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!