Five activities that’ll get you in the Christmas spirit
Sometimes getting into the Christmas spirit can be easier said than done. Some of us might be jaded by the commercialisation of the holidays, and others intimidated by the high costs and pressure of gift-giving. But cast your mind back to simpler times (i.e. childhood) and you'll remember how easily the simplest things can melt your Grinch heart.
Here are some tips for rekindling some of the excitement you felt when you’d wake up at an ungodly hour to check under the Christmas tree.
A lot of us who live in a share house or on-campus might not bother putting up any decorations, but even the smallest piece of tinsel or a toy reindeer can turn you from an Ebeneezer to an elf.
The best decorations have a personal touch, so don't bother with expensive and fancy store-bought Christmas trees. Instead, get crafty and make something – this is the key to making it personal. Try putting up a few twigs with tinsel wrapped around them – it’s unique, hip and dirt cheap.
Tradition is a crucial part of Christmas. Usually the traditions you make up yourself are the best, but there are plenty of famous ones that’ll feel just as special. For example, fans of Seinfeld will be familiar with the joys of Festivus. Festivus is celebrated by “those seeking an alternative to the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas holiday season”. Instead of a tree, a single undecorated aluminium pole is used as decoration.
Plus, who says you're too old to take a picture with Father Christmas? Anyone who criticises for you jumping on old St Nick's lap is a Scrooge (including mall staff).
It's the perfect time and excuse to catch up with family and friends you usually wouldn't see. Most people have holidays around this time and a lot of businesses are winding down for the year, so most people have plenty of time to be sociable.
Grab some mates, load up the car and the esky, and hit the streets to find the best Christmas lights in your area. Physically surrounding yourself with Christmas cheer will do wonders.
So much time for activities
Like it or not, the majority of Christmas films and Christmas paraphernalia are winter-themed. As we all know, though, most Aussie Christmases are spent swatting flies and sweating. Luckily, indoor ice rinks run year-round, so you can cool off and skate like they do in every American Christmas movie ever.
If drinking games are more your thing, I’ve got you covered: one of my favourite drinking games of all time is Christmas-themed. All you have to do is place a Santa hat on the corner of your TV and drink whenever someone one the screen “wears it”. It’s one surefire way to get some Christmas spirit into you...
The gift that keeps on giving
The best way to get in the Christmas spirit is to do what it's all about: give! Whether it's giving gifts of money, or your time and energy, there's usually something you can do to give back. Lots of community organisations are looking for a few extra volunteers over the holidays, and will only ask for a few hours of your time.
If all else fails…
Watch Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas Carol or, Home Alone.
Sam Talbot is a law and media student at the University of Adelaide. He highly values all-day breakfasts. Twitter with him @SamTalbot5.