A Year Older, a Year Merrier: How to Keep the Christmas Spirit

It is a sad but true fact that as we get older, the magic inside our hearts slowly fades. Deadlines come up, and stress gets in the way so much so that we forget the true meaning and joyous feeling that the holidays stand for. 

I remember when I was younger how marvelous it would be when December came around. After spending a day upstairs seriously contemplating the newest toy or gadget I needed most, I would run down to the living room so I could give my parents a Christmas list neatly written in crayon. I would thrive on waiting for my beloved Christmas day, sleeping an extra amount of time on the 23rd because I knew that I wouldn't get any sleep the next day trying to spy on Santa the whole night.

I would demand that my parents take me to the town over, as there was a house that always put in the extra effort to make sure they were the best in the neighborhood. Elvis sat atop their house with a Santa hat on his head and a microphone in hand. Trees around their house were covered in flickering lights, and the lake next to their house, which had a statue in the middle of it, was also decked out. They probably took a boat over to decorate it also, which was a commitment level I could only dream of being on.

As I grow older though, I find that each year feels less and less like the Christmas I used to love so dearly. Especially as a college student, being away from home gives me less time to spend with family decorating the tree, driving around to look at Christmas lights on houses, and spending my parent’s money to buy holiday drinks. I try to keep the merry in my Christmas, however, by keeping up with these Christmas-related activities. 

1. Christmas Crafts

Yes, I know this is cliche, but it truly does work for me to up my spirit and de-stress. You can make your own Christmas sweater, Christmas tree in a mason jar or candy cane canvas. Get yourself some cheap clear ornaments and decorate them with things that are important to you. Recently, I decorated a Frozen-themed ornament with a melted Olaf on the inside. These are great as presents to friends and family, or as a present to yourself. 

2. Christmas Village DIY

A nice way to decorate any free space you have in your living area is to buy some cheap crafts, such as minature trees and figurines, and print out 3-D Christmas village houses online. This is super cheap and is a festive way to have your own holiday world right at your fingertips. 

3. Gingerbread House Making

A simple but fun activity to do either by yourself or with friends is to buy a gingerbread house kit. It's a great time to make your own unique house and keep it on display for all to see. (You can put it right next to your miniature Christmas tree!)

4. Make Yourself Young Again

Relive those childhood memories and head over to your local mall to take a picture with Santa! If you're too broke to pay for a picture, have a photoshoot in your room after throwing on a Santa hat and an ugly Christmas sweater. 

5. Donate to a Toy Drive

Simple, but sweet—it always feels good to give back. And if you don't have money to give, even sending a small Christmas gift or card would never fail to make someone's day. 

6. Buy an Advent Calendar 

As long as you have the patience to wait and recieve your present for each day, advent calendars are a fun way to get excited for each day closer to Christmas. 

7. Christmas Snacks

Buy yourself a bag of peppermints, grab a pack of gingerbread or Christmas-shaped sugar cookies (or make your own, if you can!), make a cup of hot cocoa with mashmallows and cozy under your blankets as you watch a holiday movie. 

8. Write in Red and Green

Though small and seemingly insignificant, writing in red and green will certainly remind you that Christmas is in the air, and that those simple colors are significant of the season that so many love.

Christmas is a time that many hold close to their hearts, as it encourages us to recognize all we have to be joyous about. Christmas is not just a holiday; it is a time for people to grow and express themselves and their love for others through sheer acts of kindness. With such wonderful things to look forward to as the holiday season approaches, the time spent building up your spirit and energy should last as long as it can. As best said by the Grinch, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

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