcoming pre-Christmas parties. (Or, just ready for becoming dusty if you’re spending Christmas elsewhere.)
12 days till Christmas! Why not have a self-care day? Take a proper shower, put on a face mask, read your favorite book, and watch your favorite show to end the day.
Why not go Christmas shopping, see what’s being sold and excessively promoted. You might find something reasonably priced or just something utterly lovely – for a relative, friend, or just yourself. I mean, you do have to think about yourself.
Did you write and send those Christmas cards?
To get through the last week before classes end, make sure you have hot cocoa or glögi and relieve your stress with some chocolates. Any sweet is a necessity.
How about going ice skating? Ask if a friend would like to come along and make a day of it. Afterwards, you can go and have lovely cup of coffee or tea.
1 week till Christmas Eve! If you’re spending the week elsewhere, see if a friend has time to grab a coffee. If not, see that friend, and buy some lovely flowers to decorate your home just a bit more. Now is also the perfect time to start watching all those classic Christmas movies again.
Are you attending any (covid safe) parties or get-togethers in the upcoming week? See if you could get an appointment to get a haircut or just a hair trim so that you at least give the impression that your life is not a hectic mess.
As you might be cursing over the fact that our university still has a “reading week” left – especially if you have exams and deadlines – which ends outrageously just before Christmas Eve (on Thursday 23rd), why not procrastinate by going out, finding a snowy area and building a snow man that looks tired. If you don’t have any assignments left, do this anyway.
Unsure of your gifts? Or haven’t had time to get them? Run to a bookstore.
If you’re in downtown Helsinki, why not take a walk around the city to indulge in its Christmas decorations and head towards the Christmas Market in the city’s Market Square. Just browse around, maybe treat yourself to Finnish foods and pretend that you could also absolutely afford Finnish delicacies.
Days 22 – 24
Are you all stacked up with chocolates, cookies and have enough glögi? Get comfy, eat well, wish a very merry, happy Christmas to your closest ones, and watch a nice marathon of Christmas movies. These are the last days when you can also excessively listen to Michael Bublé’s beautiful Christmas songs. Enjoy as a another challenging year is nearing to its end.