Five tips for getting into the festive spirit
It’s that time of year again. It’s dark outside, you’re already several weeks into your winter wardrobe, everybody in the office is talking about the Christmas party, and if you’re anything like us you’ve been meaning to start the whole “present buying” thing for the past six weekends. That’s right, Christmas is nearly upon us, and it’s time to find your festive cheer and get in the mood for the coming celebrations.
There are various little steps to take in order to prepare both yourself and your home for the coming season, all of which will make sure that by the time 25th December rolls around, you’ll be full of the Christmas spirit and ready to entertain friends, family and loved ones. Nobody wants to be the Grinch, so start the process now and you’ll have less catching up to do later!
Get the tree up early
There seems to be a debate in the press and on social media every year about when the right time to put a Christmas tree up is. The general opinion is that November is unacceptable unless you’re a high street department store, whereas if you leave it much beyond the second week of December you might as well not bother. The British Christmas Tree Grower’s Association suggest that it’s fine to start getting the decorations out – including the tree – from the first of December onwards. Whilst they would say that, because they want you to start buying from them as soon as possible, we think that the first of December is about right. After all, your advent calendar starts from the first of the month, so why shouldn’t the rest of your Christmas activity kick into life then, too? Where possible, go with a real tree instead of a plastic one; they just look so much better. Consider some stylish Christmas tree decorations to go with it, too. A few wraps of tinsel and some cheap LED lights just don’t cut it anymore!
Write and send Christmas cards
Because we now live in an age of email and social media, written communication is rapidly going out of fashion. We send fewer letters now than we have done in decades. If you can send someone an email with an attached file, and they can have it instantly, why would you want to send something through the post? And yet there’s still a lot to be said for sending and receiving something personal and thoughtful through the post; an expression in your own handwriting just feels a lot more genuine than one that’s read on a screen, in a font someone else has designed. Christmas can be a lonely experience for a lot of people, and receiving a nice, elegant card full of warm feelings can make a world of difference to them. They’ll feel great to you, too, when you start to receive them back! Whether it’s your best friend or someone you haven’t seen in years, let them know you’re thinking about them with a card. Plus, this is also a great way to get invitations to Christmas parties from people who otherwise may not have sent you one.
Start listening to Christmas songs
Everybody has a favourite Christmas song. Some of us have four or five! But it can be easy to get a little cynical about them when we only hear the same three or four on rotation every time we turn on the radio, or head down to a shopping outlet. Yes, Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is a classic, but it’s 24 years old, and we’ve probably heard it enough times to last us a lifetime. What’s the song that you don’t hear enough, but wish you did? Is it Fairytale of New York? How about the quirky Christmas Time by the Darkness? We’ve got a lot of time for Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses. Whatever it is, stick it on your playlist and have it on rotation when you’re out and about. You don’t want a playlist full of Christmas songs – that would grate on you – but the occasional one every now and then is enough to lift your mood!
Watch Christmas movies
Let’s settle this once and for all. Yes, Die Hard as a Christmas movie. It’s set at Christmas, and it centres around a timeless battle between good and evil. What could be more Christmassy than that? Some people don’t even consider it to be Christmas at all until they’ve watched Hans Gruber plunge from Nakatomi Plaza at the film’s climax (sorry if that was a spoiler, but if it was, where have you been all these years?). We watch entertainment – and especially movies – to set our mood. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is an excellent choice for a warm and cuddly comedy night in, and if you can get through It’s a Wonderful Life with dry eyes then you need to go back to the start of the film, play it again and try harder this time. Christmas is a time of year that reminds us all to be better people, and a great movie sets the tone for that.
Above all else, be kind and wonderful to each other. It’s a special time of year, and even those who don’t celebrate Christmas have no objection to feeling a little more love and sparkle in their lives at this time of year. So smile. Say “Merry Christmas” to each other. Say it to strangers. Give to charity. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, so prepare yourself for it properly, and celebrate it to the max.
The editorial unit