The Christmas holidays arrive after a long year filled with hard work, so it’s no wonder we always look so forward to them. The holidays are a way of looking back over the past year with satisfaction (and quite possibly a few regrets) while contemplating the possibility of a brighter, better year than the one just passed. They also tend to be laden with high expectations, so, when things do not go exactly as planned, may sometimes turn out to be somewhat of a let-down.
Here’s how you can stop your spirits wilting as fast as the leaves on a fir tree the day after Christmas:
Have a plan
They may seem to stretch in front of you endlessly, but, if you don’t manage your time well, the holidays may soon be over before you know it! Though you may be tempted to spend your days sleeping in and generally being lazy, in actual fact there are way, way better ways to use all that time. A good idea to organise your holidays is by devising a plan. This doesn’t have to be a rigid timetable with colour-coded slots; even jotting down a few ideas on a scrap of paper will suffice. Want to go ice-skating with your friends? Write it down! Hosting a big party? Add it to your list. Sleeping in on Sunday? Make a note to remember to set your alarm clock to sleep mode! Planning ahead will help you ensure you accomplish all that you set out to do during the holidays – so make sure to check your plan sporadically and tick off every last item on your list!
Do something creative
Having a little spare time on your hands is a great opportunity to bring out your artistic side! There are tons of festive arts and crafts you can turn your hands to, whether it’s sewing up Bucilla kits, making tree decorations or cooking up a storm! So dig out that old pair of knitting needles and set about making your dog a Christmas coat!
If you feel you’re not really creatively inclined – worry not! Now is the perfect time to try something new. Why not take a couple of classes while you’re free? Short courses are a fantastic way to have some fun, meet new people – and learn a new skill in the process! Take along a relative (and a camera) if you feel you want some company, and you’ll be sure to entertain your guests with some fabulous anecdotes at your next dinner party!
Do something fun
It wouldn’t be Christmas without some good old-fashioned fun! Let your hair down with a session of vigorous snowballing, belt out your favourite Christmas carols, go to a pantomime – or just kick back with a glass of mulled wine by the fire! The holidays are a fantastic time to finally treat yourself to whatever it is you’ve been putting off the rest of the year, even if it’s a little extra shut-eye in the morning, so go right ahead!
Spend time with family
Christmas has a way of bringing family together – so, however much you may disagree or, bicker the rest of the year, it’s time to put all that aside for the sake of enjoying the holiday season. Make it a point to visit if you live away from your childhood home – or, if that’s not at all possible, make the effort to call or video chat. There’s nothing quite like going back to your roots during the holidays, reconnecting with your family and reliving childhood memories, especially if other family members have gone all out! And, while you’re carving that turkey, take a moment to remember all those individuals who are spending Christmas alone this year.
Dozing lazily by the fire with a mugful of steaming hot chocolate will make for a few very cosy nights – but don’t forget to warm up your spirits with some vigorous outdoor adventures. Put some colour in your cheeks with an energetic snowball fight, zip down the slopes in a hair-raising toboggan ride, visit your closest Christmas market or take a brisk, invigorating walk. Make it a group venture and you’ll be rewarded with some great memories, too.
Stick to a routine
There’s nothing better than having a completely empty agenda for the whole of the holidays, but even that can wear thin after a while. Research suggests that we human beings thrive on routine, so sticking to a plan – however loosely put-together – will help you make the most of the time you have available. Waking up at more or less the same time everyday, or keeping the same mealtimes, for example, will do much to prevent your whole body system going haywire, as well as help make sure you don’t end up missing out on any of the fun stuff because you’re run down from doing too much – or too little!
Organise a device-free day
The average adult American wastes two hours a day staring at a smartphone – so just think how much time you could invest in more fruitful purposes over the length of your Christmas holidays, were you to switch them off! There are plenty of memories that can be made without the compulsion to Instagram each and every one. Too much screen time is also proven to encourage irritability, especially in younger people. You can even turn it into a competition where whoever lasts out the longest, wins a prize. How’s that for an Instagram-worthy moment?
Wake up early
Okay, okay – you can sleep in the day after Christmas, but after that, time to set your alarm clock again! While there’s really no need to wake up at the crack of dawn, excessively long lie-ins should be an absolute no-no if you want to get the most of your holidays! Treat yourself to the odd extra half-hour, but after that, it’s time to wash the sleep off your face and fill your diary! After all, when you’re back at the office, you’re more likely to remember building that massive snowman than the morning you just couldn’t drag yourself out of bed.
Set a budget
It’s highly probable that, over the holidays, you will eat too much, drink too much, sleep too much – and spend too much, which leads to the inevitable new year’s resolutions come New Year’s Eve! Having a little foresight can help you at least exercise some control over your finances. Many families find it useful to set a budget. Set an amount and try not to go over it. Alternatively, you could think way ahead and put aside some money in the months leading up to Christmas, finding a highly convenient little nest egg once December rolls around.
Once you’ve had your fill on all that’s Christmassy, why not spread the joy in a way that is unique to you? The holidays are all about dedicating time to your talents – and, if you’re a whiz with the written word, we want to hear from you. Start the new year with a new career and sign up as a writer with Topcontent! Many happy returns!