How to Bring Back the Holiday Cheer

By Naiche, age 16, New York

It seems like Christmas comes earlier and earlier each year. Candy canes and snow globes replace pumpkins and costumes. Doors and stairwells are covered with mistletoe and holly. And cards that say things like, "You put the Merry in my Christmas" are piling up in your room.

When I was younger, this was all so exciting. I'd start making my wish list in the fanciest handwriting I could muster up. I'd get prepped to meet Santa in the 34th Street Macy's. I'd even get the job of putting the star on the top of our tree every year. But as I got older, the coming of December just wasn't the same. It meant that January finals were right around the corner. I had enough money to buy presents, and my list was impossibly long. The coming of the New Year began to seem incredibly scary. (My New Year's resolutions began to actually mean something.)

It seems like the holiday season has lost its ... magic. It's become all about angry shoppers and being stressed. Here are a few tips on how to take a break from the nail-biting and get back into the holiday spirit.

Sneak Some Holiday Tunes onto Your Playlist

It sounds corny right now, but walking through the Christmas tree stands on my block and listening to "Winter Wonderland" makes me feel like I'm in the middle of a made-for-TV movie. Holiday music is the ultimate feel-good music. Listen to Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" while you're under your blanket during the first snow. All of you ladies can dance around to "Santa Baby." And for those who don't celebrate Christmas, have a good laugh with Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song.

Get Your Bake On

If you don't know what to get a few people on your list, bake a few cookies with Betty Crocker's ready-made mix. You can get a few tins and wrap them up. Not only do you have a gift solution, but nothing's more fun than making Santa's frosting beard and Rudolph's sprinkle nose.

The Gift of Giving

Nothing's better than seeing a smile on someone else's face because you put it there. Take a day during the holidays to bring a small toy to the Toys for Tots Foundation, bring some candy canes to the sick kids at your local hospital and bring Christmas to them, or donate some canned food to a shelter and help make another family's Christmas dinner!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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