Whether you're the type of person that starts getting into the holiday spirit the second Thanksgiving ends or you prefer to hold back until December 1st, it's always fun to start building up anticipation for the holidays. Spreading this excitement with those closest to you is an integral part of the season. Here are ten ways to get festive — most of which you can get your friends and family involved in as well.
1. Listen to holiday music.
It's never really the holidays until every store you walk into is playing festive music. Get a jump start on the holiday jams by making a playlist of your favorite winter tunes and dance around your dorm with them on repeat. Tired of the classics? Check out this list of contemporary Christmas songs.
2. Decorate your dorm.
Snowmen, reindeer and penguins all set the scene for an adorable winter wonderland. Pick up some inexpensive Christmas decorations at a store like TJ Maxx or Target to give your room some festive flair. You can even make your own dorm decor — like the classic construction paper chain garland! Decorating the outside of one's door with wrapping paper and garland is also a cute and popular trend in holiday dorm decorating.
3. Buy gifts for your family and friends.
Winter is the season of giving and nothing is more exciting than picking out gifts for the people you care about. Watching a person open something you chose specifically for them is always a feel-good event, so just selecting presents in the first place should get you excited for the holidays.
4. Go ice skating.
Ice skating is a classic winter activity, so bundle up and head out to your local ice rink. No matter your skill level, going skating with friends is always fun. Make sure you check for any college nights or discounts before heading out though, so you get the most for your money.
5. Start practicing your holiday food recipes.
Anything that your family usually makes as comfort food during the winter is proven to get you in the holiday spirit. Gingerbread, cookies, stuffing, mashed potatoes — you name it. If you have access to a kitchen, try recreating family recipes yourself. Not only will you end up with a festive snack, but you'll also be ready to help cook when you go home for winter break.
6. Go smell all the holiday candles that you can find in stores.
Winter-themed candles pop up practically everywhere this time of year, and what better way to bring back festive memories than to breathe in the scents of the holidays. Go shopping with friends and critique the scents. However, don't end up buying too many (especially if your dorm doesn't allow them)!
7. Go to a tree lighting.
Tree lightings are a festive and colorful celebration where everyone is welcome. These winter events work to establish a sense of local unity and togetherness during the holiday season. The awe surrounding the tree and almost tangible excitement for the holidays spreads like wildfire. A tree lighting is the one event that marks the start of winter festivities for everyone attending.
8. Get a winter Starbucks drink.
Gingerbread Lattes and Peppermint Mochas galore! Go get one while they're in season. Nothing beats the warmth of a hot Starbucks drink and their token winter flavors when facing cold weather. These seasonal beverages and their much anticipated winter cup designs mark the start of winter for many Starbucks fans.
9. Watch classic holiday movies!
A classic holiday movie can be anything from "A Christmas Story" to "Die Hard," depending on who you are. This is especially sentimental if your family has always watched a random, non-holiday-themed movie around wintertime that has forever been associated with the holidays in your household. However, don't forget the tried and true holiday-themed films that have defined the season as we know it. Need some ideas of what to watch? Scan this list of the nine best holiday movies on Netflix.
10. Break out those ugly sweaters.
Buying or making your own ugly sweater around the holidays is a wardrobe must. Not only will its presence in your closet remind you of the season's festivities, but once you start to wear it around, it'll get other people in a festive mood as well. Get your friends involved by hosting a DIY ugly sweater workshop complete with acrylic paints, holiday-themed fabric, pom poms, garlands and more! Just ask your friends to bring an old sweater and get festive!
The holidays are all about spreading childlike joy and bringing people closer together. Be the force that gets your friends and family into a festive mood by employing these strategies, and start your celebrating.