Halfway through September, Jackson had its first snowfall. The last two weeks of November, I was in Malawi, Africa getting sunburnt and wearing summer clothes. I returned home and with the help of some serious jetlag, had some extra few hours every morning to decorate and Christmas-tize my room, as my space heater rumbled the chill away.
I love winter, and Christmas even more. I think there is a little magic in every item that you tuck away and bring out every year that brings back smiles and memories of Christmases past. I always make a commitment to not let the holiday rush by and miss out on making memories.
So today I will let you in on my little Christmas activities list, and hopefully it will inspire you to start some new seasonal traditions of your own!
- Watch “Vlogmas” videos on YouTube. I’m a little bit of a YouTube nerd and have a few channels that I watch pretty regularly (Zoella is my favorite). I especially love when December comes around, because the YouTubers get festive and love to share more holiday cheer on a daily basis. It’s contagious, and they have some really nice ideas of how to get in the spirit of this time of year.
- Try a new recipe. Or, if you’re like me, vow to cook at home more often. Cooking for 1 is pretty difficult, and I am pretty lazy and frugal when it comes to meal times. I have been so guilty of eating out for way too many meals, especially lately. So tonight I went to the grocery store and stocked up for more meals at home. I also grabbed a few ingredients for recipes that I want to save for when I…
- Host a Dinner Party. Get a good group of friends together, put together a cheese plate or cheeseball and open a few bottles of wine. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extravagant to be a nice evening, especially if you’re far away from home (like almost everyone in Jackson is). It helps the intimacy of Christmas not to be lost when you are surrounded by the love and warmth of friends, and yummy food!
- Do a Puzzle. Okay, maybe I’m a nerd, but I love a good puzzle. Especially a seasonal one (I may have bought 2 for fall and 1 for Christmas already…) On a dark, cold winter night, I do not like to be out and about. I like to be in my wool socks and fuzzy sweater with a warm cup of tea or cocoa in my hand. Puzzles are a great way to stay cozy, be entertained, and use your brain in a different way. Having roommates or friends join in on the puzzling is also a great time to chit chat and spend some quality time together.
- Decorate and light candles. In my room, I go all out with ribbons, lights, stockings, trees, bells, ornaments and anything else I can find. Home feels so much warmer when it’s softly illuminated with a few strands of lights and little flickers of a “Sparkling Balsam” candle. I believe there is no better way to spend a winter night than in a festive room with Christmas music or a Christmas movie on in the background.
- Read a book, or do a craft. It’s another way to curl up and enjoy being inside on those icy nights when going outside is a big fat NOPE. For books, ask your friends for suggestions, or try out Goodreads.com for ideas. Pinterest, of course, is a haven of great ideas, especially for easy and fun Christmas DIYs or décor concepts that I myself could never imagine creating on my own!
- Treat yourself. Advent calendars are a great way to indulge yourself a little bit each day, and may inspire some good gift ideas for friends and family! While you’re checking off your list of who to buy presents for, don’t leave yourself out. Avoid being greedy and just select maybe one or two nice things that you know you will really enjoy. And if you stink at selecting presents for others like I do, sometimes tapping into what you would like helps to choose similar items for others who might enjoy them as well!
- Get outside. Wrap up in some pretty (and warm) layers and boots, grab a hat and some gloves, and walk around in the snow (if you have any). Go ice skating, go for a walk, go shopping around town, or just grab coffee with a friend. Being outside and allowing Jack Frost to get to your nose is always a fun time for you to revisit the childhood admiration of snowflakes. Once it gets dark, drive around some neighborhoods and look for the house with the best light display!
- Write letters or Christmas cards. I went into a little local shop today and found some beautiful holiday stationary and there were so many cute sets that I couldn’t even choose one. I love writing and mailing letters and cards anyways, but Christmas time just makes it that much more special. Again, when you’re thousands of miles away from close friends and family members like I am, sending a physical card is like sending a little hug. It means more than a text message ever could, and who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail?!
I hope you like these ideas and I hope they have inspired you to get into the spirit of the season. Cheers to December, friends!