Have you found yourself a little less excited for Christmas this year? Usually people find it stressful doing their last minute shopping, but that might not even be your focus this year with the pandemic. There was a scene in Jingle All the Way where store workers were making fun of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character for looking for the hottest selling Christmas toy on Christmas Eve. He snatched those two workers up by the collars as they sneered in his face and he said, “Where’s your Christmas spirit?” I wasn’t doing last minute shopping, but I found that I had to ask myself this question this year.
I used to LOVE Christmas. When I was little kid, I could barely sleep at night thinking about all the cool toys I would wake up to. However, over time the excitement faded. It’s less acceptable for me to ask for toys as an adult (but I do have an appreciation for clothes now that I have to make my own purchases). Christmas should be about more than just material things (although there is something about giving any time of the year that makes your heart warmer), and there is still time to fill your household with Christmas cheer.
Due to the pandemic and not feeling the joy of a bustling shopping experience or connecting extended family, I was pretty much prepared not to celebrate Christmas. After all, we could think of Christmas like any other day and just have money to keep in our pockets. However, once I started working a spark ignited. Having an income made me less anxious about how I would pay back student loans and more joyful about giving. Plus there was a lot of holiday cheer going around the company. I participated in a companywide non-edible gingerbread house competition. We also dressed up in our ugly Christmas sweaters, and for an added touch I wore a light up headband. So this was definitely a step in the right direction for me to stop feeling like such a Scrooge.
My family and I have barely watched any Christmas movies, and that is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit. Luckily we had the chance to watch Jingle All the Way and Home Alone, but there are so many fun ones that we glossed over like Polar Express and Elf. (I definitely think we lean more towards Christmas comedies than the heartfelt oldies…and sometimes they are romcoms lol.) But not to fret. You can stay up all the way until it’s time to open gifts watching your favorite Christmas movies if need be. And if not, watching just one is enough to create the Christmas vibes.
What else is something fun? Listening to music of course. It can get kind of annoying hearing the same versions of Christmas songs playing on the radio, but there are other music sources. I was on Spotify and found a coffeehouse Christmas playlist which was perfect for while I was working. Then when the shift is over it is time to pull out the pop favorites. I can’t get enough of WHAM!’s “Last Christmas.” And sometimes there are versions of Christmas songs that are silly, but think of the fun vibes when you sing it with loved ones and sound terrible together. If you haven’t listened to DMX’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” doing so might give you an extra laugh.
Really, Christmas should be Thanksgiving 2.0. You’re doing twice the giving and there is a holiday spirit that circulates during this time of the year that makes people a lot more thankful for what and who they have. You may not be able to connect in person with loved ones, but there are always virtual options. I wasn’t excited for Christmas before, but really I should be nothing but smiles because there is so much I have to be grateful for. In our virtual world there’s room to start new traditions, and we still have the joy that is brought from movies and songs.