Here’s a little-known fact about me: I LIVE for the last four months of the year. Yes, I am one of those obnoxious people who will celebrate the season with pumpkin spice lattes and advent calendars and twinkly lights all over my apartment.
I mean, what’s not to love? You can go outside without the heat melting your makeup off, all the new TV shows come out, you get time off from work, the stores are all decked out with festive decorations, and you can spend the whole month watching cheesy holiday-themed movies.
But while I absolutely love the lead up to all the big holidays, I find myself wishing we could skip most of them. Halloween is great, but the other big three—Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s—always leave me with a funny feeling. I think at least part of that has to do with expectations. These are supposed to be some of the best days of the year, so if you have anything less than a perfect day, it feels like a disappointment. The other part is that we don’t really do a whole lot for those holidays in my family. We’ll exchange presents on Christmas day and maybe order out for dinner, but most of the time I’ll find myself on social media, jealously scrolling through all the pictures of big families and mouthwatering feasts.
Not to mention, since everyone’s busy on the actual holidays, you can’t even call your friends to hang out on those days! Growing up, I used to dream about the day I’d have my own house so I could throw a fabulous Christmas party or invite all my friends over to ring in the New Year. I’ve done the latter before and it was nice, but Covid means I’ll most likely be ringing in 2021 by myself (considering my parents will probably be asleep by 10).
Okay, okay, I didn’t mean to be a total grinch. In fact, I’m determined to have a great Christmas and NYE this year, and I’m going to do it my own way. If you’re not exactly looking forward to your own holiday celebrations this year, consider giving some of these suggestions a try:
Eat Something Tasty
Who says you need an epic feast? All you need are some of your favorite foods. The holidays are your ultimate cheat day, so go ahead and have that second slice of cake. If you feel inclined, you could try making something from scratch. Baking is a known stress buster!
Soak in the Bath
Bath bomb, face mask, candles, and relaxing tunes…need I say more?
If you’re into cheesy holiday movies like me, Netflix is an absolute treasure trove. You could also watch some of the classics, or even your favorite movie that has nothing to do with the holidays. A Christmas Prince? Jurassic Park? Both valid choices!
Treat Yo’ Self
You know there’s something on your Amazon Wishlist you’ve been dying to get but have put off because it’s too much of a frivolous purchase. Don’t think, just add it to your cart. After the year that was 2020, you deserve it.
It’s a well-known fact that acts of kindness are a major contributor to happiness. Today is the perfect day to donate to charity or pack up some of those treats you baked and leave them outside your neighbor’s door.
Stop the Scroll
Take a break from social media, today. The last thing you need to see is one of your friends unboxing the expensive gift her boyfriend sent her or someone else you know surrounded by their extended family while you’re stuck at home alone.
Set the Scene
Ambiance is very important. Maybe you don’t have a Christmas tree or all the decorations out this year (I don’t), but you can still zhuzh up your space a little. Even if that’s just playing a video of a crackling fireplace on your TV like I did when I was practicing hygge. In the past, I cut out a bunch of paper snowflakes and taped them to the ceiling with a bit of string. Cheap and effective!
Festive Video Chat
If you can’t be with friends or family this year, spend a bit of time catching up with them over FaceTime. Make sure everyone has a cup of cocoa or eggnog (or something stronger). You could even don your ugly Christmas sweaters and play some holiday music in the background.
So your holidays don’t look exactly how they’re supposed to, but I’m willing to bet there’s something going right in your life. In a year where so many people have struggled, maybe you still have your job or your health or your loved ones. All of those things are worth celebrating and I don’t know about you, but I think they’re more valuable than the perfect Christmas.
Sooo that’s how I’m planning on spending my holidays. I know I didn’t share anything particularly groundbreaking, but I do hope you found something helpful here. Maybe this will even be the year you start a new holiday tradition. Annual Jurassic Park screening, anyone?