By Hannah Beadle

November was a depressing month. The temperature dropped, the leaves fell and the sun seems to have taken an extended vacation. Whether or not you are like me and you share my hatred for November, I think most people can sympathize with the sentiment that winter is coming…. it’s only the beginning…and it’s going to get worse! But, Christmas is also around the corner.

The only thing to do is to look onto the bright side and if you don’t see a tropical trip on the horizon, you are going to have to find joy within the bitter cold. Fortunately, December is beginning and the Christmas season can be a wonderful gift of relief amidst the misery. Here are some helpful tips to maximize your Christmas Spirit along with making sure you remember the true meaning of the season.

8 Tips to Have an Amazing Christmas Season

Have a Festive Drink

It may seem like a small thing but indulging in a festive drink is sure-fire way to get you in the Christmas mood. Whether it a classic cup of Eggnog, or some of my personal favourites: a hot mug of Cadbury Drinking Chocolate, Apple Cider heated on the stove with cinnamon sticks, or a Starbucks’ Chestnut Praline Latte – You can’t go wrong!  

Watch a Christmas Movie

Although you may have seen these films a million times there is nothing better to warm the cockles of your heart than seeing the Grinch’s heart grow larger, Ebenezer Scrooge choosing to love, and Buddy the Elf lighting up the buttons of the elevator like a Christmas Tree. *This can also be paired with tip 1 to enhance the experience.

Host a Christmas Party 

Christmas is the season to take time to spend with friends and family. What better way to do this by hosting a Christmas bash? Whether it’s a black tie evening with fancy appetizers or an ugly sweater board game night – you’ll never regret spending quality time with people you love.  

Be Mindful of those who are Grieving

For people who have lost loved ones, holidays can be times that are especially difficult as it is so focused on spending time with your family. Why not invite a friend who has recently lost someone to your family Christmas dinner? That invitation may be the only reason why they won’t be spending Christmas alone.

Be creative with your gift ideas 

Don’t always go for the hottest consumer item. Try buying something from a local market, or specialty artisant product or making it yourself from scratch. I for one am not a super crafty person but I do love giving people ‘experience based gifts’. Instead of buying them something they will never use, plan a special night with them on the town or take them to a musical or a museum and those memories will last forever. Pinterest will be your best friend for this.

Give someone a gift who is not giving you one in return 

I hate to break it to you but Christmas is not about receiving gifts…or giving gifts knowing you will also receive gifts from that person. Instead why not buy something some toys for a young family that doesn’t have a lot of money, or some winter supplies for new immigrants to Canada or volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless. Giving has its deepest power when you don’t have any ulterior motives for doing it.

Drive through neighbourhoods and look at the Christmas lights

My Dad’s birthday is on December 21st and my family had a tradition when we were younger that we would go into town have dinner and then drive through the suburbs and look at all of the Christmas lights. It was so beautiful with the glistening snow to see how everyone uniquely decorated their homes. Also, great idea if you are looking for a cute date night on a budget!

Listen to Christmas Music 

It only comes around once a year, so we might as well take advantage of it! I’m a firm believer in listening to Christmas music as early as possible. It’s also something that really bridges culture together. Although most mainstream music and Christians do not agree on much, it always makes me emotional to hear secular artists sing lines like “God and sinners reconciled” or “O come let us adore Him” even though they may not realize the truth of what they are singing about.

Although most of these are just silly-superficial tips that will only brighten your day for a short while, I can tell you from my own experience that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the only thing that will truly satisfy. He is the true hope for the world and not simply a construct of a child’s imagination that only comes around once a year. Instead he came flesh and blood into the world and traded His life your yours. If I can actually leave you with one more tip, it would be to accept the greatest gift that was ever given to you and enter into new life this Christmas season.

“Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings”
– Hark the Herald Angels Sing