How To Get In The Christmas Spirit If You’re Just Not Feeling It

Immediately switches on 'Tis The Damn Season by Taylor Swift.

Tis the season to be jolly, but no one can really blame you if you’re not walking in a winter wonderland. Amid all this chaos and uncertainty, with cancelled Christmas parties and talk of more restrictions, a holly, jolly Christmas can seem if anything, challenging to achieve.

With all that, on top of the usual seasonal stressors like picking presents, finishing up big work projects or those dreaded winter exams, it is understandable if you’re hesitating to step into Christmas.

But what exactly can be done when you’re relating more to Scrooge than Buddy the Elf? If the only vintage Mariah you want is Fantasy instead of All I Want For Christmas? Or when you’re craving a takeaway rather than turkey and ham.

Well, not all hope is lost, and there might just be a way to salvage your Christmas even with the unusual circumstances being doled out. In fact, there’s a whole bunch of ways, easily compiled in one place.

So here it is, Merry Christmas!

First things first, take things at your own pace. Forcing yourself to decorate or start the celebrations is not going to help. If you’re not in the mood for something, simply leave it and do things on your own schedule.

If you’re in the mood for some Christmas tunes, but the idea of planning a Christmas outing has you rolling your eyes, then get Wham’s Last Christmas on repeat and leave the plans. Take what you want and leave what you don’t want. And if you’re not in the mood for any of it yet, then there’s no need to rush.

Taking things at your own place allows you to take baby steps and enjoy the aspects of the holiday you are excited for, and hopefully help you remember why you enjoyed it all in the first place. It’s also a good idea to focus a little less on tradition.

With so much uncertainty surrounding this season, everything remaining the same as previous years might not be possible. And that’s ok! Rather than getting annoyed by this, why not try embracing something new?

Your favourite pub for Christmas celebrations is closed? Try somewhere new you’ve never been before. Your favourite bakery is not doing their typical Christmas desserts this year? Maybe try a new dessert, or if you’re feeling very adventurous, make your own.

Even if your favourites are all available, trying something new can freshen up the festivities and give you something to focus on and get excited about. While embracing the same traditions each year can make a celebration feel special, if they’re starting to stifle or stress you out, then letting lose can’t hurt.

And while recreating past Christmases might be more challenging this year, that does not mean that they can’t be enjoyed.

Nostalgia is obviously a powerful thing and might get you in the Christmas mood. Looking through old photos or videos is such a fun activity, and it could be good to see yourself enjoying your previous festivities.

Of course, old photos and videos are not the only way to evoke a little nostalgia. Luckily all the classic Christmas songs are readily available.

And what would Christmas nostalgia be without the classic films? Maybe you are in the mood to see Kevin McAlister throw a fake Christmas party. Or to see Jim Carey covered in green fur and stealing Christmas. Or to watch the wheels spin on the Polar Express.

Whatever it may be, using some nostalgia is a great way to lift your spirits and get you excited for Christmas. As long as you’re focusing on celebrating the past instead of recreating it.

Go with whatever makes you nostalgic. In fact, go with whatever you want when it comes to celebrations.

Dragging the seasonal spirit down can also occur when you get yourself too hyped up.

Bouncing back and forth between excitement and sadness at the thought of your plans falling through is entirely normal given the circumstances.

One of the best ways to combat this is simply to focus on others. Rather than holding on too tightly to your own plans, focus on spending time with the people you love and enjoying simpler plans with them. Honestly, focusing on others can be very fulfilling and fits perfectly with the traditional Christmas messages.

Maybe swapping 12 pubs for 12 drink stations or organising a quiet Christmas film night. Whatever you and your people are into! Try scaling back the plans to scale back the stress and simply enjoy the company.

While focusing on others is a brilliant idea, focusing on yourself, more importantly, what you are actually up for celebrating, is also essential.

Sometimes seeing all the festive cheer and candy cane coloured decoration can bring a frown to your face if you’re not in a Christmassy mood. So if you find yourself getting tired of all the celebratory displays and actions, then do things on your own terms.

If still up for a good time but not the Christmas aspects, then simply take away the Christmas aspects. Love the idea of a movie night this time of year but not at all interested in a Santa story? Then watch what you want, if you’re in the mood for a horror film go for it. Want a rom-com? Binge chick-flicks all you want.

Not up for a Christmas jumper day? Bundle up in something cosy and leave the festive aspects behind. Hearing Christmas music and getting frustrated? Put on your headphones and play your own songs.

Enjoying celebrations in your own way will save you a lot of frustration, and you’ll definitely enjoy the holidays even if you’re not enjoying the actual Christmas aspects. You do you and enjoy yourself on your own terms.

So if you find the season getting to you, and you’re turning into a bit of a Grinch or starting to consider changing your name to Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s understandable. Things are up in the air at the minute, and that level of uncertainty is challenging at the best of times. So, of course, it’s going to be rough during that busiest time of the year.

But before you resign yourself to that bah humbug style life, you do have options and things to try before Christmas is banished from your life forever.

Whether it’s taking things at your own pace, allowing for baby steps to ease you into the holidays. Trying something new to revive your celebrations and stopping the upset over broken traditions. Embracing the nostalgia to remind yourself of the enjoyment Christmas cheer can bring. Focusing on the people you are closest to as opposed to the holiday itself and scaling back your celebrations. Or celebrating on your own terms and in your own way, the seasonal enjoyment can be brought back.

Words by Slaine McKenna

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