By Angelica Bottaro

It’s that time of year again, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. There is just something magical about the Christmas season that even the most Grinch-esque adults can get on board with. 

In my opinion, Santa Claus is the only holiday figure that I still want to believe in even though I know better. Where I live, there is snow on the ground, a raging fireplace, and hot cocoa as the obligatory seasonal drink; who could not love the festive season? Sure, there’s presents too, but getting stuff doesn’t really compare to all the other heartwarming aspects of Christmas and the holiday season.

While many people have their own set of Christmas traditions, others seem to just wing it through the holiday and hope it turns out okay. Some people may not celebrate Christmas at all. No matter how you celebrate—or don’t celebrate—there are five things you can do this time of year that can make it the most festive of seasons.

Visit Your Town’s Most Festive Houses

Everyone has an area near their homes that is always the talk of the town when it comes to holiday lights. For me, it’s a stretch of (almost) mansion homes just outside of my home town that—no matter what—decorate their homes with the prettiest light displays you’ve ever seen. So, why not find your own little slice of festive brightness?

The magic of Christmas lights can be felt by anyone because, even if you don’t partake in the holiday, you can still appreciate the festivities, and there’s nothing quite more universal than the allure of sparkling lights decorating beautiful homes.

Have A Snow Day

For those of us living in countries with cold weather: do you remember when you were a kid, and it would snow so crazily that you’d get that welcomed call from the school saying classes were cancelled? I sure do! It was always the best of times because we loved the snow!

Tap into your inner child and get out there for your own little snow day. Go sledging, ice skating, or just frolicking through the piles of fluffy white beauty. Even if you live in a tropical climate, you can embrace this winter fun. Find the nearest ice rink, make some ice shaved snow cones or buy some fake snow to create your own winter wonderland and enjoy it in your way! The snow-covered world is your oyster! 

Have A Christmas Movie Marathon In Your PJs

Sure, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you might not get the same warm fuzzies when watching Christmas movies, but you have to admit that most of them are just plain good cinema. I love them and there’s no better time of the year to watch them during the festive season.

If I were to give you some recommendations of holiday movies that anyone could enjoy, I’d choose Elf, Home Alone 1 and 2, Last Christmas, and The Holiday. If I’m being honest, The Holiday is just a smashing movie at any time of the year.

No matter what movies you love or if you’ve never seen any in your life, Christmas movies can make you feel a heartwarming sense of hope, love, and magic. And that really is what Christmas is all about.

Embrace Christmas Music

A lot of people complain about Christmas music, but I don’t understand the anger. It’s happy, positive, and beautifully sung. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Christmas song that isn’t all three of those things. Personally, I can’t wait to break out my Spotify Christmas playlist each year when the festive season rolls around.

Embrace the music. Get lost in it. Fall down a Christmas music rabbit hole until you find an album or song that you’ll be humming all year long. Not a fan of Mariah Carey? Try Bing Crosby instead. You want a little blues with your Christmas? You could always check out this delightful Blues Christmas songs playlist I found on YouTube. Music is for everyone, even if it’s Christmas music.  

Focus On Giving

Last but not least, put yourself in Santa’s shoes. While it’s nice to receive gifts, the feeling you get from giving is unmatched. Focus on giving for the holiday season, and you’ll feel as though you tapped into the best unkept secret of the holiday season. 

They don’t have to be Christmas gifts or expensive items—gift your time with your loved ones, prepare a wonderful meal for your friends or family—anything counts as giving. It will make you feel as warm and fuzzy inside as it does for those you give to.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the festive season this year! We deserve some cheer after the last two years that we’ve all had, don’t we?

Merry Christmas everyone, from all of us here at Lifestyle Collective!