Like many of you, I get so sad when the lights go off and the trees go in the dumpster. But there are many ways to celebrate the heart of Christmas past the season. Here are 12 ways that you can keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long.
- Light a candle. Why can’t your house or dorm room smell like cranberries, sugar cookies or Fraser firs all the time? Scents are a huge part of memory, so spread some Christmas cheer through the air!
- Put on some tunes. You may need to be careful here, as people can get very serious about hearing Christmas music too soon. Some carols, like “O come, O come Emmanuel,” are perfect reminders that we need Jesus throughout the world today.
- Get creative with gifts. Who says you have to rush around on Black Friday each year to get presents for your friends and family? One of my favorite things is to pick the perfect gift for my niece and nephews on my travels throughout the year. Scour Pinterest and make a secret Christmas board of things you would like to make. The hardest part is waiting for Christmas to give your gifts!
- Be present. The holidays are often when we spend a lot of time with family or friends. Be intentional about creating special moments throughout the year. Go on a picnic with your friends, celebrate Fridays with your roommates or make lunch dates with your mom. Time is the best gift you can give to those you love.
- You’ve got mail. Don’t you love receiving actual cards in the mail at Christmas? Spread the love anytime by sending a pretty greeting card to a friend. Even surprise your roommate by dropping a card in her campus mailbox!
- Serve your community. One great way to celebrate Jesus coming into the world is to be his hands and feet in the world around you. Serve at your local soup kitchen or volunteer to babysit at a recovery house for women who have been abused.
- Warm your cup. This one’s kind of silly, but why not have a cocoa party in July? Blast your air for one night, sip cocoa and munch on marshmallows.
- Treat yo’ self. Find a recipe for your favorite Christmas cookie or treat and make it for your friends as a surprise. Or have your mom make a batch and send it right before midterms or finals. Your friends will love the homemade goodies!
- Find joy. Christmas is a time when joy abounds. Do whatever brings you joy. Go play on the swings at the park. Get outside and go for a hike. Watch a movie that makes you laugh until you cry.
- Read the Christmas story. The story of Jesus coming into the world is not just for Christmas. Sometimes we need to hear again that Jesus has come and is coming. Don’t save these passages just for Christmas Eve service. Explore them over and over all year.
What do you do to keep the Christmas spirit alive?