Sorry, no grinches allowed.

The most wonderful time of the year (besides Halloween) is finally here. ‘Tis the season to blast Christmas tunes shamelessly, binge your favorite Christmas classics, and stock up on hot cocoa. Embracing the Christmas spirit is the best part of the holiday season. But where does the Christmas spirit actually come from? The North Pole? Santa’s workshop? Or is it you?

After a study in Denmark set out to locate precisely where our Christmassy feelings come from, researchers saw increased activity in the brain scans of people who celebrate Christmas when viewing Christmas imagery compared to the scans of those who don’t celebrate. This led researchers to believe a “Christmas spirit network” actually does exist in the human brain! It sounds like the magic of Christmas is actually coming straight from you. So, how do you cultivate this Christmas spirit? Here are ten festivities that’ll have you rocking around the Christmas tree this holiday season.

Gift Giving Image
Getty / Bogdan Kurylo

Watch Christmas Movies

Come on, this one’s a no-brainer. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a favorite Christmas movie they’ll never get tired of watching. You may have seen it a million times, but does it ever fail to tug on your heartstrings? Nope. Whether you’re doubled over laughing at National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or trying to keep the spooky vibes alive with The Gremlins or The Nightmare Before Christmas, your Christmas spirit can’t help but shine through.

Turn on the Christmas Tunes

Music is a great way to evoke memories or the nostalgia most people feel around Christmas time. There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than turning on some Christmas music. It’s actually pretty hard to avoid when every radio station (do people still listen to the radio?) is blaring Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Our favorite Christmas songs? Glad you asked:

  1. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole
  2. “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt
  3. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
  4. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Dean Martin
  5. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Frank Sinatra

Go Look at Christmas Lights

There’s nothing more nostalgic than driving through your neighborhood with the heat cranked, Christmas music blasting, hot cocoa in hand, admiring everyone’s twinkling Christmas decorations. Take a drive around your community and marvel at the Christmas spirit all around! Don’t forget to check out your local city’s light shows, festivals, and parades for a chance to see Christmas lights bigger and better than ever.

Bake Christmas Cookies

Lift your holiday spirits by filling your kitchen with classic Christmas smells and tastes. We can almost smell the cinnamon, sugar, plums, and gingerbread now. Share your edible gifts with friends and family, or have a cookie-tasting party! Just don’t forget to save some milk and cookies for Santa.

Host a Holiday Party

The more, the merrier. Embrace your inner host/hostess and throw your loved ones a holiday party they’ll never forget. The best way to get into the Christmas spirit is to spread some holiday cheer with those closest to us! We’re talking ugly sweaters, homemade eggnog, the whole shebang. Not the hosting type? Accept that holiday party invite from your coworker! Celebrations are the best way to throw yourself head-first into the holiday season.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree

There’s a whole lot of controversy around when the right time is to put up your Christmas tree, but we say bah humbug to the Scrooges! Put up your Christmas tree whenever it feels right. While it can be hard to deck the halls when working with a tiny space, spending the holidays without family, or not having kids, that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the Christmas spirit. Perhaps one of the most popular symbols of Christmas, decorating a tree (real or fake, we don’t hate) is an absolute must.

Visit Santa

You can find Santa in virtually every mall in America during the holiday season. Grab your younger siblings, kiddos, or BFFs, and tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Plus, you can get a totally cute picture you can save forever. Maybe you’ll even turn it into a holiday tradition with friends and family.

Pro tip: We bet mom would LOVE a framed picture of you and your siblings with Santa this Christmas, no matter how old you are! Trust us.

Go Gift Shopping

For most people, gift shopping is a necessary part of the holiday season, even if it is stressful and completely chaotic. We recommend getting your holiday shopping done early; that way, there’s more time for the things that are really important as we inch closer to Christmas Day. However, if your love language is gift-giving, holiday shopping might have you feeling like a kid in a candy shop. With Christmas music blaring and sugarplum scents dancing through the air, we can’t deny it’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Need help with your holiday shopping? Check out our blog for more inspo!

Lift Some Christmas Spirits

Candy Cane Christmas Cocktail
Getty / yulka3ice

Literally. Christmas is full of great flavors, especially when it comes to Christmas cocktails and mocktails. Our favorite? This adorable & tasty Candy Cane Christmas Mocktail! This recipe is perfect for the whole family, even kids! Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1 Cup of half and half
  • 12 oz. of cream soda
  • 4 tsp. of simple syrup
  • 2-4 drops of peppermint oil or extract
  • Candy canes

Directions: Lightly coat the rim of your martini glass in simple syrup, then crushed candy cane. Mix half and half, cream soda, simple syrup, and peppermint oil in a tiny pitcher. Pour mixed drink into the candy cane-rimmed martini glasses and serve!

Give Back

‘Tis the season of giving. The true spirit of Christmas comes from the joy of giving back to your community, loved ones, and friends. Make it a point to donate to charities like Toys for Tots, your local Humane Society, or volunteer at the food bank. Contribute to clothing drives, food drives, and more. You just might make someone’s Christmas. It could even be as simple as shoveling a neighbor’s driveway!

Happy December! Are you feeling in the Christmas spirit yet? We hope so! For more holiday tips and tricks, check out our blog.