I love the Holiday Season. I love how New York City literally changes into the City of Magic. Beautiful decorations, music and lights everywhere. Entire families skating in the Bryan Park and Santas Ho Ho Ho-ing on every street’s corner. I even enjoy full stores, and unless I am in a crazy rush, I have to admit I actually like waiting in line and seeing what others buy as gifts. I just like the vibe around everything ‘Holiday’ related.
Next week is when things will be slowing down at work a little bit. Most of my colleagues held off with taking their time off till around now so the office will be at 50% starting December 15th which is super nice I have to say. While we are still busy wrapping things up before the end of the year it definitely is ‘less crazy’ and I am able to leave just before 6pm this week. I just like when it does not feel like ‘running’ all the time, in December I actually hope to have some more time to ‘stop and smell the roses’, (actually, christmas trees ;).
Now, when I am writing this post, when I look out of the window I see almost each and everyone of the neighbor’s homes dressed up in lights and wreaths (seems like people get their Christmas on the next day after Thanksgiving). So gorgeous, music to my heart. Do YOU feel the holiday spirit yet? No? Read on for some simple ideas to dive full speed into the Holidays!
Easy Ways to Get Into The Holiday Spirit
1. Smell it
To me Christmas smells like oranges. When I open an orange and close my eyes, all my childhood Christmases are flashing before my eyes. When nothing was available in stores and citrus fruit was literally priceless, my dad was still able to always bring a couple of oranges on Christmas Day. Peeling off each fruit was a celebration with everyone present at a table. Oh that smell, it will always stay with me. And the pride on my dad’s face.
Fill your home with YOUR Holiday smell (or get inspired on Pinterest). Make a super easy stove top fragrance. Simply fill a pan with water, add some orange peel, cinnamon stick, a few cloves, some nutmeg. You can replace cinnamon with rosemary or a stalk of Christmas tree, some apple peel or cranberries. Simmer gently and fill up your home with beautiful DIY Holiday scent.
2. Share it
Doesn’t giving feels much better than receiving? Giving and sharing is all the Holiday Season is about. And there is no such thing as giving ‘too little’, every little bit counts whether it is helping someone financially, giving a functional gift, volunteering at a soup kitchen, sorting goods at a local food bank, or putting together a care package for a homeless person. So let’s share our joy with someone less fortunate and bring cheer to their Christmas too.
While for some the Holiday Season is the best time of the year, for others it may be the most loneliest, especially for the elderly. Try to stay extra aware and sensitive. If you know of any friends or neighbors without family, invite them over for a piece of cake and a glass of cider (or a glass of vino!), make them feel special, needed and welcome.
3. Sing your heart out
..or put the Holiday music on if you’re not in the mood to sing.
A couple of years ago someone from my office organized ‘Christmas Carol singing’ at a local hospital . So myself and several of my colleagues got some gingerbread cookies, some chocolates and small Christmas tree ornaments and off to sing we went. It was a wonderful experience and surely helpful for me to get into the spirit of being joyful, generous and most of all thankful for all I am blessed in life (especially health!)
Helpful Tip: It helps to learn the words of the Carols ahead of going to sing in public..
4. Watch holiday movies
Call me a weirdo but I watch ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Love Actually’ every Christmas pretty much. Nothing gets me more into a Holiday spirit than a Christmas story, no matter how cheesy 😉
Need some inspiration? Check out this list of 12 best holiday movies of all time.
5. Bring the outside in
Forage in your garden for berries, herbs, ivy, holly and other available cuttings. Put it all in a variety of glasses, bottles and bowls around the house (don’t forget to add water!). Throw in some pine cones too. Keep in mind you can most likely get ‘leftover’ branches from the places that sell Christmas trees. Don’t be shy to ask. Before I ‘upgraded’ to a Christmas tree I would always be happy with a nice vase filled with beautiful Noble fir and Douglas fir branches that I scored for free.
Fun Fact: Last year I kept my Christmas tree in the apartment till early March. It was really making me happy and I figured ‘why not’? We took it out when it was so dry that was creating a fire hazard. It was a bit embarrassing to keep it in front of the house that late in the year while waiting for the trash track to take it away.
How are YOU getting into the Holiday spirit?