Holiday spirit – How to stay in the mood for Christmas

How do we keep the holiday spirit during the last month of the year?

Holiday Spirit

With it being the holiday season time is going to fly and soon we will be in 2020. It seems futuristic to me. With it being the last month of the year, it seems like this month is always the hardest. Between Christmas dinner and gifts it seems for most people including myself that bills, car issues, and other setbacks seem to fall in our laps a lot more.

It’s an episode of Survivor over here!

Right now, Mike and I are trying to survive since we didn’t know his work would be this slow. I mean we are cutting it close when it comes to paying our bills. We will make it work but its a little stressful. I am just glad we are done Christmas shopping for Mikayla.

Mike and I normally don’t get gifts for each other. It’s hard on him because he wants to give us the best Christmas EVER! However, I don’t need or want anything. If I need something its usually something I can pick up during the year, but most likely won’t. Somethings I just slack on getting and Mike picks it up for me for Christmas. He knows I won’t spend the money to buy it for myself.

Last year he bought me hair dye and razors (like the good ones). I will go for cheap things for myself and spend more money on others. The holiday season is to be thankful for what we have in our lives like family, friends, the roof over our head and the food in our bellies.

Where did the holiday spirit go?

One thing that does annoy me is that with each passing generation, the season is losing its value as the times are changing. I remember as a kid loving to go see light displays, seeing Santa, decorating the house with fall decorations than with Christmas. It was my favorite time of the year. I had never felt more close to my family.

Kids believe less and less in the spirit and more of what new electronic mommy and daddy will buy them. The mystery of Santa watching our kids being naughty or nice has lost its effect. Mikayla could care less what Santa has seen her do, she still did it. There were no consequences. She stopped believing last year and that was the year the straw broke the camels back for me.

Christmas was almost canceled

Last year I spent my Christmas crying. I spent months and months picking out gifts I thought Mikayla would love. Present after present she opened she would just look at it, no reaction and say next. No emotion, no appreciation! It killed me. I started bawling. It still makes me cry while writing this. I was going to find a picture from last Christmas and I don’t have any. That’s crazy I did not take any photos or videos.

Now you can tell how upset I was… I didn’t even want proof it happened. LOL

I was determined not to the holidays this year. I was not going to decorate, shop, or go to events. My holiday spirit was lost. With Mikayla, it had gotten worse over the past couple of years. I don’t know if it’s because she has Christmas with so many people. She has Christmas with us, with her mother, with her mother’s mom, and her mom’s fiance mother. She has 4 Christmas’s.

Ours is first so you think she would be excited but she wasn’t.

What saved Christmas?

Mikey… plain, and simple. My stepson. Back in August, we decided to ask Mikey if he wanted to come down from Massachusetts for Christmas and he said yes. I got really excited and then really annoyed. There went my plan to punish everyone for their Grinch-ness the year before.

I got over it. This would be our first Christmas as a family. Me, Mike and our 2 kids. We bought Mikey and his girlfriend Alexa’s plane tickets. They would be here for 2 weeks, into the new year. I t was going to be amazing!

This was going to be Mikey’s first Christmas with Mike in a long time. It’s also Mikayla’s first Christmas with her brother. So we have to make things special. Were going all out, but not going into debt over it. Everything we do is on a budget because again were are still working on our finances.

As the world turns…

However, that dream lasted for 4 months.

Mikey told us in mid-November he couldn’t come. We were sad and depressed. It is was it is. There is always next year. We needed to do something to get out of this funk.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I just needed to share how my holiday season has been going so far and I think some can relate. I could easily come up with more than 10 tips on keeping the holiday spirit this season. If you would like to see part 2 let me know. 

So here are a few tips on how to stay in a cheerful mood without ripping your hair out…

On with the TIPS!

1. Stay true to yourself.

If Christmas is your favorite holiday let your freak flag fly. Don’t let others bring you down. Show those around you that you love them and are thankful for them. Maybe your positive attitude will rub off on the Grinches.

