’Tis the season where chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, jingle bells are a-ringing and Santa Claus is coming to town.
For some of us, we can’t wait to celebrate this magical of time year, and may have already started doing festive activities like putting up trees and going to Christmas markets.
However, others are struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year, given what’s currently going on in the world. If this sounds like you, there are some things you can do to count your blessings and embrace everything the holiday season has to offer. Here’s how to get in the Christmas mood and spread that joy into the new year.
1. Go Shopping for Christmas Decorations
How to get in the Christmas mood 101: check out this year’s selection of Christmas decorations and trimmings.
There’s nothing I like more than going to garden centres and department stores in the run-up to Christmas — and not necessarily to buy anything either. The festive displays are always enchanting, no matter how old you are, and you can also pitstop in the in-store cafe for a Christmassy hot drink or bite to eat. Win-win.
2. Put Up Your Christmas Tree
Let’s face it, it’s not Christmas until you’ve decorated your house so that it’s worthy of an Instagram post, right? I’m talking about the tree, garlands on the stair bannister, exterior Christmas lights — the lot.
I like to put on Christmas tunes as I graft like an elf to make my home look like my own personal Santa’s grotto.
3. Watch a Christmas Film
I’m aware that this isn’t a groundbreaking item on this “how to get in the Christmas mood” list. That said, watching a festive film or TV show really does reignite the Christmas spirit in even the Scrooges of the world.
I love to throw something new on Netflix or even go with an old-school classic. My favourites are the movies that make us feel all kinds of nostalgia about Christmases gone by, such as:
- Home Alone
- Home Alone 2
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- Love Actually
- The Holiday
- The Grinch
Oh, and snuggling up in festive pyjamas with a fluffy blanket and hot drink at the time makes you feel all kinds of cosy.
4. Drink Hot Chocolate
Even if you don’t have it at any other time of the year, hot chocolate in the run-up to Christmas is just… the vibe.
But, I’m not just talking about any cup of hot chocolate. I’m talking about marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles — the works. And it helps if you’re doing something Christmassy at the same time, such as putting up your decorations or watching a festive film.
5. Go Shopping for Christmas Presents
Shopping for Christmas presents in store always gets me wanting to scream “joy to the world” to anyone who walks past me, especially if there’s festive music playing.
Sure, you don’t have to buy your loved ones presents at Christmas just to show them you care. You can show them in your words and actions that you care, no matter the time of year.
Even so, I adore everything about Christmas, including the gift-giving part. You don’t have to spend a lot to get something sentimental that your friend, partner or family member will love for years to come.
6. Drink Mulled Wine or Cider
To get your fix of Christmas in drink form, grab yourself a mulled wine or cider from your local pub, bar or Christmas market.
This hot syrupy goodness is a winner even with those who aren’t big fans of alcohol. One sip is enough to warm the bodies, hearts and souls of even the non-believers.
7. Head to a Christmas Market
One of my absolute favourite things to do in November/December time is to go to a local Christmas market. They make me feel all kinds of festive, from the decorations to the food, rides to the gift stalls, and music to the twinkly lights.
Christmas markets always have a great atmosphere, and you can spend hours getting lost in the magic. I can recommend Leeds, Manchester, York and Winter Wonderland in London.
8. Book a Festive Afternoon Tea
Us Brits dote on our afternoon tea — and for good reason (it’s delicious). Having said that, the festive afternoon tea that many restaurants offer in the run up to Christmas is on a new level of scrumptiousness.
I’m a fan of the ones by Betty’s and Grantley Hall in Yorkshire. But any one will do if you’re wondering how to get in the Christmas mood — and fast. It definitely helps that these venues decorate for Christmas so beautifully too.
9. Wear a Christmas ‘Fit
A quick and easy way you can get into the festive spirit is by wearing a Christmas-themed outfit. At the end of the day, if you’re dressing Christmassy, it’s kind of impossible not to feel Christmassy. (Especially when you keep catching yourself in the mirror looking like you belong in Lapland.)
I’m loving these festive pieces right now:
- Christmas jumpers
- Fair isle knits (jumpers, scarves, leggings, etc.)
- Sequin dresses, blazers, tops, shirts and leggings
- Satin skirts, dresses, blazers and tops
- Embellished headbands
- Hair bows
Don’t be afraid of teaming them with festive hair and makeup for full-on glam. After all, if you can’t go all out at this time of year then when can you?
10. Get Festive Nails
Speaking of full-on glam, Christmas-themed nails can make you feel all kinds of excitement every time that you catch sight of them.
From graphic transfers to glitter polish, just about anything goes during the holidays. Whether you do your nails yourself or enlist the help of a beauty therapist, they will serve as the perfect complement to any festive outfit. It’s time to celebrate in style!
11. Wrap Your Christmas Presents With Someone
Many of you may feel like wrapping Christmas gifts is a chore, especially if you’re running out of time. In my opinion, it can actually be super satisfying if you do have time to spare.
Get a loved one on board while Christmas music (or a festive film) plays in the background and you’re sipping on hot choc or mulled wine.
If you turn it into an occasion rather than something that you’re “just trying to get done” as fast as possible, it becomes more enjoyable. Oh, and be sure to take regular breaks to pour yourself another drink and have a gossip. I guarantee that you won’t see it as a chore anymore.
12. Plan Your Festive Events
If you’re still wondering how to get in the Christmas mood, whip out your calendar. The truth is, planning social events where you can do all things Christmassy will soon have you feeling merry and bright. (I find that it always helps to have lovely things to look forward to!)
I don’t recommend packing your schedule full to the brim (Christmastime is when you can have a much-needed rest from work and relax with your nearest and dearest). I’ve done this in the past and overwhelmed myself. Instead, pick a few key things to do that you know you will enjoy, rope in your favourite people and get them in the diary pronto.
13. Do Some Festive Baking
Baking enthusiasts, listen up. You can put yourself in the Christmas spirit in just one morning by Googling Christmas recipes, grabbing the ingredients and getting to work.
Here are my top suggestions:
- Mince pies
- American-style sugar cookies
- Christmas cake or cupcakes
If you’re not much of a baker, you can buy pre-made mixes from the supermarket that you just have to throw in the oven. Simple, but totally tasty and worth the effort.
14. Decorate a Gingerbread House
Speaking of American-style treats, have you ever thought about decorating your very own gingerbread house? Or if you’re an expert baker, making your very own gingerbread house?
You can buy pre-made gingerbread houses that you can decorate with icing and sweets at home (and spend days eating!). They also double up as a fun addition to your house trimmings.
15. Go to a Special Christmas Event
Lastly, one of my top tips in terms of how to get in the Christmas mood is to head to a festive event (and not just a Christmas market). This could be ice-skating in a big park, going to see an orchestra play live festive music or seeing a Christmas show. And the best ones will reignite the Christmas spirit like nothing else.
If you live in Yorkshire, I’m a big fan of Stockeld Park, which has winter illuminations, ice-skating and Christmas activities. Having said that, any festive event that makes you feel like as happy and carefree as a kid again is a festive event that I want to go to.
Final Thoughts on How to Get in the Christmas Mood
Essentially, it’s not the holiday season for me unless I’ve done all 15 items on this list. If you’ve been struggling this year and not known how to get in the Christmas mood, I hope this helped.
Wishing you a happy holiday season surrounded by your loved ones!