“Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for joy and time for cheer.”
-The Chipmunk Song
Christmas is a joyful time to celebrate loved ones, good tidings, and giving. It’s a cheerful time of year dedicated to parties, gifts, and good times.
But what if you’re not feeling it? Getting into the Christmas spirit isn’t automatic when the calendar hits December. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to prepare for the holiday season.
What is the Christmas Spirit?
The Christmas spirit is the joy you get when you think about the upcoming holiday. It’s a magical essence in the air filling folks with happiness and goodwill.
The Christmas spirit is the tingling you get when searching for the perfect gift, the smile that cannot help but appear when you offer a helping hand, and the joyous harmonies of bells clinging with good tidings.
Examples of Christmas Spirit
Examples of how to embrace the Christmas spirit abound. Some are giant gestures of goodwill, while others are small things anyone can do.
Every year, mysterious secret Santas pay for layaway items at stores across the country. These anonymous gestures of goodwill embody the holiday spirit.
However, you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to showcase the holiday spirit. Small gestures like giving a meal to the homeless, donating to the Toys for Tots drive, or spreading holiday cheer to your loved ones are examples of the Christmas spirit.
How To Get Into the Christmas Spirit
It’s okay if you can’t force yourself into blissful Christmas happiness. The truth of the season is that it’s a lot of work and financial stress for many people. Christmas’s blissful joy and magic are often reserved for children who lack the burden of making it happen.
However, there are ways to get into the Christmas spirit and bring joy to yourself and those around you. Here are some ideas to make Christmas magical and get into the holiday spirit yourself!
1. Prepare for it
Christmas may be the season of giving, but giving is expensive. The financial burden of Christmas is one of the biggest obstacles to finding joy in the season.
To ease the burden, prepare for Christmas all year long. Create a separate Christmas fund in January and add to it every paycheck. If you see the perfect gift in July, grab it. Spreading the financial burden of Christmas across the year will ease your stress and make it easier to get into the Christmas spirit come December.
2. Watch Christmas Movies
It’s hard to be sad about Christmas after watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Christmas Movies have a way of uplifting our spirits and helping us see the good in ourselves and humanity.
As a bonus, watching Christmas movies doesn’t cost anything. Most streaming services have holiday films, new and old, that will fill your spirit with holiday cheer.
3. Bake Christmas Cookies
Lift your holiday spirits with the best flavors of Christmas! Bake cinnamon sugar cookies and clove lemon cookies to fill your home with the tastes and smells of Christmas.
You can also host a gingerbread house party, turning the holiday tradition into a delightful competition to see who can decorate the best house. Don’t forget to make gingerbread cookies for Santa!
Many say that the true meaning of Christmas is giving. Embrace this spirit by volunteering. Give your time and effort to a worthy cause, and help make your community a little brighter.
Although many people volunteer at soup kitchens to help feed the needy around Christmas, many charities could use a helping hand. Consider working at the local animal shelter, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, or visiting the elderly at a local nursing home.
5. Make Home-Made Gifts
Gift-giving is one of Christmas’s greatest joys, but many people feel it’s become overly commercialized. Lean into giving and away from materialism by opting for handmade gifts.
There are thousands of creative ways to handcraft gifts for the holidays. Paint pictures, sew scarves, create photo albums, make jewelry, or upcycle old items into new treasures.
6. Go Caroling
Grab a group of friends and spread Christmas cheer by singing songs to your neighbors. Nothing lifts spirits better than good friends and good music.
Caroling is a great way to inject Christmas spirit into your entire neighborhood.
Even the biggest Scrooge has to smile when they see a home decorated with all the bells & whistles of Christmas. Hang lights, wrap garland around the staircase, and tape Santa decals to the walls.
If decorating doesn’t provide a jolt of Christmas spirit, seeing your decorations every day until the holiday might do the trick!
8. Attend Christmas Parties
Mingle with friends embracing the season by attending holiday celebrations. Accept that invite to the coworker’s ugly Christmas sweater party, and join in on your company’s annual holiday party.
Sometimes all we need to do to get into the spirit is socialize with those who already have it.
9. Have a Light Seeing Adventure
Thousands of people decorate their homes for the holidays. Take a tour through your neighborhood and borrow some of their joy as you marvel at the spectacular Christmas wonderlands others have created.
Many cities also have a festival of lights and parades that showcase the very best in Christmas adornments.