Holiday Spirit

2. Set a holiday budget.

Expensive gifts do not show love. I buy one expensive gift, my Step-daughter, that she really wants and the rest of the gifts are practical. Things she will get a lot of use out of.

Holiday Budget

Photo from The Budget Mom

3. Do family-friendly events.

Every year we go to the symphony of lights. It’s a light show done to the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Lights, music, snow, and ice skating. What more could you want?

4. Play your favorite holiday songs.

I love to sing. I am always putting on concerts at my house. Singing, dancing, and maybe making some YouTube videos with the family. 

Christmas playlist

Are you in the holiday spirit yet?

5. Take lots of photos and videos.

Cherish the time you have together and make lots of memories. Nothing brings back the Christmas vibes than watching old videos or looking at photos of past Christmas’. As I mentioned earlier I have none from last year and I feel bad about it. I want to remember the good, the bad, and the ugly. 


Holiday Spirt

6. Make your home holiday-friendly.

Even if you don’t live in ideal weather conditions you can still fake it on the inside. We used to make a fake fireplace to hang our stockings. It was so much fun. Now I just hang them on the wall. We don’t have enough space, but this tradition will come back when we move.

Holiday Spirit

7. Remember loved ones who can’t be with you.

The ones living far away, the ones you may be fighting with, or the ones who may have gone to better places in heaven. When my mom passed at the time my sister and I were not talking but I decided to text her one night while in Walmart that I found a pickle ornament that I was going to buy for mom. My sister replied she had the same idea and bought the same exact one for her tree. My mom was obsessed with pickles and Pepsi. 

8. Do something good for a stranger.

If you see someone having a stressful day and all they want was a coffee, a little pick me up and can’t find their money or the kids are running around screaming. Pay for them. The simple act of kindness could put the pep in their step and then they will pay it forward.

Photo from

9. Watch holiday movies.

They make you nostalgic for a white Christmas and a love story. Everything I am telling you is in those cheesy Christmas movies. Think about how you felt as a kid and hold on to that feeling. I want my kids to have the same goofy look I did when I was their age. We make popcorn, get in our jammies. We grab blankets, pillows, and whatever else we need. Cozying up on the couch with great holiday movies to put you in the holiday spirit. 

Holiday Spirit

10. Show everyone in your life the true meaning of Christmas.

It’s not about the presents, money, food or anything else materialistic. It’s about showing the people you love that you appreciate and are thankful for them for being in your life. The people around you are the ones who lift you up when you are down, who encourage you to take risks to better your life. That chooses to deal with your crazy butt! Most of all they love you. Don’t stress too much Christmas doesn’t have to be done in a week.

How I keep the holiday spirit

That’s it. My 10 tips on keeping the holiday spirit this season! Don’t be stressed if you don’t have a lot of money to buy things we don’t really need. Make your home warm and inviting and share your spirit with everyone in your life and your Christmas will be the best yet.

I am going to block out and let go of what happened last year and focus on this year in hopes Mikayla loves what she got. More importantly, I am going to show my family and friends my love for the season and them. That by the time I am done they won’t want to come over for presents. It’s a win, win. I fill their lives with Christmas joy up the wazoo and I save money by not having to buy presents. lol =)

Soak up the holiday spirit

I am just kidding, I am just soaking in all the holiday spirit and decorating my house. We got the majority of it done. I even have my gifts wrapped and under the tree. Mike and I made it a date night when we took out all the Christmas decor. We had a few drinks, tested some lights, and had a lot of laughs. The following weekend we decorated the tree with Mikayla.

If you have any tips please comment below. I would love to hear what you guys do to keep your spirits high or your favorite Christmas story as a child.

Until next time, have a great day!

Holiday Spirit

53 Replies to “Holiday spirit – How to stay in the mood for Christmas”

  1. Very good written post. It will be valuable to anyone who employess it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

  2. blair villanueva says: Reply

    Watching more Christmas movies including the classics are the best tradition in our home. I am excited to celebrate my first Christmas this year here in Australia and celebrate it with my love.

    1. Christmas time makes me so happy. I start decorating in November. I am excited to celebrate Christmas in our new home.

