Getting into the Holiday Spirit “

I love the holidays. I love coming up with gift ideas, having friends over, going out and taking in whatever experiences the city has to offer. I love the fresh smell of a real tree, wood burning in the fireplace, and gingerbread baking in the oven. And I love snow! (We never get any here so when we do it’s a beautiful (and yes, cold) surprise. I just love it all.

I’m the freak who starts listening to Christmas music in November and goes on the same tour of Christmas lights 10x throughout the month of December. While you might think I’m crazy, you should know the positive result of my madness: I’m never stressed about the holidays. Ever. Want to know how that’s possible? It’s pretty simple…

I’m an Organizaholic
If you couldn’t tell by the order of my assignment due dates for school, I’m a list maker. This year, I started my gift list at the end of October (for others, not for myself!). Last week, I researched the dates and times of all my favourite local events. And on Monday, I drafted five Christmas-related posts that will go up from tomorrow until December 16. By knowing exactly what I need to buy and what events I want to attend, I can better plan regular life events (grocery shopping, homework, laundry, etc.) to make it all happen.

I’m a Thoughtful Gift Giver
In my experience, the best way to not only save money but to know that a gift receiver is going to enjoy what you give them is by being a thoughtful gift giver. It’s as simple as picking up cues from listening to family and friends! Are they stressed about something? Have they mentioned something they really want but you know they aren’t going to buy it or do it? What do the next few months look like for them? By just listening and knowing what is going on in their personal lives, I can easily come up with a gift idea that I am excited to give.

I Finish My Shopping Before December
Because I love coming up with thoughtful gift ideas and seeing people’s reactions when opening their gifts, I don’t want to spoil the process! For me, that means avoiding shopping malls in the month of December. There’s nothing fun about searching for a parking spot, pushing your way past others, and fighting about who was in line first. Sure, I’ll go if I have to pick up some stocking stuffers, but all of my gifts are at least planned, if not purchased, by the end of November.

I Smile and Say Hello to Strangers
Yes, my mom taught me never to talk to strangers… but this rule can go out the door when you’re an adult! You will never know how much your mood will lighten until the day you smile and say hello to someone and they smile back at you. The simple act takes two seconds to complete but it can make yours and someone else’s day seem so much better. I dare you to try it at the mall or at a busy coffee shop! It’s not easy to ignore the long lineup I’m in but I find it helps if I remember that the buzz of the holiday season only comes once a year… might as well enjoy it!

Some of this might sound crazy but the fact is that because I do all of these things every year, I can actually enjoy the month of December. I’m never worried about who to buy for, what to buy, or what hours stores are open until, and I get the whole month to do whatever I want! For me, this means more time for Christmas movies, light tours, and cozy nights in with friends and loved ones.

How do you get into the holiday spirit?

*38 sleeps until Christmas*

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