How to get into the festive spirit
A LIST OF THINGS TO DO DURING THE CHRISTMAS BREAK
by ASJAD NAZIR
THIS holiday season will be like no other with parties, family get-togethers and large open-air gatherings getting replaced by having to mostly stay indoors.
That shouldn’t stop you from getting into the festive spirit and enjoying the Christmas/New Year’s break. Always wanting to spread cheer,
Eastern Eye decided to come up with a fun feel-good to-do list for the winter weeks ahead. Challenge yourself to do as many of the 20 things as possible and mark it once each one is done.
Dress up: Not being able to party or socialise with friends due to the lockdown shouldn’t stop you from dressing up. Getting glammed up will make you feel good inside and if you want to show it off, why not have a Zoom party where everyone else does the same too. Or perhaps get dressed up for your daily walk.
Watch a good Christmas movie: All the favourite festive films will be screened across holiday season and pretty much all of them have a feel-good energy, which will warm up the winter months. Some good recommendations are It’s A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Home Alone, Miracle On 34th Street, Scrooged and Elf.
Make a playlist: Gather all your favourite feelgood songs and make a holiday playlist, perhaps on Spotify. It could be festive favourites or dance tracks that give you an added boost of energy. You can also share a list of your favourite songs with others and encourage them to do the same, including on social media
Dance: Switch on your favourite festive song and dance around the house like no one is watching. Dancing has been scientifically proven to have countless health benefits, including being a guaranteed mood booster. Why not go a step further and have an online dance party with friends.
Do a good deed: Christmas is all about giving and has been built on the bedrock of kindness. So do a selfless good deed and make someone feel special. This can be anything from giving a gift and surprising someone with a call to making a charity donation or volunteering.
Become a secret Santa: Great good deeds are ones done secretly and everyone loves a nice surprise, so why not give someone a gift anonymously or perhaps make a secret charity donation without anyone knowing.
Make a homemade gift: With more shops being closed and budgets being tighter, make a homemade gift for someone, which will not only be more special, but also timeless and likely remain with the recipient for a longer time.
Invent something: This doesn’t mean setting up a laboratory in your house and getting all scientific, but create something new like a cocktail, including a non-alcoholic one, or a dish in the kitchen by experimenting with spices, and name it after yourself. If you want to challenge yourself further or have kids, then why not invent a new indoor game, perhaps, one to rival sock golf.
Get writing: By the time you read this all the Christmas cards have likely been sent, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking up a pen and writing to someone. WhatsApp, social media and emails may be easier, but hand-written words will always be more special, so write a letter or a card to a loved one.
Take on a challenge: The added time indoors is a perfect opportunity to challenge yourself in some way and this is a great way to boost mental health. This can be anything from a complex jigsaw or puzzle to doing that home DIY you have been putting off all year.
Play games: Bring back the good old days and have that all-important human interaction by playing games during Christmas. Whether it is board games with family members you are isolating with or a Christmas quiz via Zoom, get competitive (but keep it friendly).
Wear a holiday jumper: Get into the festive spirit with a colourful holiday jumper and the more outlandish it is, the better. The brightly coloured clothes will put a smile on your face and others who see you wearing it, including on photos shared via social media.
Grab a bargain: Treat yourself to a bargain during the Christmas sales. With business having gone down in major stores and online retailers during the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be more bargains than usual this year. (But don’t go overboard and stay within your budget). Support local traders: The coronavirus pandemic has greatly harmed small businesses. Whether it is buying a gift or ordering food from there, help out this season by spending money with these small businesses.
Read a Christmas classic: There may be plenty of holiday films and TV shows to watch, but why not read a Christmas classic instead and this is especially good if you have children. If there are young relatives not isolating with you, then read to them via Zoom.
Donate: There are plenty of charities which are still operating and working hard during the holiday season. Whether it is food, money, unwanted gifts or warm clothes, the various charities will appreciate a donation from you.
Get creative: This year, why not get even more creative with the Christmas decorations? Perhaps, bring a more magical atmosphere by lighting candles or create a tree shape on the wall with Christmas cards, photos of loved ones or lights. Let the creativity flow and make your living space more special.
Exercise: Try to remain active during the holiday season, even if it means going for socially distanced walks. Keeping the body active will give you more energy and help mental health as well. Relax: Don’t be obliged to do 100 things because everyone is doing them and take some time out for self-care. Enjoy the time of doing nothing, switching off and just relaxing.
Be thankful: Last, but not least, focus on all the things you are grateful for and write them down, if needed. Being thankful for what you have will help you get through the tough times with a smile on your face.