Christmas has been infused into our culture and the American lifestyle ever since this country was founded. We hear “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland” about five hundred or so times as we sit in coffee shops or trawl department stores for last-minute gifts.
Businesses prepare for months to ready their customers for those idealized 25 days of Christmas, whether that means a specialized drink or candy, like Starbucks’ flavored lattes; special winter-themed jewelry and clothing, often featuring Santa shapes or candy canes; or holiday-themed commercials, re-runs of A Christmas Story, and releases of adorable family films that show us what the holidays are all about. It is a spirit that somehow transcends religious affiliation.
Of course, we just experienced eleven months of not-Christmas. Face it: We have all gotten a little behind on our Christmas spirit. Luckily, in the Tech spirit of research and linear thinking, we have organized a step-by-step plan to get back into the Christmas spirit for those of us who need a refresher. Since not all of us will be celebrating this specific holiday this year, though, feel free to read the article and insert your own traditions as you go.
Step one: Crank up the Bing Crosby
It is not Christmas without those lively carols playing the background. Sure, sometimes we feel that if we hear one more re-play of “White Christmas” we’ll be dreaming of the day that song never existed. Yet in the end, hearing these songs are essential to getting into what we at the Technique like to call “the warm and fuzzy mindset.” So this year, turn on the old carols, but also feel free to branch out: Get Michael Bublé’s album Christmas, or the Glee Christmas Album, or even (god forbid) Justin Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe.
I mean, if that is what you’re into.
Step two: Trim Up the Tree with Christmas Stuff
A core element of the Christmas spirit resides in what we hang around the house. Put a wreath on the door, hang up the mistletoe, or crack out that old, creepy life-sized Santa your mom stores in the basement. You can even put a few snowman stickers in your dorm room or hang Christmas lights in your apartment.
Bottom line: your halls need to be decked out. One vital Christmas decoration must be remembered: the Christmas tree, complete with lights, ornaments, and a star or angel at the top. Lastly, make sure to hang your stockings and to bake your Christmas cookies to leave out for “Santa” on Christmas night.
Step three: Pop in A
Every family that celebrates Christmas has one of those movies they watch every year. From the stop motion version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” every family has that essential Christmas story. Many parents read “T’was the Night Before Christmas” to their children each year before the big day. Get ahead of the game and watch these movies before the finals.
Step four: Shop ‘till You Drop
You have a lot of friends and family, a small budget, and no time to shop because of finals. Unfortunately, that makes you like every other college student this season. You’ll have about eight days after the last day of school to buy everything you need, from those earrings you want to get your mom to the considerably hopeless task of figuring out what Dad wants. Good luck!
Step five: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The key characteristics of Christmas are the time spent with family and the charitable spirit. If you strip away all the rest of the steps and leave only this one, the essential Christmas spirit will still be set in place.
Families want and need each other, and as a worldwide community we tend to draw together for this one season to make the world a better place.
We give to the Empty Stocking Fund and attend soup kitchens, share stories with family and then, we do something that doesn’t make any sense—we stop.
This year, make an effort to take the Christmas spirit one step further, and keep it with you all year long.