Christmas has previously never been a big thing to me. Growing up, my family never really used it as an excuse to get together and I don’t exactly come from a family that can ‘afford Christmas’. This isn’t a sob story, it’s just the way it was and I’m totally fine with it.
However, for the past 2 years I’ve been trying to change my outlook and get into the Christmas spirit.
It’s not that I’ve been completely against Christmas, it’s just easier to act like a Scrooge than it is to explain why I just don’t get the holidays. I’m sure I can’t be the only person who thinks this way, so here are my top tips to become the cringeworthy festive so-and-so you’ve always dreamed of becoming.
It started when I worked in retail over the holidays
Usually everyone’s idea of a worst nightmare, working at Lush over Christmas gave me a huge festive boost. Yes, shoppers can be quite volatile during the festive season, but they can also be an absolute delight.
Little kids used to come in talking about Santa, couples would stumble through after too many mulled wines on the market and I’d have the opportunity to help someone choose a gift that I just knew would make someone so happy on Christmas day.
You’ve got to feed off the people around you for a little Christmas magic. Ditch the fellow Scrooges and embrace anyone that offers even a glimmer of festive cheer.
Random acts of kindness
These should of course be done all year round, but the festive season means when you take part in a RAK you’ll feel like one of Santa’s lil elves spreading cheer (vom)!
If you’ve got some spare time over the holidays, sign up for volunteering. Even if it’s just one free evening that you can get down to a soup kitchen to serve someone a well needed meal, every minute counts. If you haven’t got the time, round up any non-perishable goods you have, or extra buy-one-get-one-free items and donate them.
Speaking of BOGOF offers, when Starbucks does their festive drinks deal take the opportunity to perk up a co-worker or a homeless person who needs a bit of warmth.
Don’t avoid the work Christmas do
Don’t be that guy. You’ll be surprised how different your co-workers are out of work. Even if you go out for just a few quick drinks and show your face, you’ll no doubt come away with some funny festive stories to tell the next day.
It’s not about the Coca-Cola truck
Can we stop letting advertising campaigns define Christmas please? They produce a really toxic version of Christmas that only adds pressure to play out what we see on TV.
All these fake family videos, lovestruck animals and supermarket slagging matches do not define Christmas.
Finding the perfect gift for a loved one
This does not mean spending a ton of money. The smallest gifts for a loved one can actually be the most thoughtful and sentimental ones.
Think of practical items and you’ll be half way there. You’re bound to find something someone will make use of and every time they use their gift they’ll be reminded of you. A mug for someone who drinks a lot of tea, stationary to use at work or a personalised phone case with picture of you and your friend; it really is the little things that work the best.
For example: I often answer my phone by singing ‘hello is it me you’re looking for?’ when my fella rings. So this year I’ve got him a Lionel ‘Rich-tea’ mug. Hilarious.
Make your own decorations
Crafting is always therapeutic and even the least artistically-abled people can have a go! (I failed GCSE art)
Paper snowflakes, origami wreaths and even an angel to top the tree. Gather your friends and have an old school evening of getting creative.
Indulge in Christmas goodies
Whether you bake your own sugar cookies or go out for a ginger bread latte, Christmas is all about the food. Nothing will make you feel more ‘christmassy’ than a belly full of indulgent dinner. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, fill your boots!
Plot twist: Last year could have been the worst Christmas ever. Having an unsavoury confession lumped in my lap a few days before Christmas meant that the holidays were pretty much ruined. Did I sit around and mope? Heck no. I shipped myself off to my best friends, drank wine and watched Tangled.
Which brings me on to my final point:
Stop making excuses:
It’s so easy to deny Christmas and give in to cynicism, but it costs nothing to have a positive attitude. Take it all in light hearted jest, remember how people said you were miserable for not being Christmassy? That’s because you probably really are!
Let the holidays pick you up and find light somewhere along the way. You don’t have to be religious to celebrate the festive season, just avoid the carols and enjoy your time off. Christmas is for everyone, including you; so get out there and celebrate!