How to Get into the Holiday Spirit this Season

The holidays are upon us, bringing with them much reason for celebration and cheer. Nonetheless, the holiday season can be a big source of stress for college students. Finding the perfect gifts on a limited budget while trying to make time for fun holiday activities amidst finals limits students’ capacity to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Because of this reality, it is important students consider the various ways to make this season as low-stress and enjoyable as possible.

First, allow yourself to acknowledge how you feel during the holidays. Lift the weight of achieving the perfect holiday off of your shoulders by being honest with yourself—“I am not feeling overly cheerful…My life does not resemble a Hallmark movie, and that is okay.”

Forcing yourself to be happy for the sake of the season can start to feel like a chore. The holidays shouldn’t be something you get through; rather, give yourself some grace and take in as much as you can with your busy schedule.

Next, come up with small, manageable activities that you know you can do, regardless of your current budget and schedule.

For example, perhaps you and your friends commit to participating in a Secret Santa gift exchange with a designated spending limit. You can plan ahead and ensure you have the time and resources to involve yourself.

Even something as simple as decorating your house or dorm can help bring back your love for the season from the outside in.

When you do your best to uphold a few small but reliable traditions every season, you can feel festive without having to cram in a bunch of activities over the span of two weeks. Stick with activities that you personally enjoy year after year.

Jenna Walters, a sophomore communication student, added, “My favorite way to get into the holiday spirit is to listen to Christmas music and decorate with my grandma.”

Whether you’re decorating with roommates or helping out your family at home, it’s a sure, low-maintenance way of surrounding yourself with people you know and love.

Another simple way to get into the festive spirit is to start including things in your everyday routine that remind you of your favorite holiday. This could mean carrying a holiday-themed snack with you on the go, or changing your phone background to something fun and celebratory, like a picture from last year’s festivities!

Rachel Orndorff and McKayla Dottery, both sophomore nursing students, explained that they love to get into the holiday spirit by making and drinking hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate is a holiday staple during the frigid winter months, warming you up from the inside out. Stopping by a coffee shop or making your own mug of this delicious drink is an instant mood-booster, especially when you add on toppings like marshmallows or, a more seasonal option, a bit of peppermint.

You can drink hot chocolate any time of the day but consider this scenario: drinking a cup of fresh hot chocolate while watching a seasonal movie. Christmas, particularly, is a holiday with a lot of great movie options, like Elf and Home Alone. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, these feel-good movies can make anyone feel warm and fuzzy.

Although shopping may seem more of a hassle than an activity, putting yourself in the midst of the holiday chaos can also be fun! Everyone and everything around you is bustling with noise, sounds, and lights; you almost feed off of each other’s energy, collectively anticipating the gift-giving season.

Taylor Fenton, a sophomore sociology student, voiced, “I love to go shopping during the holiday season. It makes me happy when I can get gifts for my friends and family.”

Taking the time to pick out gifts for friends and family, regardless of the price, can help you feel the real meaning of the season, which is to appreciate and celebrate the important people in your life.

As simple as these small traditions seem, making time for some of these activities can go a long way into bringing some holiday cheer into your life this season.

Although it’s fun to have an evening out at the ice-skating rink or hosting a holiday dinner, sometimes less is more. You don’t need to squeeze in every holiday activity into one month; it starts to make the holidays feel more like a checklist than a time to celebrate with friends and family.

Doing what makes you happy this season is the best way to get into the holiday spirit!