As children, we all enjoy the Christmas holidays, but as we grow older, we start feeling that it kind of drags: fascination about presents gets fainter, we no longer believe in Santa Claus, and the entire thing gets a bit repetitive.
If you feel like your Christmas is stuck in a rut, there are always so many different ways to do things! So what about celebrating Christmas differently this year?
1. Skip the gifts
It may sound outrageous, but what if you skip gifting altogether? You may either forego it completely and save a lot of money, or do something instead of giving something. For example, all family members may chip in to go to a restaurant or buy tickets to a show everybody likes. There is another trend getting more popular every year–self-gifting. Instead of going on a spending spree trying to impress your relatives, spend a much smaller sum, but on yourself and things you know you need. Just make sure this new arrangement will not offend your family. They might even want to join in on the idea!
2. Go cultural
There are hundreds of cultures in the world, and many of them celebrate Christmas in their own way. Some traditions are funny, some are weird, but all of them are fascinating. So here’s the idea: choose a country everybody in your family will agree to and spend a culturally-themed Christmas. Decorate your home in the way it is decorated for Christmas and New Year in this culture, imitate their traditions, prepare national dishes–you and your folks will be sure to remember it for years to come!
3. Choose a different main course
Speaking of dishes, what do you usually eat for Christmas dinner? Most people enjoy a main dish that includes turkey, goose or ham…and that about sums it up. So, if you are unwilling to organize an entirely culturally-themed evening, why not get a taste of another country’s traditions, literally? There are so many variants: Czech vánoční rybí polévka (Christmas fish soup), Danish aebleskiver (round pancakes), German christstollen (cake with dried fruit and marzipan), Polish Makowiec (poppy seed roll)–the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination and culinary pizzazz.
4. Give a handmade gift
These are also called “gifts of thought.” The main idea here is not to give people run-of-the mill presents bought in shops, but cute little things you’ve made with your own hands–gifts with thought put into them. They may not look like much today, but they are precious in their own way and will remain so for years to come, when all the iPads and Xboxes people ever got on Christmas will be a thing of the past. And, of course, they are much easier on your wallet.
5. Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas
Ironically, today we consider the most traditional thing about the holiday–celebrating the 12 days after Christmas–to be non-traditional and quaint. In most Christian cultures Christmas used to be celebrated in a diametrically opposite fashion to what we see today. Instead of pre-holiday hype lasting for most of November and the entire month of December, people quietly waited for the coming of the Christ, with the 12-day period after December 25 as a centerpiece. Why not try to do things the old-fashioned way, for once?
6. Give Christmas to someone else
Another beautiful idea is to find someone who certainly cannot afford Christmas and make their life a little bit better. Buy them a Christmas tree, give a present, or offer some other kind of help. After all, by making others feel good we feel good ourselves. There’re plenty of Christmas charity projects you can consider.
7. Start the new year a week early
There is no time like the present! Many people make New Year’s resolutions to forget them the day after–so why not do the same, but the other way around? Start the next year of your life a little bit earlier. Make a list of New Year’s resolutions, decide in which ways you are going to develop for the next 365 days (i.e. start looking for a new job, picking up a new hobby, etc.) Thus you will have several days for the things to kick in and not being able to start new life from January 1 will not have the same damping psychological effect on you.
Christmas is supposed to be the beginning of something new–and the best way to emphasize this idea for yourself and for the world is to make Christmas itself new, different and unusual. Try it this year and be happy!
Featured photo credit: christmas front porch/trudi harrison via flickr.com