Last Saturday my friends, their boys, Nick and I all met up for an ugly sweater bar crawl in center city Philadelphia. We opted to do our own thing rather than hook up with one of the many that have been crawling through the various bars this holiday season. The great thing in doing that (besides avoiding some salty characters) was that I got a chance to catch up with my ladies right before the downhill dash to Christmas Day and the craziness of that week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
While there was wedding talk and boy talk (naturally), we started to lament the fact that becoming an adult with a real and often stressful job has dealt a painful blow to celebrating the greatest time of year. Gone are the days of staying up late watching Christmas movie marathons and not worrying that your cash needs to be spent on bills instead of gifts. Of course I have it a little bit better working with children but I miss those days in college where I would string up Christmas lights around my entire apartment, turn off all the other lights, and just sit there listening to Christmas tunes because I only had one exam the next day. It seems that we’re not alone since someone linked to a Buzzfeed post that compared Christmas in your twenties to Christmas in college. The results were not pretty.
Though life is busy and a tad bit crazy at this time of year, I’ve found there are some things that you just have to do to make this holiday season work for you. Here is my easy seven ways to appreciate and celebrate the holiday season even when you’re an adult and have to go to work.
1. Drink hot chocolate. Sure you love your coffee but can you deny that there’s something about a mug of hot cocoa that feels like the holidays? Microwave a mug of milk, rip open that packet of Swiss Miss and look for a couple of flakes out your window.
2. Pick your favorite Christmas movie and watch it. Sometimes I am a silly girl and I get overwhelmed thinking that I need to watch ALL THE CHRISTMAS MOVIES. What works a lot better than trying to carve out time to watch them all is to pick a great one that gets me right in the Christmas spirit. My choice is Love Actually. “Tell her that you love her. You’ve got nothing to lose and you’ll always regret it if you don’t.” Oh my heart.
3. Decorate something. Getting out the Christmas decorations and getting down to business may be one of my holiday traditions but I can guarantee it will put you in the right state of mind. How can you not see a Christmas tree or bunch of lights and not get excited? Just don’t put those weird antlers and red nose on your car. Those are just terrible.
4. Bake cookies. Your house will smell delicious, you will have a great treat to eat, and nothing says cozy like a belly full of cookie crumbs. Just make sure they’re in your belly and not all over shirt.
5. Wrap Christmas presents. This might not be a popular choice to get you in the spirit but there’s no denying that wrapping all those presents (that you may or may not have by now…) will make it feel like Christmas is almost here.
6. Have a party with friends and/or family. Don’t be silly and wait until the day of to see family and friends. Schedule drinks at a festive bar, host a cookie swap (never been to one or hosted one but I think they sound fun!), or do some winter activity like ice skating with your nearest and dearest. It will be fun and you will appreciate having people to call yours at this time of year.
7. Close your eyes, take a deep breath or two, and then revel in all the holiday goodness around you. I think sometimes we need to be reminded to be present at this time of year. While we can be distracted by hectic shopping, end of the year prep, and just general holiday craziness, make sure you take time to reflect and be in the moment. There are so many wonderful things to think about and be thankful for if you just give yourself five minutes every day.