How to Really Get Into the Christmas Spirit This Year
Come on a Journey With Me
I want you to imagine with me: it's a cold December night; you're snuggled up in a fleece blanket by the fireplace. You're sipping on delicious hot chocolate and watching A Christmas Story with family and friends. In the corner of the room is a tall, beautiful Christmas tree decked out with multicolor lights and with ornaments that you made when you were a child and some that were passed down from family. You can smell cookies being baked in the kitchen. You're full from the turkey dinner you just had but they smell too delicious to turn down. Mom is sitting on the floor, wrapping some last minute gifts and the kids are finishing their lists to Santa. When the movie is over, you'll go on your traditional walk around the neighborhood in the snow, to look at the houses and their décor. You'll pass kids that are making snowmen and snow angels, you might even here people singing Christmas songs. When the night is over, the family will get together and read The Night Before Christmas like you do every year. You will then go to sleep. That is, if you aren't too excited about the next morning...
Now does this make you get into the Christmas spirit? It definitely does for me! This is the most magical time of year! Every year, I set goals for myself of holiday festivities that I want to partake in but somehow end up getting busy and missing a lot. I will be giving you a list of the best Christmas activities, movies, songs, crafts and traditions to get you into the holiday spirit this year. If you like this article, be sure to check out my other two articles about ways to be kind this holiday season!
What's Your Favorite Part of Christmas?
My Favorite Christmas Movies That Will Be Sure to Get You in the Holiday Spirit
- It's a Wonderful Life (1946): After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to make George's wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there.
- Christmas With The Kranks (2004): With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.
- A Christmas Story (1983): Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a "Red Ryder air rifle." Frequently at odds with his cranky dad (Darren McGavin) but comforted by his doting mother (Melinda Dillon), Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.
- Holiday Inn (1942): Music by Irving Berlin, songs by Bing Crosby and dancing by Fred Astaire all add up to a really delightful musical that also just happened to launch the hit 'White Christmas'.
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992): After snarky youth Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) loses track of his father at the airport, he mistakenly gets on a plane headed for New York City -- while the rest of the McCallisters fly to Florida. Now alone in the Big Apple, Kevin cons his way into a room at the Plaza Hotel and begins his usual antics. But when Kevin discovers that the Sticky Bandits (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) are on the loose, he struggles to stop them from robbing an elderly man's toy store just before Christmas.
- Elf (2003): Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn't fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results.
- The Santa Clause (1994): Divorced dad Scott (Tim Allen) has custody of his son (Eric Lloyd) on Christmas Eve. After he accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit, they are magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa's place before the next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he's dreaming, but over the next several months he gains weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. Maybe that night at the North Pole wasn't a dream after all -- and maybe Scott has a lot of work to do.
- The Polar Express (2004):Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump"; "Cast Away") reunite for "Polar Express," an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989): As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife, Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), and children, as he tries to make sure everything is in line, including the tree and house decorations. However, things go awry quickly. His hick cousin, Eddie (Randy Quaid), and his family show up unplanned and start living in their camper on the Griswold property. Even worse, Clark's employers renege on the holiday bonus he needs.
And my favorite Christmas movie of all time...
- White Christmas (1954): Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into Gen. Waverly (Dean Jagger), the boys' commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So what's the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that's sure to put Waverly and his business in the black!
The Best Christmas Treats
Below are some recipes for the best holiday snacks, candy and sweets. If you would like the recipe, please click on the source below the picture!
All Natural Apple Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is a Christmas staple but this recipe is all natural.
The Best Turkey Gravy
Gravy is my favorite food but this recipe has to be my favorite. It's incredibly simple to make and only has 4 ingredients.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
If you're looking to spice up your mashed potatoes, try making these garlic mashed potatoes. I make these every year for our Christmas party and people are always telling me it's their favorite. You will be incredibly happy with this delicious recipe.
Holiday Swirl Cookies
These holiday swirl cookies are sure to impress your family and friends. Though they look like they'd be difficult to make, they aren't. You just need a little red and green food coloring or change the colors up if it's a different holiday!
Christmas Crafts For People of All Ages
Whether it's ornaments, wreaths, stockings, we've got crafts for everyone in your family!
If your kids love Legos as much as my niece and nephew do, they are going to LOVE making these Lego ornaments. They are easy to make and most of the pieces you should probably already have in your Lego collection.
Unique Christmas Wreath
I absolutely LOVE this personalized Christmas wreath. There are so many different ways you can make this that you can't go wrong! From the paint color and bow to the plants used and "JOY" word, you can change it all up and make it your style.
Snow Globe Terraniums
Terrariums are really in right now. Making a snow globe terrarium is a unique twist on a fun DIY decoration. Both adults and kids would enjoy making this. You can add Christmas trees, tiny people, baby Jesus and even snow! There so many different ways of doing this that you are bound to come up with something creative.
DIY Pet Ornaments
These DIY pet ornaments are for any pet lover. Whether you're making them for yourself or giving them as a gift they will surely be cherished for years to come.
Christmas Activities and Traditions
Below is a list of fun activities to do with your family and friends this Christmas!
- Make a gingerbread house.
- Decorate a Christmas tree.
- Go to a Christmas service at church.
- Go to a school Christmas program.
- Read Luke chapters 1:26-2:40 in the Bible.
- Get an Elf on the shelf.
- Write Christmas cards to family or friends that live far away.
- Read a holiday classic before bed.
- Cut paper snowflakes.
- Watch holiday episodes of your favorite shows.
- Drink hot chocolate.
- Shop for or make an ugly Christmas sweater.
- Have a Christmas Karaoke night.
- Decorate Christmas cookies.
Christmas Songs to Add to Your Playlist
There's so many great Christmas songs that you've probably heard hundreds of times. Below are some Christmas songs or versions of Christmas songs that you might not have yet heard but are sure to love!
Enya - O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Pentatonix- Mary, Did You Know?
Trans-Siberian Orchestra- Wizards in Winter
Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon Levitt - Baby It's Cold Outside
Now that you're in the Christmas spirit, let's look at some ways on how to be kind this Christmas.
If you are on a budget, there are certainly cheap and easy ways to be kind this Christmas. There's no reason to spend lots of money!