  3. This is such a great post. The way you wrote it makes me like Christmas. I actually don’t like Christmas because I think can be a little overreacted and people overspend. But this post has reminded me of what Christmas so supposed to be all about. As a minimalist, it scares me to see how much people do for Christmas but I can see that I can adapt Christmas to my lifestyle too. My favorite type is staying true to yourself. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I live in the past. I loved Christmas time growing up in the 80s and 90s. I want that same feeling for my kids. from the 2000s on it has just become so saturated with getting the newest gizmo and gadgets.

  4. Awe, what a lovely post! I’m so sorry about your past Christmas – that’s so disappointing but great job on not letting that get you too down and looking at ways to stay in the holiday spirit this year! These are great tips and even more important this year with COVID and needing to cheer each other up. Especially when not all families can be together this year. After this crazy year I think we need to make Christmas as special as possible – more than ever! And appreciate what we DO have. Traditions, (i’m also old fashioned but that’s how I was brought up) watching movies, kindness for others – SO important. I plan on doing every tradition this year even if I have to tweak them a little bit due to the pandemic. But no matter what – we need to keep each other’s spirits up – such a lovely post! Hope you have an AMAZING holiday this year – you deserve it!

    1. Thank you, that’s all you can do is move on and keep your spirits high.

    2. This is such a beautiful post. Those are some really good pointers for holiday spirit. We always watch some classic Christmas movies and bake cookies for santa together.

  5. I love Christmas sosososo much, my birthday is Christmas ever and even though I hate my birthdays , it doesn’t affect me feelings for the holidays, I love all the movies, lights, food and just the celebrations. Playing songs and decorations are really a great way to keep the spirits alive, thanks for sharing Michele !

    1. That is my favorite part and we start decorating in November. We normally do all the Christmas theme events in our town, but this year it will be different.

  6. I love this post! I am totally already in the Christmas spirit this year. Let’s hope it lasts! And I definitely love showing everyone around me the true meaning of Christmas…especially my kiddos!

    1. That’s all I want. I am nostalgic for the Christmas I had growing up and want my stepdaughter to know the same.

      1. You’re so right about the Christmas season seeming to lose its spirit year on year. I was still having this conversation with my mate some days ago.

        Is it because of modernity, tech, and social media? Or just how exposed we are now to negative news compared to a decade or two ago?

        1. I miss how Christmas was when I was a kid. It makes me so nostalgic.

  7. I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas, and after years of working in retail I mostly dislike all Christmas music. I like your idea of keeping the memories of loved ones and family activities though! And of course watching Home Alone and Christmas Story!

    1. Yeah, you can get burnt out on Christmas music if they start it too early. We only listen to it a couple of times a week so that doesn’t happen to us.

  8. So hard to think that Christmas and the end of the year is already virtually around the corner. Love the tips you have shared here to help encourage the true spirit and intent of Christmas. There is no doubt that this appears to be lost on many children today and that it is so commercialized and focused on just the gifts. I hope this year turns out better than last for you and that your family has the best Christmas possible.

    1. That’s why I make traditions a must in my household. We never make it about the gifts, it’s all about the experiences.

  9. Great suggestions and now that we may not gather in a large group, it doesn’t mean that we cannot embrace the holiday spirit. I do also have some new ornaments ready for my Christmas tree, and I can’t wait to get take them out in a month! – Knycx Journeying

    1. This is our first house where people can see the outside of our house. My fiance is already making a plan on how to decorate the outside. He has been buying and getting free Christmas items for the past year to show our Christmas spirit on the outside of our house. Spreading Christmas spirit around our neighborhood.

  10. This is such a beautiful post. Christmas is magical and it doesn’t matter if you celebrate lavishly or you enjoy a cozy little celebration… I love Christmas and since it’s my birthday too, I enjoy it even more.

    1. From Thanksgiving to Christmas should be about the memories you make. When I think of Christmas I barely think of the gifts I got. I can name a few, but nothing REALLY sticks out for me. I have stories upon stories of the memories that were made.

