30 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

I know that I’ve been saying this countless times, but can you believe it’s almost Christmas?! Christmas is less than a month away and I’m so excited for it! I absolutely love this time of year – minus the cold weather, which makes it impossible to take pictures since it gets dark around 5 o’clock. In all seriousness though, I love everything about this season – the movies, the music, the food, the energy from people, the extra togetherness with family and friends, and overall spirit of the season. It seems like people overall are much happier this time of year, or maybe it’s the same level of friendliness. I live in the South and no one is a stranger haha! I just love the feeling that Christmas brings. I love the feeling that miracles can happen and that anything is possible this time of year!

I’ve come up with thirty surefire ways that can get you into the Christmas spirit. By the end of it, you’ll be singing, “Deck the Halls… Fa la la la la la la la la.”

There was a period of about 10 years where I didn’t decorate for Christmas. When I started dating my husband in 2009, he wanted me to have a wonderful Christmas, since that was his favorite holiday. So, for Christmas 2009, we went all out and bought a crazy amount of decorations and ornaments. We justified it by knowing that decorations are the kinds of things that last for years and years, and even decades and decades. All the decorations that we bought back then are still the decorations we use today! This year, we went all out again and spent a crap ton of money at Hobby Lobby, since we hadn’t really bought that many decorations since our first year together. This is our second Christmas in our new house, so we wanted to make it more cozy and have just about every inch of the downstairs covered in Christmas decor.

It’s all thanks to my husband on why I love Christmas as much as I do!

30 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

1. Bake Christmas cookies:

Christmas is all about the sweets. Hello, we even leave cookies out for Santa. Might as well practice baking a dozen or two or three before Christmas Eve. I always bake ‘7 Layer Cookies.’ I’ve been baking those since I was about five years old. Every year, my husband’s mom makes ‘Almond Crescents.’ Christmas is the only time of year we have them, which makes them extra special.

2. Watch Christmas Movies: 

Nothing will get you more into the Christmas spirit than Hallmark. There are so many great cheesy Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. I mean is it really Christmas, if you aren’t watching a Christmas movie with Cameron Bure, Lacey Chabert, or Alicia Witt? I mean Netflix has some, but I recommend just watching Hallmark, because it’s by far the best! Nothing can beat Hallmark. Of course, you can always go the classic route and watch movies like A Christmas Carol, A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, or A Charlie Brown Christmas. However, if you are into cheesy, romantic Christmas movies, then Hallmark is the channel that you want to watch!

3. Create a Spotify Christmas playlist:

What’s Christmas without Christmas music? Our my playlist, we have the classics but we have have some fun covers and some modern day Christmas songs.

You can check out our playlist below:



4. Go ice skating:

Ice skating is such a quintessential winter activity. It would be such an adorable activity to do with your girlfriends or your significant other. Confession: I’m absolutely horrible at it, but I wished I was great. I remember in kindergarten always watching ice skating with my mom and dreamed of taking lessons one day. Sadly, where I grew up that dream couldn’t be a reality since there weren’t any ice skating rinks in the whole city. Where I live now, there is an ice skating rink that is offering lessons, but I think being a 30-something year old woman, I’d be the oldest person in the class.

5. Wear an “ugly” Christmas sweater:

Wearing tacky sweaters is one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I have tons of “ugly” Christmas t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and even hats. My favorite Christmas sweater has to be my pizza themed one! Beloved Shirts and Tipsy Elves are my two favorite places to shop for “ugly” Christmas sweaters and apparel.

6. Read the true Christmas story:

Remember the reason for the season! (I know everyone isn’t religious or may have different beliefs, so feel free to skip over this one!)

7. Read a Christmas book:

There are so many classics that will guarantee to put you in the Christmas spirit, such as; A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Story by Jean Shepard, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz, The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss.

8. Take a picture with Santa:

This is a super cute idea if you are a couple!

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9. Go caroling:

It doesn’t matter if you have a great voice or not, just as long as you are having fun and spreading holiday cheer.

10. Decorate for Christmas (if you haven’t already):

Decorating is a must when it comes to Christmas! This is probably the number one thing that puts me into the holiday spirit. Obviously, y’all still have some time with Christmas being about a month away, but it will be here before you know it!

11. Drive around and look at the Christmas lights: 

This is one of my favorite things to do! Usually in mid-December is when we go check out all the light displays, since it is closer to Christmas. I think it makes downtown and all of the neighborhoods look beautiful. It’s just so nice to see everyone getting into the Christmas spirit. Our favorite places in Lexington, Kentucky to check out the lights: Triangle Park, all throughout downtown, the Chinoe Christmas house, and the Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park.

12. Do a Secret Santa or White Elephant aka Dirty Santa gift exchange with a group of friends: 

My group of friends and I usually do this and it’s so much fun and hilarious. One year for our “White Elephant/Dirty Santa” gift exchange, the theme was “crappy” gifts (That was just part of our group of friends humor). For our gift, we ended up giving a box of 15 gift cards. Some had zero money on them, some had small amounts like 45 cents, and one had $25. The whole point was that whoever received the gift had to go to each website to check the amount on each card. In the other years, we’ve just gave a normal gift that fits our group of friends’ personalities and sense of humor.

