It’s first of the December! Which means soon it’s Christmas! 23 nights till the big day and I couldn’t be more excited. Christmas and December altogether are my favourite time of the year. I love everything that Christmas brings with it; the atmosphere, lights, decorations, seasonal foods, well basically everything. It makes me all happy and giddy inside and during the darkest time of the year that really is a big deal. I also have one of my best memories from Christmas or that time of the year so that may affect why I hold it so dear.
Not everyone likes Christmas. Someone hates the hustle, the crowds in the stores, the materialism that is nowadays strongly part of Christmas. But because I am a Christmas person and It’s close to my heart I wanted to put together a list of things you can do during December that can either help you to get ready for the holidays or you can do them to get in to the holiday mood. Most of my tips cost no money at all and few of them will cost few euros, but not that much. So even if you are a student or have no extra money you can still get in to the festival mood without it bankrupting you. So here we go!
Make a playlist
What I like to do, usually at the end of November or the very first day of December is to create a Christmas playlist. (I use Spotify to make all my playlists.) I like to include all my favourite Christmas songs; classics like Elvis’s Blue Christmas as well as some newer hits like All I want for Christmas is you by Mariah Carey. I am Finnish so I also include some of my favourite Finnish tunes. Playing this music really helps me to get in to a Christmassy mood.
First step I take towards Christmas is that I get a Christmas calendar. This may sound bit odd for someone, Christmas calendars are for kids, not for 20 somethings but nothing gets me to a better mood than choosing a Christmas calendar. I have to admit I love Christmas calendars so much that at some years I have gotten two. These days there are so many different opinions to choose from so it actually can be difficult. There are regular ones, chocolate, product and so many more. I Myself tend to stick with a more traditional one when I choose my calendar. For years I have looked for different kinds of opinions but I always find myself most drawn to this adorable hand-drawn calendar that in here is sold by scouts. It’s cute, fun and Christmassy plus the money is for a good cause so I always get that one. For some years I also picked up a chocolate one but for example this year I didn’t.
For a few times we have had a calendar that was made by my mum. We had these small red pouches that we hang up to a string using clothespin that had a date drawn in to them. And then every morning my mum put something inside: sweets, poem or something else. And it was a really nice and I remember enjoying it a lot. I think it may had something to do with the fact that even if I looked inside the next pouches there was nothing till the day arrived. If you think that a Christmas calendar would be nice but your budget really isn’t giving you any room you can always DIY like my mum did! There is bunch of different kinds of options and tutorial for you to choose!
During this time of the year, when it’s dark outside, I love to set up some lights to my flat to make it a bit cosier and also to give it a bit more of a festival vibe. This year I bought two new sets of lights and I had two old light sets that I decided to also use. I hanged one of them in my bedroom and rest of them I put in the living space. This way my whole apartment feels festive. If lights are too pricy for you there are cheaper alternatives: candles. You can buy regular small candles that burn about few hours or you can get bigger ones that are bit more pricy but lasts about 20 hours. Candles really can transform your whole atmosphere. If you are wondering that can you burn candles if you have lights, absolutely yes! I love lighting up a candles during evenings, also because when I get home in the evening the only source of light I have are my candles and Christmas lights.
Find inspiration from the City
Another thing that really gets me to the festival mood is going to Helsinki –Finland’s capital. Helsinki has an old tradition in which at the end of November there is a big event in Helsinki where they light up the boulevard. A street called Alekanterin katu is absolutely gorgeous this time of the year. On top of that there is this shop window (which is also a tradition) at the same street that has been decorated to look like a winter wonderland. I love walking around the city and wandering the stores (and trying not to buy anything) while absorbing all the festival vibes to myself. This is a no cost way to get in to a Christmas mood
Watch Christmas movies
One of sure ways for me to get in to a Christmas mood is to watch a bunch of Christmas films that make me feel good. I specially use this when I am having a bad day; I brew myself a cup of steaming hot coco or mulled wine and curl up to a sofa with blanket and enjoy some quality me time. Here are some of my favourite films!
Holiday starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet
Love Actually –
film that has some of the greatest British actors like Alan Rickman (RIP), Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant
Home Alone 1 and 2
How the Grinch stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey
The Polar express Starring Tom Hanks
Rise of the Guardians –
this is animated film but I feel like it’s Christmassy anyway
Night before Christmas animated film by Tim Burton
This isn’t a Christmas movie but I wanted to include this because I always fin myself watching these during Christmas time. And I always watch all the Christmas episodes from f.r.i.e.n.d.s.
Set up Decorations
Something I usually do at the mid of December is that I start putting up decorations. This is something that can turn up to be quite pricy so what I like to do is pick a few decorations I really like and use them. Another good less pricy option is to DIY some decorations. Again just like with the calendar there is so many tutorials out there that I am sure you will find the ones you like the best. This is something that my family does, most of our decorations are made by us kids and even though we keep asking mum not to put them up she still does. And I have to admit; it gives the house nice vibe. And if you live alone and want to give your place a bit more of a festive feeling but can’t afford or don’t want to DIY you can ask around if some of your family, friends or relatives have some extra decorations you could borrow. This is something that I probably will do this year. It’s cheap and easy alternative for buying all the decorations.
Bake Christmas goodies
One of the best things about Christmas is the food. Sounds a bit cliché I know it does but that’s how I feel. So during December I always take some time to bake my favourite desserts. Two of my absolutely all time favourites are gingerbread cookies and trifles that have a plum stuffing. I could eat so many of them! These both are sweets that you can buy if you want but I prefer to make my own. It’s easy and relatively simple way to get your whole house to smell amazing.
This is a pretty obvious one; get Christmas presents! I usually start planning what I will get to people around October or November. That can be a bit early for someone but I like to be prepared. I love receiving presents but I also love getting them for people. I love seeing their reaction and smile when they open their presents. So I like to do my best and think what to give for everyone. Buying presents can be really expensive, especially if you have many people you like to remember during Christmas. But don’t forget that you can always make your gifts. They don’t have to be something complicated because what’s more important than the fact that you put time and thoughts in to it. For example, last year I got nearly everyone a handmade gift. For example for my sister who loves to write I made this box that contained all kind of writing prompts. Ideas, inspiration quotes, tips and all that kind of stuff. If you want to make the presents yourself or you are lacking ideas what to get for people, I suggest looking some up on Pinterest or we heart it or Instagram. They are a great way to get inspiration!
These are all the ways I help myself to get in to a Christmas mood and what I want to do during December. I hope these tips were helpful! Let me know down below at the comments what are you must do things during December.
I would love to hear them!