Everybody loves and cherishes the spirit of Christmas, that feeling that brings back memories of childhood and fills our hearts with love. But sometimes family pressures, work commitments and other forms of stress can interfere. So here are some ideas for things you can do to help bring the Christmas spirit to your home.
Make or buy an advent calendar, or just cross off the days on a December calendar page, then hang it somewhere where everyone can see. It will help you grow more and more excited as each day passes, and help to keep the kids from constantly asking how much longer until the big day!
Play Christmas music in the background as you prepare for Christmas. Classic songs such as “White Christmas” and “Oh Holy Night”, as well as newer ones like “Jingle Bell Rock” will all help everyone get into the holiday spirit.
Even in the age of e-mail, people still enjoy the tradition of ex-changing holiday cards by mail. Take a family photo or buy a box of pre-printed cards and sign and send them to family, friends and people in the military. It’s a great way to keep in touch and remember folks you don’t see that often.
Gingerbread House Building
Building and decorating a gingerbread house is an old-fashioned activity that both kids and adults love, and the possibilities are endless. Cut and bake your own house parts from a pattern, or buy a ready made kit at a grocery or craft store. Use icing to affix colorful candies and other goodies.
Holiday Lights Tour
Pile the kids in the car, put on some Christmas tunes, and drive around to neighborhoods known for their beautiful Christmas lighting displays, especially the ones done by Mobile Illumination!
Head outside for a winter walk to gather evergreen branches and pinecones, or trim some from the bottom of your Christ-mas tree. Attach your greens to a wire ring (a wire coat hanger works well) and decorate it with ornaments and bows. Then hang it on your front door to welcome all your holiday visitors!
Christmas Movie Night
There are all kinds of holiday films to choose from, including those beloved classics you enjoy watching every year. Let each family member choose their favorite holiday flick to watch with the family. Nowadays, you can stream almost any holiday film at any time.
Remember all the things you did in the snow as a kid, like build-ing a snowman, making snow angels, having a snowball fight and going sledding or ice skating? There’s something more magical about outdoor winter play around Christmastime, so head to Big Bear or further north and find some snow!
Christmas caroling door-to-door with friends is a wonderful tra-dition. You don’t have to be a great singer, just an enthusiastic one. If you’re lucky, you may even be invited into a neighbor’s home for hot cocoa and snacks!
Check out the events calendar in the local newspaper or online for holiday concerts, Christmas pageants, and other perfor-mances like The Nutcracker ballet. Most schools and churches have something entertaining to offer, and it’s a great way to support the arts.
Homemade Christmas Ornaments
Make your Christmas tree decorating tradition even more spe-cial by adding a new homemade ornament each year. Mark the year on your ornaments so that you can keep track of when each one was created!
Toy Donations to Charity
Celebrate the spirit of giving this holiday season by donating a toy or two to Toys for Tots or another local toy drive. Imagine the happiness you’ll bring to a less fortunate child. It will brighten their Christmas and yours as well.
Family and Friends
Spending time with those you care about is probably the best way to feel the holiday spirit. Make some cookies, and invite a few friends over for eggnog, cocoa and cookies. And don’t for-get to hang some mistletoe!
These are just a few of many ideas for helping people get into the holiday spirit. With a little effort and imagination, you can make this special time of year even more special for yourself and loved ones. From all of us at Mobile Illumination, have a very Merry Christmas!