There are exactly two weeks until Christmas Day (for those of you who are behind on your gift-buying, you’re welcome for that bone-chilling, adrenaline-kicking, stroke-inducing reminder).
For some reason, I’ve had a bit of a hard time getting into The Christmas Mood. I don’t know what it is, but I only really managed to snag the Christmas cheer this past week. Today, for anyone else whose spirits might be flagging, I’m going to share 12 surefire methods that are sure, beyond all shadows of any doubts, to get you in The Christmas Mood (because they’re basically science).
1. Wrap a present. (Note: if you don’t have any gifts for wrapping yet, wrapping a present to get into The Christmas Mood will not exactly work since it’s not, strictly speaking, possible to wrap a gift you don’t have–unless of course you wrap a metaphorical gift, in which case, use your imagination and make it look real good). For those who struggle with gift wrapping, you may refer to this incredibly therapeutic post from Penprints a couple years ago (you’re welcome in advance).
2. Take a drive after dark to see the Christmas lights. It is so fun and cheering to admire the lights that so many enterprising, Already In The Mood people have taken the time to decorate with. So, don’t be afraid to go out after dark; instead, take advantage of any opportunity to see the lights.
3. Invent your very own festive playlist. This one is new to me this year, but I’ve got a specialized playlist for Christmas on Spotify. I encourage you to do something similar because there’s nothing quite like music to usher in Mood and Anticipation. Since the beginning of December, I have added at least one song a day to my playlist (you can listen to it here; for cute and fun, I recommend “Hey Moon“; for nostalgic, go for “To Be With You“; for haunting and hopeful, “I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day” and “End of Exile“; for abstract and reminiscent of the tender tone of some of the O.T. prophecies, I can’t recommend “I Will Find a Way” enough).
4. Decorate with red and green and garland and lights and nativities.
If I need to explain this one, well, I’m sorry for your childhood (or lack thereof).
5. Say “Merry Christmas!”, especially to strangers. You can’t use “Merry Christmas” more than five times without feeling The Mood come upon you. So say it.
6. Take quiet time away to reflect on Jesus and His birth and the hope of Him. Hope is so essential to the Christian life, and this time of year especially will be hollow if we don’t take time to recognize and reflect on what it meant back then and what it means today.
7. … And respond with joy. C. S. Lewis said that joy is not complete until it’s expressed. SO, when you’re thinking about everything Jesus’s coming means and the sheer joy of it hits you, express it. Sing. Extol God. Pray. Tell someone. Smile. The explosive joy of God is sometimes too much to explain or share, but try to communicate it anyway–to God, to your family, to your co-workers, to everyone.
8. Snuff some peppermint essential oil. Trust me, this is pure genius from yours truly. Bring up a chair, my padawans. Essential oils aren’t just about wellness.
Essential oils are about Mood, too. So, go out to your local Store and pick up some peppermint essential oil. There are a few ways to benefit from the fragrance. Put some in a diffuser necklace for easy access. During a hot shower, drip 2-3 drops on the shower floor. If you have a diffuser in your home, put a few drops in there and enjoy. It’s like inhaling candy canes and sleigh bells.
9. Following along the line of sniffing Christmas, light up a Christmas tree scented candle. Even if you have a live Christmas tree, there is never enough Christmas tree smell, and candles add to ambiance and Good Moods with the longer nights of winter. Plus, matches never get old. (If any of you thought we were going to make it through this post without a reference to fire, you were sorely mistaken.)
10. Write/design a Christmas card or two or three. This is good for you and good for the person(s) you send the card to.
11. Watch a Christmas movie. While Charles Dickens did not invent Christmas (obviously), The Man Who Invented Christmas looks like it would be a fun, festive one to go see in theaters this year. Other popular Christmas movies
aka: the classics we watch almost every year at my house include: The Nativity Story, Elf, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (basically a Christmas movie), The Very First Noel, and The Muppet’s Christmas Carol.
12. Some sort of advent. There are so many options. Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp is one that my mom is enjoying this year, but there are countless other resources available online and in bookstores.
And that is the most comprehensive, exhaustive, complete, surefire of all surefire lists of Christmas-y things to do you’ll find on the internet
nevermind that Christmas cookies, caroling, jingle bells, Christmas pageants, snowmen, and like 300 other Christmas things were never mentioned.
What do you do to get in The Christmas Mood? Any favorite traditions? What is something new you’d like to try this season?
P.S. – To all you lovely people who took the time to leave comments these last couple of months: I shall enjoy re-reading your thoughts as I finally reply to all your wonderful comments this week. I love getting and reading your comments, but for reasons unknown, I never reply to them in a timely fashion. I know. I’m a very bad blogger person.
I shall make it right.
P.P.S. – Just another friendly, give-you-heart-spasms reminder: two weeks until Christmas.