For those that don’t know, what White Elephant or Dirty Santa is:

Each participant brings one wrapped gift, usually of similar value. All of the gifts are placed in a central location. Everyone draws numbers, which determines the order that the person will select their gift. The first person opens a wrapped gift, and the turn ends. On subsequent turns, each person has the choice to either unwrap a new present or to “steal” another person’s gift. When a person’s gift is stolen, that person can either choose another wrapped gift to open or can steal from another player. So, the gift exchange isn’t forever lasting, you can only steal a gift once.

13. Wear Christmas PJs:

Old Navy has many cute matching tops and bottoms! You also could go all out and get matching pajamas for your ENTIRE family, including your dogs!

14. Buy a Christmas scented candle:

Why not make your house smell like Christmas? How about the scent of a pine tree or sugar plums or hot cider? Bath & Body Works always has wonderful candles and they seem to always be having a sale!

Want to get in the holiday spirit? Try one of these 30 ways that will guarantee you will be singing, 'Fa La La' by the end of it Click To Tweet

15. Build a gingerbread house:

You can buy one of those gingerbread house kits for relatively cheap just about anywhere. You can build one with your children or build one with your significant other! Either way it’s a super fun activity. I know when my husband and I first started dating, it gave us lots of laughs. We built a haunted “gingerbread” house for Halloween and is was such a blast, but yet so hilarious because we were horrible at it! Last year, we attempted the project again, and we decided we just aren’t cut out for the gingerbread decorating.

16. Make yourself a wreath for your front door:

Last year, I attended a Wreath Making Workshop, where we got to make our own wreaths by using fresh greenery. For my wreath, I used five different plants; juniper, pine, boxwood, magnolia, and I can’t remember the fifth one. I wanted it to have a more rustic look, so I put several sticks in it sporadically.

17. Attend or throw a holiday party:

I love attending house parties, holidays or not. Spending time with friends always creates wonderful memories. We have never hosted a Christmas party, but we have for New Year’s!

18. Write a letter to Santa:

Maybe you’ll get what you asked for?! Everyone could benefit from believing in a little Christmas magic every once in awhile.

19. Build a snowman or have a snowball fight:

This one will obviously depend on the weather. Snow is definitely one of those things that people associate with Christmas. There’s just something so magical about it! It just gets a little bit too cold for my liking.

20. Volunteer:

I think everyone should do something good for someone else. We obviously should do it throughout the entire year, but I think around the holidays that it’s extra important. The holidays are hard for so many people, so I think extra kindness needs to be spread around. You can donate items to a homeless shelter or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Christmas is the season for giving. It’s great to give back to help the less fortunate and to help those in need.

21. Drink hot chocolate or hot apple cider (include bourbon if you’re feeling frisky!):

Hot apple cider is my favorite! All of these drinks are perfect for when it’s cold out! If you are looking for some alcoholic holiday cocktails, be sure to check out my list of the best cocktails for the holiday season.

22. Donate an angel off the “Angel Tree” – Salvation Army:

The “Angel Tree” program provides a personal way for donors to bring joy to a child this Christmas. Millions of children in America will go without Christmas gifts because their parents can’t afford them. Financial and emotional stress dampen the Christmas cheer of families living in poverty. The program puts new clothes and toys under the tree for one million children who usually have to go without Christmas gifts. There is also the “Christmas Tree Family Dinner program” that allows you to provide Christmas dinner to a family. The Salvation Army makes sure low-income families, struggling seniors, and those without a home for the holidays have something to eat.

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23. Create a festive holiday look:

This time of year, it’s always have the sparkle and glitter, so that makes it the perfect time of year to try out a new eye look or a manicure.

24. Create an “ELF Yourself” video:

Usually, I only see these, ELF Yourself videos pop up around Christmastime, but they never fail to give me a little chuckle.

25. Create a Happiness Jar:

Make a jar of good things that happened within the year or all the things that you are thankful or wonderful memories that you had in 2018. Read them again at this time next year.

26. Do random acts of kindness:

I always think it’s great to pay it forward in any way that you can. It can be a simple small gesture, such as paying for the car in front of you in the drive-thru.

27. Go to a winter market:

This is the perfect opportunity to shop local and find some unique gifts for your family and friends.

28. Go shopping for your loved ones:

Giving to others is what the holidays are always about. I love shopping for gifts for my loved ones. It’s just so hard to keep it a secret!

29. Attend a Christmas parade:

It may be a little cold, but a parade always seems to put a smile on people’s faces, especially children.

30. Cook Christmas dinner:

Gathering around a feast of delicious food and the people that are closest to you is a joyful way to get into the holiday spirit.

I’ve come up with thirty surefire ways that can get you into the Christmas spirit. By the end of it, you’ll be singing, “Deck the Halls… Fa la la la la la la la la” #christmas #holiday #spirit #tips #advice #inspiration #holidays

What are your favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit?

Whitney S.

I’m Whitney, the founder of Grits and Glam. I’m a Southern girl at heart and I love all things that encompass the South – the lifestyle, the food, the fashion. Grits and Glam combines my love of all of those things and gives a place to showcase what’s dear to my heart. I’m also the founder of Fabulous In Fayette, which is my other blog. Fabulous In Fayette celebrates the fabulous city of Lexington, the great state of Kentucky. It strictly focuses on my city and state. It’s the ultimate guide if you are traveling there and want to experience the city from a local’s perspective.

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