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12 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit

holiday spirit

NOTE: Updated for 2015! It’s a few days away from Christmas, but that doesn’t mean everyone has that holiday glow. We’ve all been there at one time or another. I know I have. It’s silly really, because it all comes down to one day out of the year that magic and miracles are supposed to happen. It has to with all the sparkly decorations, the chilly weather, the cuddling, parties and gift giving – it just feels special!

Truth is, magic and miracles can and do happen all year round. We have to make ourselves believe that every day is Christmas. Every day is the time to be cool, understanding, patient, to have faith and hope, to open our senses, and give unconditionally. Easier said than done, right? Regardless, this time of the year should be lively.

My holiday ‘happy’ alternates every other year. Right now, my heart doesn’t feel as heavy as has in the past when my dad passed. This weekend, I’m using his recipe to make tamales for the family, and while we don’t have traditional decorations up, we do have lots colored lights strung around our front patio! I’ve been giving little gifts this week for Random Acts of Kindness and I really do feel the holiday spirit. Overall the BEST way to feel the spirit is to give unconditionally, spread the happy!

If you are feeling the slightest bit frumpy, lonely or sad, I’m sending love and light your way to lift your spirits. Based on my past experiences, here are some ideas for pick-me-ups to help add more zing to your gingerbread that is your life!

AND – if you have any ideas to share, please add them in the comments!

1. Watch happy holiday videos. Something that will  make you giggle.


2. Write down happy fortunes and hand them out to strangers. The power of words is very strong, imagine being able to change someone’s day or mood just by delivering an uplifting sentence. You can make up your own quotes, or cite your favorites. It feels soooo good to do something nice to someone who is not expecting it. Ideas: “Good for one lucky break!” “Go for the whipped cream today, you deserve it!”

3. Remember that gift giving is about the sentiment, not the monetary value. If you can’t afford fancy gifts, drop your pride and stick within your budget. You’ll have less stress, and less resentment toward the person you splurged on! Gifts are not a scorecard, they are a symbol of personalized thoughtfulness. Think priceless. Here’s an idea – print off photos (of you and the person) you took and put them in a painted frame. Another thought – write or use a fancy font to print a poem and do the same.

4. Participate in your local Christmas Angel program. This is where you go to the mall and take a tag off the tree and buy a gift for a child. Before you turn it in, slip in a handwritten note wishing them a happy day! If you miss the deadline, just get a gift and take it to a shelter or a drop off box.

5. Watch a cheesy holiday movie on cable. Hey, don’t judge! It does wonders, trust me! You can even watch one online at Hallmark.com – HERE. I watched Farewell, Mr. Kringle the other day and loved it so much I baked gingerbread cookies right after! (Classic holiday flicks are okay too, but they are on every channel these days, so they don’t seem as special).


6. Read a holiday book. Here is a list of Amazon’s choices for 2015 holiday books! This book, Christmas Joy Ride is at the top of list, I’m going to start on it tomorrow! Here’s a suggestion of mine from last year, My True Love Gave To Me.


7. Cookie bomb your workplace. Buy a roll of cookie dough, bake it up and bring it into the most  unlikely of work meetings – or even to a department other than your own. Smiles abound! Better yet, bake these Potato Chip Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies!

PCBCCCookies and Milk

8. Light a sugarplum candle. Don’t wait to buy a gourmet one. Act now, Christmas is Saturday! Next time you are at the grocery store, pick one up and light ‘er up! (Never leave a candle unattended) You can even make a cool candle holder from embroidery thread and fabric stiffener!

9. Post random happy messages on your friends social media feeds. “HI! This is a random message to let you know that I think you rock. Sending you a handful of shiny sequins this holiday season!” Or give them a shout out on Twitter or Vine, take a picture in their honor and post on Instagram!
10. Make a little tribute collage for a loved one who has passed. Write them a letter, decorate a candle, play their favorite music, watch their favorite movie. This is what I’m going to do for my dad!
11. Eat a candy cane. Seriously. Nothing feels like Christmas more than sucking on a bent over red and white striped minty confection!
12. Paint Your Nails. Kandee Johnson has some fun ideas!

BONUS! Surprise!!
13. Write a letter to Santa. I’m a firm believer of writing down your wish helps it come true.

Well, there is my list. Hope it helps! There are many more ideas I’m sure, please share yours, let’s all do this together! If you know someone who needs a lift, print off this article for them! Please retweet!

P.S. And if it makes you feel better to skip the season altogether,  it’s cool too. I totally get that – been there…sometimes you just have to duck and cover!

Candy tree centerpiece with lights

Friendship Ornaments


7 thoughts on “12 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit”

  1. Thank you for the suggestions! I’ve found it hard to get into Christmas because of money (and yes use ur crafty talents now) and I’ve escaped the last to Decembers by going travelling. Another thing I’ve tried is to focus on the joy of it all (especially for kids) and the kindness it brings out in people!

  2. I am having a hard time this year. Christmas was always my shining moment! I planned and produced and executed with all my heart ( and savings account). This year, we are down to one income, and I have not been able to stand for long periods of time without pain.

    We will have a Christmas, but not like others we have had in the past. My sadness, is that I can’t “do it” this year. I am also struggling to find myself what should be a New Self. Whether it is to finally make a living with some things I create, or find a job that I can both physically and mentally like ( or perhaps a better word is “take”) I have grown so cynical lately of “people in charge.” So, we will have a Grand kids Christmas on a lower scale, & just cookies for everyone else.

    And now,my New Year will be working on my future. I still haven’t found that yet.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, Kathy! I so enjoyed meeting you and your husband last summer, and do hope you can come this way again, you are a constant inspiration to me!

    Much LOVE from my house to yours!


  3. It’s like a Christmas miracle that you blogged this. I have been so bummed this year. I have been a lonely grinch dissing on holiday music and complaining about how much I despise the season of “giving”. So Mrs. Cano… to you I say thanks!!!! Thanks for pulling a melodramatic artist out of her funk. Tonight, instead of pouring a glass of wine to drink, I will pour a glass of water to dip my paintbrush in as I paint my worries away.
    One thing that usually helps me, which I forgot about until I read your article, is watching old family movies. My father, like yours, passed away. I was only eleven, so there are times that I can barely remember what his voice sounded like or what type of hand gestures he used when he spoke, I even forget his smile some days. It’s been so long. I like to put on the old movies from when we were kids and just enjoy. They always bring tears, but it reminds me of how happy I should be. Back then Christmas was special to me. It was a time for tamales, possole, poinsettias, posadas, homemade glitter ornaments, abuelita hot chocolate, and Santa bringing the presents.
    Thanks again Kathy, and goodbye holiday blues!!!

    Perla R Leal

  4. I just started the Christmas “doughs” and put The Elvis Album Christmas on – and LOUD, upped the bass too! All with the windows open! ( Hubby is working in his classroom today so he is not frowning at me)

    This has helped tremendously!!

  5. How can’t I not say Thank you for this up lifting helper. I to lost my dad and this is my first xmas with out him really rough:(

    Thank you

    My dad made the best Green chili still have some frozen

  6. Thank you! I’ve been going through some health issues since November, so it’s been easy to be stuck in a rut through the Christmas holiday. But some of your ideas have inspired me!
    Merry Christmas Chica and keep doing what you’re doing! You da bomb girl!


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