Holiday Happenings: From Scrooge to Santa – how to get into the holiday spirit

The remenants of the blizzard on a tree outside Semple Hall. (Photo courtesy of Harper Vincent)

As soon as the leftover turkey is wrapped up in the fridge and the dishes are washed I am in full-blown Christmas mode.

Are you still not feeling the holiday spirit? No worries – I tested some holiday activities over Thanksgiving break and ranked the best ways to turn any Scrooge into a Santa.

Each Christmas activity I have ranked on my own personal spirit Spirit Scale:

  1. Scrooge (pre-spiritual visitations, of course) – This activity makes me want to say “Bah, humbug.”
  2. Walter Hobbs – Might be on the naughty list, but there is still hope. After all, Walter Hobbs is the father of Buddy the Elf.
  3. Pine Tree –Borderline Christmasy. Add some ornaments and it becomes festive. Lose the ornaments and it’s just a tree.
  4. Elf – Basically the assistant manager of Christmas.
  5. Santa – The maximum Christmas spirit possible.

Christmas Shopping – Rank: Pine Tree

I love to buy gifts for my family and browsing all the new merchandise stores have put out. Giving gifts you know will be well-received is such an exciting feeling. I prefer to only shop in store for presents since brick and mortar stores play Christmas music and provide the full holiday experience.

Frustrations such as parking during the busy holiday season and not being able to find the perfect gift are factors that knocked shopping down to a pine tree.

Drinking a Peppermint Mocha – Rank: Elf

Holiday drinks have arrived at Starbucks and I had to go get myself my favorite – a classic peppermint mocha. I usually prefer to support local coffee shops, but there is something unique about the Starbucks peppermint mocha. The chocolate flavor is richened by the espresso and the cool peppermint syrup makes the drink taste like hot liquid December. The beautiful holiday print cups are essentially wrapping paper on a drinkable Christmas present.

Don’t like coffee? Try a peppermint hot chocolate instead. It will be sure to warm your heart and lift your spirits.

Picking out a Christmas Tree – Rank: Elf

My family and I pick out a fresh Christmas tree every year, and it always puts me in the Christmas spirit. I recommend visiting a tree farm even if it isn’t feasible for you to take one home. The smell of pine needles rivals the scent of gingerbread baking and seeing all those trees anxious to be adorned in ornaments will fill you with joy.

Listening to Christmas Music – Rank: Santa

This is the only guaranteed way to turn a Scrooge into a Santa. However, Christmas music must be listened to properly to ensure maximum benefits.

Never listen to Christmas music on the radio – it will be bad. I recommend creating a playlist with the type of music you listened to growing up. There’s nothing like nostalgia to awaken your holiday spirit. The stereo at my house has always cycled between Amy Grant, Céline Dion and Jaci Velasquez CDs so those artists are heavily represented in my FaLaLolidays Spotify playlist.

“Peppermint Winter” by Owl City and “Puppies are Forever” by Sia are two more contemporary favorites that I add. You also can’t go wrong with anything by Michael Bublé or Pentatonix.

Watching a Christmas Movie – Rank: Santa

I was fortunate enough to get to watch my all time favorite Christmas movie in the middle of a blizzard. There are few things more Christmasy than being snuggled into blankets while “A Christmas Story” plays and the snow falls outside.

My other favorite Christmas movies are “Elf” and “Christmas with the Kranks.” Most people can quote “Elf” but few have seen “Christmas with the Kranks.” I recommend watching both this December – I sure will.

Christmas is about taking a break from the hustle of life and appreciating spending time with family and friends. I love to keep up traditions because they remind me of past holidays spent with the people I love. No matter what you do to get yourself in the Christmas spirit, doing it with those you care about will make it much more effective.

Photo courtesy of Harper Vincent. 

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