10. Visit Santa
Every mall in America has a Santa! Grab the kids and watch their joy as they spill their heart’s desires to their Christmastime hero.
Even those without children can get into the spirit with a mall Santa. Though you probably won’t want to sit in Santa’s lap, the joy of smiling happy children is contagious.
11. Feed the Reindeer
Many wildlife parks embrace Christmas by showcasing their reindeer inhabitants. Find a local petting zoo or wildlife preserve offering the opportunity to chill with your favorite Christmas creatures.
Although not all petting zoos host caribou, most have smaller deer or goats that make ideal alternatives. Whichever the species, it’s hard not to smile while petting and feeding an adorable baby deer.
12. Mix Christmas Spirits
Get into the Christmas spirit with delightful Christmas cocktails! Make mulled wine, mix a peppermint martini, and add fresh cranberries to your spiked punch to celebrate the season with drinks.
Sometimes, it takes a tasty Christmas spirit to get into the Christmas spirit!
13. Embrace the Flavors of Christmas
Seasonal favorites race to the market around the holidays. Delight your tastebuds by exploring the various flavors of Christmas.
Enjoy peppermint, eggnog, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and all the fantastic flavors that burst onto the scene in December.
14. Create a Christmas Tradition
Traditions help bind us together and give us a sense of belonging. Though many families embrace cultural Christmas traditions, such as visiting Santa, setting up a tree, or having a family gathering, no rule says you can’t create your own.
Start something unique for your family on Christmas. Celebrate dearly departed loved ones, have a board game night, or make unique Christmas creations. Who knows, the tradition you create may be passed down for generations.
15. Put up a Christmas Tree
Nothing symbolizes Christmas more than the iconic evergreen dressed up in beautiful decorations. Make a night out of choosing and decorating a fabulous holiday tree.
Real Christmas trees inject even more Christmas spirit into your life, as the fresh scent of evergreen will greet you every time you walk into your home.
16. Tune Your Radio to the Christmas Station
Joyful Christmas songs fill the airways from Thanksgiving to Christmas. How can you not be happy while singing along with Burl Ives as he implores us to have a Holly Jolly Christmas?
Christmas songs also make great karaoke songs at holiday parties.
17. Indulge the Spirit of Giving
The true meaning of Christmas is the spirit of giving. Embrace the joy of giving amongst your friends, family, and community.
Take pleasure in finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, but go beyond that by donating to charities like Toys for Tots or your local Humane Society. Many food banks also have massive drives during the holiday season that you can contribute to.
18. Get Nostalgic
Adulthood has a way of sapping the Christmas joy from us. As children, the magic of Christmas permeated the air, filling us with hope and joy. As we grow, we have to create our own Christmas magic.
Thinking back to the magical Christmas experiences you had as a child can help. Share stories of your favorite Christmas memories with friends and family. Recreate the magic for the children in your life. Remembering the fun you had as a child can rekindle your Christmas spirit well into adulthood.
19. Explore the Spiritual Aspects of Christmas
Though it’s been secularized and commercialized over the decades, Christmas is, at its core, a religious holiday. Christians celebrate the day as the birth of their lord, Jesus Christ. Earlier religions celebrated the winter solstice around the same time, and many beloved Christmas decorations originated in Pagan rituals.
The end of the year has special significance for various religious and spiritual practices. Regardless of what you believe, use this time to explore your spirituality. Celebrate your faith, the shortest day of the year, and the promise of new light come spring. Embracing the spiritual aspects of the season may be just what you need to find your Christmas spirit.
20. Visit Family & Friends
Sometimes all you need is good company to lift your spirits. Make time for the special people in your life this holiday season. Meet with an old friend for coffee, spend time at your parent’s home, or host a movie night for your favorite people.
Gathering with loved ones will surely put a smile on your face and help you feel the season’s joy.
21. Send Christmas Cards
Distance may prevent visits, but you can show your loved ones they are in your heart by sending Christmas cards. Dedicate an evening to writing your cards, then spread Christmas cheer across the land.
You may not see their eyes light up when they receive your thoughtful correspondence, but you’ll know in your heart how much it was appreciated.
Christmas Spirit is About Holiday Joy
The Christmas spirit doesn’t have to be about spending money. Find your Christmas spirit by spreading holiday cheer and relishing in the joy of the season.
Spread happiness and have a Merry Christmas!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.