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Dec 31 2017
by D.M. Carcamo

How to Keep Your Christmas Spirit Alive All Year Long

By D.M. Carcamo - Dec 31 2017
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Christmas is over, and for many of us, it might not quite seem like its really over. Or maybe you already know all too well. How can't you, you rant, it's already winter quarter! That's OK. Either way, we just wanted to give you a few ways to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long.

1. Sweets!

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You can get in the holiday mood with some Christmas snacks like hot chocolate, candy canes and chocolate. Trust me, it will go a long way for making you remember Christmas. Taste brings back your childhood memories and wonder! But more than just partaking in the Christmas-y goodness, enjoy the process of making the treats yourself! Invite some friends over or just make it a family project. Making sweets with those you care about most is greater than even the best hot cocoa. That's what Christmas is really about – making memories and just basking in the presence of those we love the most. To be atrociously cliche, it keeps you warm inside. 


2. Decorating!

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Secondly, you can decorate! Plenty of us will not have any snow to remind us of winter. As unfortunate as that may be, we can still decorate our homes with Christmas cheer. Of course, you can add Christmas lights to your room, but some other smaller decorating projects can include decorating your binder, adding a Christmas flower arrangement or changing your phone wallpaper for the season. After all, ambience is key to fostering the Christmas spirit.

3. Christmas music!

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We're trying to appeal to all your sense here. Taste, sight, sound, exc. Christmas music, whether that means Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" or Mariah Carey's "O Holy Night" is essential for getting in the Christmas mood. You can listen to it while driving or just put it up in the background. Either way, it's a perfect way to celebrate the season.

4. Christmas clothing!

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Wear ugly Christmas sweaters and Christmas pajamas! Wear ill-advised Christmas earrings and beanies! It definitely helps make you feel like Christmas. Imagine it! 

Keeping the Spirit of Christmas

As great as all these things are, the best way to make your day "Christmas-y" is to be around those you love this holiday, to enjoy the beauty of Christmas and to be in the spirit of giving. No matter how commercialized Christmas has become, the Christmas spirit, ultimately, should be about the spirit of giving and showing our love to the special people in our heart. So here I'll include a few ways you can exercise generosity.

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Volunteering

It's a free way to give back. So why not give the gift of your time and be hands on? You can volunteer at charities, your college and even smaller events. Why not go to a homeless shelter? An animal shelter? The library? Maybe tutor? Some other ways include letter writing to international pen pals, veterans or prisoners who need a sparkle. Or you could spend time with hospice or senior homes and just make conversation, which is something that the residents need so much. Perhaps you have a special talent, like coding or music or art, and you can also volunteer to play music at hospitals or hospices, etc. Thus, no excuses! Get out there and volunteer!

Donating

You can donate old toys or books. You can buy a gift for a child in need. Food donations are essential, to both the homeless and even people struggling financially at your college. Go to student services and ask. There are many ways that you can donate, even just at your college. Perhaps you aren't sure what you can donate, you can also donate money or make a money pool with all your friends to donate.

Random Acts of Kindness

One last way to have the spirit of Christmas is to just do random acts of kindness. Why not pay the bill of the person behind you in line? Why not give some food or just a water bottle to the homeless man on the street. Maybe you notice someone at school seems lonely, or maybe a friend seems out of whack. Just offering your time and listening can be some of the best things you can do. Random acts of kindness can mean spontaneously doing a favor for someone or just being a good samaritan when the opportunity arises. 

There are some ways to keep the Christmas spirit alive throughout the year. Merry Christmas! Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or nothing at all, we at Fresh U wish you all the best! May 2018 be your best year yet!

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D.M. Carcamo - University of California, Riverside

D.M. Carcamo loves animals, people and creativity. When not daydreaming, you can find her adventuring and creating @dmcarcamo_. She is Senior Editor on Fresh U.

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