Another year has come and gone, and we are ready for the festivities to begin! Although, this time of year can be stressful due to the hustle and bustle that accompanies the holidays, there is a joy and spirit that the holiday season ignites in people.
The winter months and holiday season gives everyone a chance to renew, reflect and appreciate time with family, loved ones, and friends.
Even Santa Claus has his elves assist with the holiday production. From parties to attend, gifts to buy and wrap, and hosting your own special event. Don’t even get us started on the cookie exchanges (or our favourite the sandwich exchanges!)
To kick off this holiday season, we wanted to share a few tips and tricks that may help lighten the festive stress, so you can bring on that holiday dress (or suit!).
Make decorating fun! This might seem like we are pointing out the obvious but get your family and friends together for more than just the big day. Turn on the Christmas “Holly Jolly” playlist and get in the festive spirit. Add some of your favourite snacks and some good ol’ fashioned eggnog (or your bevy of choice) and deck those magnificent halls with holly!
Looking for a few festive meal ideas for your holiday gatherings? Here are some of our favourite pairings.
· Eggnog & Loaded Deli Sandwich
· Traditional Hot Chocolate & Peanut Butter, Honey and Fresh Fruit
· Peppermint Hot Chocolate & Cranberry Brie Grilled Cheese
· Christmas Coffee & Tomato & Turkey Chipotle Sandwich
· Chai Tea (or spiced tea) & Turkey Apple Grilled Cheese
Festive food and seasonal treats can make each year that much more special so, get in the kitchen and enjoy your delicious sweet or savoury dishes in front of your Christmas tree or festive decor.
Christmas movie marathon
Nothing helps getting you in the Christmas spirit like your favourite Christmas movie (everyone has one, even if they deny it!). Sitting down with friends or family, grabbing a cozy blanket and putting on a movie, is a great way to stay warm from the cold.
Not sure which movie to watch, or finding it hard to agree? Here is a list of some of our favs that are a must watch each and every year.
- It’s A Wonderful Life - a holiday favourite, for those who love nostalgia, a good black & white flick and a happy ending all wrapped in to one! And when you hear those bells, remember to smile for angels!
- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas- You can pick your favourite version of this classic Dr. Seuss story, but almost everyone in the room is sure to love the tale of the Grinch finding his heart! Is there a Grinch in your life who needs a little Christmas spirit?
- Miracle on 34th Street- Another classic, with a few variations to choose from. What’s not to love about adults being shown what Santa is all about?
- National Lampoons Christmas Vacation- Here’s to the Griswolds and the ones who love them!
Don't want to miss out
- Christmas Chronicles- Everyone needs to be reminded what it’s like to be a kid at Christmas, and sometimes Santa needs some help too!
- Noelle- A funny twist on the classic story of Santa and saving Christmas, with lots of surprises and twists along the way to show you what Christmas is all about!
- The Holiday - Everyone loves a little Christmas spirited romantic comedy and who can say no to British accents.
National Days of Holiday Fun
Sometimes it can be hard to find your holiday spirit, especially when December can feel so busy and overwhelming. If you’re like us and need some guidance on how to engage in the fun, here are a few days that are worth celebrating.
National Cocoa Day – December 13th - to participate in the fun filled day, make yourself a hot chocolate at home or grab one from your favorite local cafe. Meet a friend and if you are feeling extra festive add a dash of peppermint.
International Tea Day – December 15th - If you aren't a hot chocolate fan then international tea day is the perfect fit. Try a new seasonal tea flavour or stick to your favourites.
National Ugly Sweater Day – December 17th - The holiday season isn't official until the festive sweaters are brought out. Some may call them "ugly" but it is another way to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit.
National Cookie Exchange – December 22nd - You don’t need to be a pro baker to participate in this holiday, you could even buy some cookies from the store (we won’t tell, if you don’t!). Getting your friends involved in something fun for the holidays and get some tasty treats to snack on while you wrap, is just what Santa ordered this year!
Holiday Wind Down
The holidays can be stressful for a variety of reasons. No matter how you celebrate, remembering to relax and wind down when it’s all over, can really help you appreciate all of memories you made during the season! Here are some of our favourite relaxation tips:
- Look at old photos from previous Christmases
- Calm the mind by pausing and reliving the good memories
- Take a walk outside (if it’s snowing even better). Take deep breaths and breathe in the cold air to help ground you
- Appreciate the beauty of the season, even when it’s cold out. Fresh air can help clear your mind and the peace and quiet can give you a break from the busy aspects of the season
- Although you might be seeing many people over the holidays, you might not get to connect with everyone. Call a friend and connect, even virtually. Sometimes that’s all you need.
- Smiling can really help lighten the mood, even when you don’t feel like it. You might just make someone else’s day too! Smile (just look at our logo!)
Try to make the most out of your holiday/Christmas season this year by focusing on what you have and are grateful for! Know that the winter blues can’t really have an effect on everyone so, make an effort to check in with loved ones more often than not.