7 Ways to Add Some Holiday Cheer to Your Life This Year

The holiday season is known as "the most wonderful time of the year" for a reason, yet some of us can't help but be lacking in the department of Christmas spirit.

If you're feeling a little more Grinch-like than normal this year and don't know why—you're not alone. It's totally normal to not feel as much cheer around the holidays as you get older, especially with all that's going on in the world these days. However, all of that is not to say that you're without hope of regaining some of that holly jolly holiday joy! If you're ready to shake off that Scrooge-like attitude and add an extra shot of holiday cheer to your life this year, here are some ways to do just that.

1. Put Effort Into Decorating

It's easy to feel a lack of holiday spirit when you can't even tell that it's the holiday season from the looks of your home. While it might be slightly time-consuming to "deck the halls," you don't necessarily have to put up tons of boughs of holly to add a touch of joy to your space. The key to this is in finding a way to actually enjoy the process of making things look merry and bright, so you might want to consider making it an event by gathering with your parents/siblings/friends or just throwing on some Christmas music while you set up the tree, hang the lights and do whatever else it takes to add a bit of holiday cheer to your home.


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Also read about: 15 Christmas Quotes to Get You in the Holiday Spirit


2. Organize a Secret Santa or White Elephant Gift Exchange

Don't have the budget to buy everyone on your list a gift this year? Don't let that put a damper on your spirits this year! Instead, organize a gift exchange amongst your friends so that each person gets a gift without every person in the group having to purchase something for everyone. Not only is this a generally more cost-effective option, but it's actually so much more fun.

Two great options are a secret Santa exchange (put everyone's names in and randomly draw one person to get a gift for) or a white elephant party (everyone buys a gift, then at the party each person draws a number and gets to pick a gift from the pile or "steal" another person's gift that's already been picked). No matter which one you go with, you can always choose to keep things within everyone's budget by setting a price limit for gifts (this will also prevent anyone from feeling bad about the gift that they gave or received).


3. Check Out the Lights

Live in a neighborhood where everyone goes all out with their Christmas lights each year? Take a stroll around the neighborhood with a friend and take them all in! Even if your neighbors are rather unimpressive with their shows, you can set aside time to drive around town with your friends and find the best displays your city has to offer (bonus points if you pick up some hot cocoa to sip along the way).


Also read about: How to Start Your Holiday Shopping Early Without Breaking the Bank


4. Go On a Hot Cocoa Crawl

Speaking of this deliciously decadent drink, what better way is there to feel some holiday cheer than with a slight sugar rush? Warm yourself up this winter and add a little pep in your step while you're at it by going on a hot chocolate tour of your city, then find the best ones so you know where to go back to when you're craving a cup of absolute joy.


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5. Do a Holiday Cookie Exchange

If hot drinks aren't your thing (or if you just want a cookie to go along with that cocoa), a holiday cookie exchange might be a better way to get your fill of Christmas cheer you can chow down on. Basically, you'll make some cookies of your choosing, get everyone else to do the same thing, then everyone trades a cookie in order to have a nice little sampling of different recipes and cookie types. Even if you're not the best baker, this is still a fun way to get people together and share in a little extra holiday spirit.


6. Have a Christmas Movie Night

If ugly Christmas sweater parties aren't your thing, you aren't out of things to do on a chilly Friday or Saturday night. Whether you throw on Elf for the 50th time or go with a Christmas rom-com session instead, a Christmas movie night complete with holiday treats galore is just the ticket for adding a little spark of joy to your life this season.


Also read about: Tips and Tricks for Giving the Very Best Holiday Gifts


7. Volunteer

Finally, one way to add a little holiday cheer to your own life is by finding a way to cheer up someone else's by volunteering in your community. There are plenty of ways you can give your time to a good cause, whether it be by volunteering at a soup kitchen, animal shelter or even a food drive. It can help you feel grateful for the things you already have in life while connecting with others and spending the day finding plenty of unexpected ways to smile, and we can't think of a better way to add some holiday joy to your life than that.


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And if all else fails, you can add some holiday cheer to your life by ticking off some items from your own Christmas bucket list! Need some ideas? Just click HERE for our ultimate list.