8 Ways to get in the Christmas spirit

By Piper Gallivan, Natalie Braga, and Alivia Arredondo

December is here and for all the people who celebrate it, it’s officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. For those who want to immerse themselves into this joyful holiday, here are 8 ways to get into the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Movies
Christmas movies are essential for getting into the Christmas spirit. There’s nothing better than getting all cozy and warm on the couch while watching your favorite Christmas movie. There are a variety of Christmas movies to choose from.

Some are old classic ones like Miracle on 34th Street (1950’s), that really touch the heart and teaches about the true meaning of Christmas, and others are more modern day Christmas movies like Elf and the live action Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, that are meant to make people laugh.

Meanwhile, there are the romantic Christmas movies like Love Actually, and family classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas and  the cartoon version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Overall, Christmas movies are great for gathering around with family and friends, and enjoying each other’s presence while being cozy and comfy.

After Thanksgiving it’s time to get the Christmas tree up! Everyone knows the best way to get into the Christmas spirit is decorating. Setting up the Christmas tree with family and other loved ones, while playing Christmas music, can get anyone into the Christmas spirit. There are many ways to decorate for Christmas. Some people get real trees, and others get fake ones, but either way everyone loves decorating their beautiful trees with lights, ornaments, and a center-piece on the top.

Another way to decorate for Christmas is setting up lights around the house, inside and out, so that everywhere you go it feels like Christmas! In some religious households, the manger scene with the birth of Jesus Christ is displayed, which also helps some people to get into the Christmas spirit.

Finally if you’re really into the Christmas spirit, or are really wanting to get into it, some people make huge snow statues and buy huge blow-up Santa Claus’, and other Christmas figurines, like Rudolph. These huge blow-ups will definitely draw attention to your house while you get to proudly show off your Christmas spirit.

Christmas Clothing
To get into the Christmas spirit, you must dress for the occasion. You can do this by pulling out any holiday spirit wear you have, including sweaters, socks, and hats. If you haven’t got any at home, there are many options on sale at stores, all over, including: Target, TJ Maxx, and Macy’s.

Often times, these can be expensive, but luckily, if you stop by your local thrift store, you can usually find some cheap festive sweaters. It may be a simple change from a regular sweater to a Christmas one, however it’s an easy and fun way to feel more connected to the holiday.

Christmas Shopping
A major part of Christmas is being able to give gifts to your friends and family to show your love for them (and also to get some gifts in return). Gift giving is not always the easiest task, and can be overwhelming at times, but by planning ahead you can make sure you not only get all the gifts you need, but also get in the spirit while you’re at it!

Stores, all around town, are showing their festivity, and having many holiday sales you can take advantage of. If you’re buying a gift for someone with a definite list of things they want, we recommend buying off that, however, if not, there are some basic gifts that can be used for anyone. These gifts include: perfume/cologne, books, blankets, small clothing items such as hats or socks, candles, mugs, and more.

Gifts don’t always need to be material goods either; a loving letter, or time well spent, can be just as good, or even better. Christmas Shopping doesn’t need to be difficult, and in the end it is worth it to see your loved ones be surprised with great presents.

Christmas Music
Christmas music is an essential to feeling the Christmas spirit. There are many varieties of music, and you can pick which one based on your preference or your mood. There are the more classic types such as carols like “Deck the Halls” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” those with a rock kinda vibe like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” and there is also the modern-pop style like “All I Want For Christmas Is You” or “Baby Please Come Come.” All are amazing options for getting you in the spirit. You can play these during any Christmas activity like decorating, cooking, baking, or just generally hanging out with your loved ones.

Christmas Parties
Christmas parties are a great way to celebrate and make the most out of the most festive time of year. Whether they are spent with family or friends, they are a great way to spend time with the ones you love. Hosts can decide on the general theme they want for the party, and there are many fun options.

If you wanted a more intimate celebration with your friends, Secret Santa is a great way to do it. It works best with groups of 4-20. If you’re not familiar with Secret Santa, it is when a group of people put their names into a hat or bowl (or more recently electronic versions), and each person picks out 1 other name and buys a gift just for them. This is a simple way to help save money, because you only buy one gift. You can have a party at the end of it, where everyone gives their gift and has a good time.

You can also follow other themes like: an ugly sweater party, where the person wearing the ugliest one wins a prize; or a white elephant party, where everyone brings a random gift and you can steal the ones you like! Whatever you do, we hope you have a great time with all your loved ones!

Christmas Events
If you are lucky enough to live the Twin Cities, you have access to wonderful events throughout the season to participate in. The Union Depot is known as the “Hub for the Holidays,” and they host may events throughout December. They have multiple movie screenings in their grand hall such as Elf and The Polar Express.

They also host a full re-enactment of the train from Polar Express, with a running train where they decorated it almost exactly as the train from the movie. Then they have employees recreate iconic scenes like the dancing hot chocolate part.

They also have a European Christmas Market up all season, where you can buy everyone on your gift list authentic European gifts, and help support family businesses.

If you want to venture out into Minneapolis, you can go to a classic Minnesota tradition at the Holidazzle parade, and festive events at Loring Park.

If you want a fancy night out, there is nothing better than a nice evening at the Guthrie. Every year they put on A Christmas Carol, and it is a great way to enjoy the arts while getting in the festive spirit.

We hope you have found something to help you enjoy the season around the city!!

Volunteer Work
Not only is Christmas about being surrounded by ones you love, but it is about giving, and one easy way you can give is through volunteer work in your community. People all around the world have little, to nothing, on this holiday, and there are many ways to help them out.

One way to do this is through the Salvation Army by: helping prepare and serve holiday meals, being a bell ringer, and more.

Another way, is through Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly Holiday Volunteers where you can prepare and serve meals at their locations in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and deliver to elders who can’t get to the centers.

Neighbors, Inc. helps distribute a large wish list of food items, and gifts, to needy families, and they have a variety of other tasks to do.

These ways and more, are easy to do, and will make you feel the Christmas spirit through helping out those in need.

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