Christmas... it’s only one month away! For those of you who celebrate it, get prepared for another year of excess crowds, excess spending and excess ham consumption. For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you have the chance to go all out and celebrate some sort of occasion with your family, because for me, Christmas is the only time our family is ever in the same spot (maybe apart from weddings or funerals).
No, we're not religious, but we do believe that Christmas is an excellent excuse to bring everyone together, and for me, any excuse to celebrate will do.
Over the past 5 years, we haven’t really concentrated on bringing everyone together or making an effort. There’s always people missing (e.g. Khai and I), or we go half ass on the food (e.g local Lebanese takeaway), OR we don’t even have a Christmas tree! Though I won’t forget Dad's famous 8-foot, LED, strobe flashing tree of 2010, possibility meant for a front lawn, but nevertheless erected in our not-so-spacious living room.
But anyways, back to the point - what will I be doing to get into the festive spirit? What can you do to make your holiday celebrations easier? Here are a few suggestions:
Use any excuse to bring people together:
For example, "Hey, I just bought a new BBQ and was to test it out", or "I have this awesome baked ham recipe", or "we finally mowed the lawn, come on over", or the all-time classic "Let's get together cos I haven't seen you since last Christmas!".
Get festive, it will rub off on others (and maybe even your pets):
Decorate your house, your work cubicle or even your car. Make festive food like gingerbread cookies. Watch Christmas movies (my favourites are Home Alone and Love Actually). If this doesn't start to get your family in the mood, well, who cares? Just have fun with it!
Image: Boo The Dog
Plan a Kris Kringle/Secret Santa:
Ok, Christmas ain't all about the gifts, but if you have a $10 limit or handmade requirement, then pretty much everyone can get involved. Check out Etsy for affordable, handmade gifts
Kickass gift wrap from inkyco.com.au
Divide and conquer:
Celebrating isn't supposed to be stressful (though it often is), so enlist the help of some equally spirited family or friends to delegate the tasks. A common tactic I use is one person does snacks, one person does mains, one person does desserts. If you're not set on a particular menu, this is a great way to split the effort and cost, and even ensure you sample something new.
Visualise your most memorable celebration and try to recreate it:
What made that occasion special? My guess is that it'll have something to do with the people you were with. And food. I'm all about the food. Mmmm pudding.
This might not get you in the festive spirit, but it sure will capture it. I'm a bit lazy when it comes to taking photos, but I've realised I don't have any photos of family since my tweens, so I better start now. My memory's gonna get worse, so it's best to capture that festive feeling. I'd also suggest investing in a selfie stick - when they first came out, I believed humanity was doomed, but I now realise that it means no one misses out on being in a family photo!
Do you have any other suggestions? This year, I'm going to display my festive spirit with pride. And for those out there that aren't into Christmas, that's cool, just make sure you celebrate something!
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