’Tis the season where chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, jingle bells are a-ringing and Santa Claus is coming to town.
But given the current situation in the world, we don’t exactly blame you if you’re struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year. In fact, we’d expect it. After all, research shows that around a third of UK-based adults have experienced a decline in their mental health since March 2020.
Following last year’s festive season where social contact was limited and parties were out of the question, a normal (ish) Christmas may just be the thing we all need to make us feel better. Right?
That said, here’s how to get in the Christmas mood over the next few weeks so that you can enter a new year feeling happier and healthier.
1. Go Shopping for Christmas Decorations
How to get in the Christmas mood 101: go shopping to update your collection of trimmings and decorations.
There’s nothing we like more than checking out garden centres and department stores in the run-up to Christmas. The festive displays are always enchanting, whether you’re 12 or 31, 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
Once you have everything you need to make your Christmas tree shine brighter than the one at Rockefeller Centre in New York, get to work.
Basically, it’s not Christmas until you’ve decorated your house so that it’s worthy of an Instagram post, right? We’re talking about the tree, garlands on the stair bannister, exterior Christmas lights — the lot.
We like to put on Christmas tunes as we graft like elves to make our homes look like our own personal Santa’s grotto.
3. Watch a Christmas Film
Sure, we’re aware that this isn’t a groundbreaking item on this “how to get in the Christmas mood” list. However, watching a festive film or TV show really does reignite the Christmas spirit in even the Scrooges of the world.
We love to throw something on Netflix or even go old-school with a DVD. (Remember those?) Our 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
Would you agree? Oh and FYI, snuggling up in festive pyjamas with a fluffy blanket and hot drink while you watch something festive is a must.
4. Drink Hot Chocolate
Even if you don’t have it at any other time of the year, you have to have a cup of hot chocolate in the run-up to Christmas.
But not just any cup of hot chocolate. We’re 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. Fact.
5. Go Shopping for Christmas Presents
We realise that you don’t have to buy your loved ones presents at Christmas just to show them you care. There are ways to show and tell them that you care all year round.
Even so, we adore everything about Christmas, including the gift-giving part. You don’t have to spend hundreds to get something sentimental that your friend, partner or family member will love for years to come.
Shopping for Christmas presents, especially if it’s in-store, always gets us wanting to scream “joy to the world” to anyone who walks past us. The music, the choices, the deals… It’s all wonderful, but only if you don’t leave it until the last minute. (Cue panic crowds and a whole load of stress.)
6. Drink Mulled Wine or Cider
To get a hit 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 don’t tend to drink much alcohol. One sip is enough to warm the bodies and hearts of even the non-believers.
7. Head to a Christmas Market
Most of the major cities in the UK are putting on their Christmas markets this year after they weren’t able to last year. Therefore, make sure you check one out in your local area to feel all kinds of Christmas magic.
The best Christmas markets have great food, great drink, great gift stalls, great music — and a great atmosphere. The lights, the crowds of gleeful people and the action make for a fun day out for all ages.
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 is on a new level of scrumptiousness.
We’re fans 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 Christmas Attire
A simple way you can get into the festive spirit is by rocking Christmas-themed outfits. 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.)
We’re 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
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
Many of you may feel like wrapping Christmas gifts is a chore. (We get it — that was once us.) That said, it can actually be super satisfying if you do it right.
And by doing it right, we mean by getting 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.
Turn it into an occasion rather than something that you’re “just trying to get done” as fast as possible. Put time aside. Take regular breaks to pour yourself another drink and have a gossip. And we 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. (It helps to have lovely things to look forward to!)
We 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). Instead, pick a few key things to do that you know you will enjoy 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 our top suggestions:
- Mince pies
- American-style sugar cookies
- Christmas cake or cupcakes
Although, if you’re not much of a baker, we totally won’t judge you if you want to buy a pre-made version and scoff it in front of the TV. In fact, scoff away.
14. Decorate a Gingerbread House
Speaking of American-style activities, have you ever thought about decorating your very own gingerbread house? Or if you’re an expert baker, making your very own gingerbread house?
Sure, it’s something we’ve seen in our fave American festive films. But it’s actually a joyful and childlike way to spend a December afternoon.
Just don’t expect to be any good at it upon your first try. Trust us, it takes practice for it to look as good as it does in the movies. (But it’s fun trying!)
15. Go to a Special Christmas Event
Lastly, one of our top tips in terms of how to get in the Christmas mood is to head to a festive event. We don’t just mean your average Christmas event here — we’re talking about those unique and special Christmas events that aren’t as affordable so you don’t do them every year.
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 magic of Christmas like nothing else.
If you live in Yorkshire, we’re fans of Stockeld Park, which has winter illuminations, ice-skating and Christmas activities. Having said that, any festive event that makes you feel like a kid again is a festive event that we want to go to. Join us, won’t you?
How to Get in the Christmas Mood (and Stay There!)
After a challenging few months (or years, in the world’s case), it’s easy to struggle getting into the Christmas mood.
However, sometimes it’s just a matter of trying and pushing yourself to do things that you may enjoy (even if you don’t feel like doing them at first). You may surprise yourself just how much they improve your mental health.
We recommend doing as many items on this list as possible (heck, do them all!) and it won’t be long before you’re feeling as jolly as Santa Claus and spreading Christmas cheer to those around you.
Ho, ho, ho — Merry Christmas, everybody!