  11. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not looking forward to christmas this year at all, but yeah i guess we shouldn’t let our spirits die. I love your tips and i agree that we can celebrate christmas even in those simple ways. God bless your family!

    1. Even the simplest Christmas can have the most impact on a person.

  12. Love the intentionality you and your family put into the holidays. It’s quite inspirational.

    1. I pride myself on memories, not items.

  13. Great post! I often see it with my friends and family, they are not up to the holiday and seam tired of it and all the noise and obligations about it

    1. There should be no obligations when it comes to the holidays. Ultimately you should spend it how you want. You can’t control how others will react, so why compromise your peace of mind? That sounds like the making of horrible Christmas memories. I would be over it too.

  14. Sorry that last year’s christmas was so stressful for you but I am glad you shared tips on how to revitalize your holiday spirit. In particular, I love your #8 – doing something good for a stranger. There is so much greed and selfishness that comes with Christmas. So I have found that when you make a commitment to do good things for others, you truly can sense the Christmas Spirit. That coupled with simple family time watching movies, singing songs, decorating, and even baking treats and what can be better!

    1. I 100% agree with you, Eric!

  15. MELANIE EDJOURIAN says: Reply

    Love the tips. I do love Christmas although it will be very different this year. I’ve already started Christmas movies although best not mention how early in the year that was lol.

    1. It will be such a different kind of Christmas. It could be a good thing or a bad thing. My outlook is good.

    2. blair villanueva says: Reply

      No matter how sad 2020 is, my Christmas spirit never fades. I manage to always have that cheerful mood for Christmas.
      But yeah, I feel you annoyed too when someone doesn’t even bother to say ‘Thank You’ when they received my gifts. They are the ones who are blocklisted on the following occasions, lol.

      1. I am right there with you Blair. Christmas is my favorite holiday gifts or no gifts.

  16. This is such a feel good post. I really enjoyed reading it.

    1. All I want is for everyone to feel good!

  17. Christmas is now upon us and we will probably have to stay home for the holidays, maybe we will be getting out for a bit but still, we will celebrate it with our close friends and family. Thanks for sharing your views on how to stay in the mood! I will take out my Christmas tree soon! – Knycx Journeying

    1. I am having a super simple Christmas. Not even really Christmas gift shopping. I might just get a few little “thinking of you” gifts for my Sister and Nephews.

  18. Nice tips! My Christmas plan is still not cleared this year but I liked your idea of keeping the memories of loved ones and family activities.

    1. I don’t think any of our Christmas plans are clear. I know I am not going anywhere and might just have my fiance’s parents over for dinner.

  19. loosing our regular job for most people causes a big set back for most of us,,,my plan is just to celebrate christmas .with my wife and kids exclusively…communicate with my parents in the u.s.a thru zoom with the rest of my sisters.and gift wil be given in cash thru bank transfer only to to my closest friend and relatives.i hope it works accordingly

    1. This is a great plan. Keep it simple and not complicated.

  20. The problem with Christmas is the high expectations – not only materialistic, but also all the other stuff. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it should be cozy, relaxed, comfortable…. whatever that means for each and every one. No matter what: Happy holiday season!

    1. I 100% agree with you, Renata. That’s all I want for any holidays is for it to be cozy, relaxed, and comfortable.

  21. for me Christmas is sharing joy and happiness, I try to do it as much as I can. I also find it great to get several advents to remind myself of a new beautiful day!

    1. I have never done an advent calendar. Maybe I should this year.

  22. Michele, this holiday season will definitely be different and I am grateful for your post which is already putting me in the mood for Christmas. May you have a safe and beautiful Christmas.

    1. Thank you, Marjie. I hope the same for you and your family!

  23. You are so right, the holiday season is the time to be grateful for all the things that we have today.

    1. Thank you, Sandy.

  24. yeah!! I love Dec month of the year because for Xmas 😀 Thanks for this as I really enjoyed my read & planning my xmas celebration too 😀 cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  25. well, watching all holiday movies is always a must 😉

  26. Great post especially with everything going on this year.

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