How to Savor Christmas All Month

12 ways to make your holiday last throughout December

christmas

Since I left for college many moons ago, I have grown to appreciate the holiday season more deeply. It’s the time of year when all of my childhood friends and family are gathered in one place. You wind down from another year and remember what’s really important. The chaos of life matters a little less. Spending time doing nothing with people you love means even more. When “holiday break” in my hometown went from a month in college to a week and a half in the work world (and I know even that is a luxury!), I learned how to savor Christmas in less time. One of my favorite parts of moving back officially is that I get to see a full-size Christmas tree when I come home every day. I started to make a conscious effort years ago not to look forward to anything too early. I felt that it made time move too quickly, and I for one want to extend every happy memory for as long as possible. With that, here are my twelve ways to spread holiday cheer in small ways and celebrate your holiday last throughout the month.

 

1. Christmas Drinks

Chai tea or a chai latte never taste better than in December, but most cafes serve holiday specials ranging from peppermint spice to gingerbread lattes. Regardless of your drink of choice, who can argue that any hot beverage doesn’t taste better in a Starbucks Christmas cup?

 

2. Winter-scented Candles

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… Nothing will bring you home like a familiar smell: a crackling fire, pine, cinnamon, sugar cookies, fresh snow. Click through for our picks on each of these holiday scents.

 

3. Holiday Movies

We all have our favorites but maybe can’t locate the VHS we played and replayed as kids. Find out if you can stream it by perusing Refinery 29’s 30 Movies To Stream This Holiday Season, or find yourself a new holiday go-to.

 

4. Go to the Mall

I know it’s the last place you want to go during the holiday madness, but when you’re somewhere like L.A. the malls are some of the only places you’ll get Christmas cheer. Go with a friend at off hours, and share a cookie while you take in the decor and people-watch.

 

5. Devote a Night to Sweets

Make the visions of sugarplums a reality by scheduling a group chocolate tasting at Chocovivo, attending a chocolate-making class at Makeshop, or scheduling a cookie class (Cookie Decorating: Girls Night Out, Holiday Cookie Gifts, or Grain Free Holiday Treats for those of you who are gluten-free or paleo)  at The Gourmandise School.

 

6. Attend a Holiday Show (in San Francisco)

San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker is a classic but not your only option in the Bay Area. Smuin Ballet does a non-traditional Christmas Ballet. A.C.T. does A Christmas Carol. This year the Symphony is accompanying the classic holiday film Home Alone.

 

7. Make Apple Cider

Whether or not you feel like drinking it, brewing some apple cider or your choice of holiday tea from Teavana will get your senses going and your heart fluttering.

 

8. Slip on Holiday Socks

You will be delighted to see your happy feet when you take off your shoes after a long work day. These pairs from Target are $2.50 each, so stock up on every design for a mid-February pick-up.

 

9. Sing, sing, sing

There’s always one station that dedicates the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day to holiday songs only. Dig up your ‘N Sync Christmas album, press play on John Legend’s holiday station on Pandora, or gather your friends for an informal caroling party (sparkling cider and bubbly encouraged).

 

10. Decorate Your Desk 

A little tree goes a long way. Or find a Christmas figurine to keep you company. Stricter office environment? Display a holiday greeting card, tie a gift ribbon around your screen, or choose a fun winter wonderland for your desktop background.

 

11. Curl Up with a Book 

Okay, by now we know every season is great for a read. Click here, here and here for past reading lists, and check back tomorrow for my winter list!

 

12. Call a Friend

Play phone roulette, and call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while merely to wish them Happy Holidays!

 

How are you celebrating the holidays every day this month?

 

Catherine Abalos is founder and editor of The Single Diaries.

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