Life | 6 ways to up the Christmas spirit this holiday season

I may enjoy the sunshine laden summer and take in the crisp autumn air but if there's one season that I live for, it's the holidays. While our tropical country doesn't quite celebrate the season with the same grandeur you'd spot in Europe or New York (also, the lack of snow isn't helping), that's not enough to dampen my spirit.

Image of a red velvet ornament hanging on a Christmas tree with gold beads and fairy lights with bokeh in the background

 At least, we still have lit up streets, Christmas pageants and secret Santa. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I'm sure you'll agree that it's easy to get caught up in the festive spirit. So if you'd like to make it a little more jolly this time around, you're in good hands because I don't mean to brag and all but I'm Christmas level: Elf.
Image of a decorated Christmas tree with lights and a star along with a rocking chair at the side of it
Images by Raynor Pereira / Style File

1. Trim the tree

The most identifiable symbol of Christmas, the tree and its various ornaments, especially the star on top have plenty of religious sentiment behind them. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas religiously, don't let that stop you from trimming your (faux) fir. Get out the sparkling bunting, hang a few shiny baubles on and finish off with the star on top.

2. Telly time

Christmas is all about tradition, and I don't mean only for holiday sweets and decor. Tradition also extends itself to the tinier rituals associated with the holidays like midnight mass, the five point star and Christmas movies. Just like autumn has its spooky flicks, Christmas has its own, with 'Home Alone', 'Love Actually' and 'Elf' being a few favourites. Switch them on for an instant dose of the warm, fuzzy holiday feels.

Image of marzipan Christmas sweets in the shape of Christmas trees on a glass plate
3. Sweeten the deal

If there's one thing I always associate with the holidays, it's that sweet smell wafting through the house. Or as I'd like to call it, 'the smell of Christmas morning'. While the traditional marzipan, neuris and kalkals are all set, the delicious date and walnut cake will soon follow. For a more contemporary take on Christmas, gingerbread men, sugar cookies or even your own vanilla extract will really hit the spot.

4. Carol on

It's always a festive treat to find a melodious bunch gang belting out the Christmas carols at your doorstep. While I've been lucky enough to go carolling before, it might be a stretch to suggest it. So instead, just turn up the Christmas carols. I'm one of those people who starts listening to carols right from October so now, by mid-December, I've already reached the point where I'm listening to Christmas jazz while working. Even if I'm buried under work, it still feels nice to remind myself that it's the holidays.

Image of blogger Dayle Pereira wearing a check plaid shirt with a navy blue tulle skirt, red lips, wavy bob and red pumps

Image by Leo Alemao / Style File
5. Get plaid

If you're on the hunt for the most low effort way to amp up the holiday cheer, try plaid. Just donning a plaid layer or two always takes my mind away to colder, snowier lands, even if I'm in sticky Mumbai. Of course, it's a subliminal cue that links the pattern to the year end, for me at least. Better yet, a flannel plaid in red and green, then you're set for certain.

6. Gift someone

The holidays are also a great time to start new rituals which hopefully, turn into traditions. One such tradition we began about 5 years ago was Christmas gifting. While it was enthralling to find presents under the tree on Christmas eve as children, it's even more exciting as adults, even though we aren't really surprised by it any more. They don't have to huge, extravagant or expensive like two tickets to Paris or a new diamond bauble. Even simple stocking stuffers like makeup products or a new coffee flask can make for cute gift - it's the festive thought that counts, really.

Happy holidays, lovely people!


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