Christmas is such a special holiday full of religious meaning, kindness to others, and exciting celebrations. Many people feel it's a shame that a celebration this exciting and meaningful only lasts for one day. For those who think that this is the most important and exciting time of the year, there are ways to prolong the holiday so it lasts all month long.
Celebrate the First Week of December
Start celebrating early to get the most out of the holiday.
For many people, half the fun of the holiday is putting-up beautiful decorations and twinkling lights. Consider putting up decorations right after Thanksgiving or even earlier. That way they can be enjoyed throughout the whole season. Ask friends and family to help, and turn it into a fun decorating party.
- Provide the decorations to be used. Use old ones and add some ones each year.
- Play festive Christmas music to enjoy while decorating.
- Finish the night with hot chocolate as workers enjoy the beautifully decorated house.
Bedazzle all indoor spaces. Add wreaths and swags to doors, wrap lights around the edges of the walls and hand stockings by the mantle or on the walls. Paint windows with a washable paint to create snow scenes and holiday images. Even a bathroom can be decorated by using holiday themed soaps and hand towels. Outdoor spaces can be covered in lights and the yard can host some holiday themed inflatables.
An advent calendar is a great way to celebrate the holiday during the entire month. Many of these special calendars are still religiously based, but there are also many secular models available. They feature a small window that represents each day of December starting with December 1. One window is opened each day until Christmas. Behind each window is an image, a portion of the Nativity story, a poem or Scripture verse. There are also some available that have small drawers to open where a present such as a piece of chocolate can be hidden.
These calendars help give children a visual to help them understand when Christmas will arrive. Many families use these calendars as an annual tradition.
A Gift a Day
Consider giving a child or other loved one a gift every day of the month. The gifts don't have to be expensive or large, but thoughtful and sweet. There are a variety of different gifts that can be given.
- Homemade coupons for a special evening out or a massage
- Tickets to an event
- A candle for a special dinner
- A Christmas CD
- Homemade cookies or goodies
- Homemade cards or drawings
- A photograph in a beautiful frame
- An ornament
- A puzzle
Celebrate the Second Week of December
The holiday season is in full swing. Be sure to stay on schedule in order to avoid stress as the holiday approaches.
Send Out Christmas Greetings
Many families send out Christmas cards and greetings, which is an effective way to enjoy the holiday and remember loved ones. If time is limited, consider sending out an email with a family photo attached. If time allows, write a personal message to each person on the list and send it inside of a festive card. It will not only be fun to send, but it will help to put the recipient into a festive mood, too.
Sending out cards can be easy and fun if you do a few things first:
- Gather all addresses and email addresses from address books, email, and phone contact lists.
- Have all the supplies readily available such as stamps, cards, pen, paper, and addresses in one place.
- Listen to Christmas music while writing out the cards to create the mood.
Many people like to host their own Christmas party sometime during the month of December. There are a lot of ways to celebrate with friends and loved ones, such as hosting a gift or ornament exchange. You could also gather people together to watch some holiday films and drink hot chocolate.
Families who really want to make the most of the season should not only host a party, but should make an effort to attend all the parties they are invited to attend. Though it may be a hectic time of the year, most hosts and hostesses will appreciate it if the people they invite make the effort to attend.
Wear Holiday Inspired Clothing
Wear your holiday spirit to show the world you're ready to celebrate. There are many different ways to wear holiday inspired clothing:
- Wear a Santa hat to work or to go shopping.
- Women should find a beautiful red or green dress to wear to a holiday party, and men can find the perfect outfit, too.
- Find the ugliest sweater with a winter or Christmas theme and wear it proudly to a party or just out and about.
- Wear Christmas inspired accessories such as pins, earrings, or ties.
Celebrate the Third Week of December
Christmas is just around the corner, so now's the time to get involved in your community and share the spirit with others.
Most areas offer a variety of different events during the winter months. Many churches host craft bazaars where members can sell their handmade crafts to those looking for quality hand made gifts. Churches might also have a drama or musical event that is open to the public.
Many cities also offer festivals during this time of year. Some communities have lighted parades or gingerbread house competitions. There might also be some visits from Jolly Old St. Nick or another favorite holiday character. Try attending as many festivals as possible to make the most of the holidays.
Give to Others
Christmas is the perfect time give to loved-ones and those who are in need. Consider baking cookies and other treats and packaging them up in an attractive tin or on a decorative Christmas plate. Distribute the treats to neighbors, friends, family members and those people who sometimes get neglected like the mailman and the neighborhood police officer. Don't forget the elderly in the church and teachers at the local schools.
Those who don't like to bake might consider knitting scarves or making gloves for special people or creating one of a kind ornaments for those they love. Additionally, people can gather their friends together to visit a nursing home or to distribute blankets to homeless people on a cold night.
Celebrate the Fourth Week of December
The last week of December is a great time to reflect on the past year, enjoy the last days of the holiday season, and relax.
After the business of the holiday, take some time to relax and enjoy the last moments of the holiday season. There are many ways to capture these last few moments:
- Light a fire in the fireplace
- Turn on all the lighted decorations
- Listen to Christmas music
- Re-read through Christmas cards and letters
- Read books that were given at Christmas time
- Eat the goodies received
The month of December is often a very busy one, so use this last week of the month to get to everything that you missed earlier in the month. You might want to spend some time with loved ones you didn't get to see on the holiday itself or deliver gifts that you may not have gotten delivered. Consider going out to look at Christmas light displays around the neighborhood or watching some of the holiday shows that you missed when they aired on TV. Another way to celebrate in this last week is to go out to a nice and fancy dinner or go dancing with friends.
Plan for Next Year
Being organized is a good way to assure a good and relaxing time during the holidays. Take this time to organize and plan for next year's holiday season.
- Carefully take decorations down and wrap them up to protect and store them.
- Purchase new ornaments and decorations at a discounted price.
- Update the addresses for next year's Christmas card list.
No matter how you decide to celebrate, what is important is that you are with those you love. It is also important that to remember the reason for the holiday. Do not to focus so much on staying busy or getting gifts, but instead on spending time focusing on those things that that really matter.