If you’re like most people, Christmas was probably the pinnacle of your entire year when you were a kid. Everything, from your family’s Christmas tree to the much-anticipated presents on Christmas morning, was nothing short of magic. However, as time rolls on and adulthood sets in, the holiday season can lose some of that sparkle you remember.
Thankfully, there’s no set rule book on how to do the holidays. Why not look for new ways to get excited about Christmas again by exploring some new ways to celebrate? The following fun and very non-traditional approaches can be excellent options to consider.
Consider sidestepping the gift-giving
For most of America, Christmas largely about shopping for, giving, and receiving gifts, but does it really have to be? If you’re one of the many people who find the spending, shopping, and crowd-fighting to be more trouble than its worth, consider either skipping it altogether or making some changes as to how you approach it.
Talk to your family and see how they’d feel about donating part of the collective household gift budget to charity and using the rest to indulge in an elaborate family dinner out, a group vacation to Hollywood, or a trip to see a show everyone’s been wanting to see. You just may find that they like the idea as much as you do.
Explore Christmas traditions from around the world
Christmas is celebrated all around the globe, and every nation has its own way of pulling out all the stops. Some are humorous. Others are serious and thoughtful. All offer you and your family a chance to explore something new and enriching.
Gather your family together, select a foreign country, and put together a culturally themed Christmas celebration as a group. Read up on that country, decorate your home accordingly, and prepare national dishes. You can use this as an opportunity to explore Christmas traditions, dishes, and themes from various regions in America as well.
Immerse yourself in the spirit of giving
For some of us, Christmas really isn’t about the presents, the food, or the lights. It’s about spreading goodwill and giving to those less fortunate than we are, especially as we grow older. What better way to remember what Christmas is really all about than by embracing that mindset wholeheartedly?
Find a family in your community or city that can’t afford to celebrate this Christmas. Bless them by buying them a Christmas tree, purchasing presents for the children in the household, helping the adults with something that’s been weighing on them, or donating a lavish Christmas dinner. You can even do so anonymously if you prefer. Not sure you can think of anyone, but still like this idea? Look into participating in a Christmas charity project instead.
Explore the actual “Twelve Days of Christmas”
Of course, you know the song, probably by heart. What you may not know is the origin of the actual Twelve Days of Christmas. Yes, originally, Christmas Day was part of an entire season of celebration. It was also only the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which also include the Feast of Stephen on the 26th and the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th.
Why not throw back to the good old days of Christmas, learn about the Twelve Days of Christmas, and celebrate accordingly? You can add the liturgical season of Advent to the mix as well. This way, Christmas Day becomes the centerpiece of an entire period of anticipation and celebration, as opposed to one day that always seems like it’s over with way too quickly.
Switch up just one or two major elements
Perhaps you feel like your household’s Christmases have become a little routine, but you aren’t as keen on changing up every last part of how you celebrate. What about making a switch in regards to just one part of the equation?
Do you normally put up a fake Christmas tree to cut down on cost and waste? Try filling your home with the scent of a live tree this year. (You can choose potted options instead of cut alternatives if you prefer.) Not looking forward to serving yet another round of turkey, stuffing, and gravy a mere month after Thanksgiving? Try a goose or a ham instead, or try some regional cuisine. (Who wouldn’t love the idea of a Southern Christmas dinner or a traditional German Midwest spread?)
There are as many different ways to celebrate Christmas as can be. Think outside the box this year and really make the holiday your own!