Why you should awaken your Christmas spirit this year

Photo of Christmas decorations and stockings
Scott Feldstein/Creative Commons

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It has been a crazy year for everyone. From spending three months in quarantine to fearing for our lives thanks to “murder hornets,” 2020 didn’t seem like a year that would want to let us catch a break. Additionally, with finals season fast approaching, it can be hard to look at the end of 2020 as something we should enjoy, rather than something to quickly get over with.

But believe it or not, the year can still be redeemed with just a little holiday cheer! Remember when you were a child and you would anxiously wait for Christmas Day, bundled up under the covers with your hot chocolate? Watching “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” reruns, “Frosty the Snowman” or whatever else was on TV with no worries whatsoever? It can be hard to picture that point in our lives, or at least for me it is. Now this is a time of year that I associate with hitting essay word counts, dreading final papers and exams and, of course, rummaging through all my notes so that I can be as prepared as possible for finals.

However, now more than ever, it is so very vital that we as Bears try to embrace the Christmas spirit. And it’s not just another cheesy trope you would find in a Christmas movie such as “Elf” or “The Polar Express” (two amazing films that, by the way, I really recommend). So, whether that be through film or other fun festivities, you should definitely look to the holidays as an outlet for your stress this year.

If you’re into decorating for example, psychoanalyst Steve McKeown claimed that “decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extend the excitement!” Not only will you be making your house look festive and jolly, you will feel the Christmas spirit too, and your mood will benefit. Christmas can bring us feelings of happiness and joy associated with childhood, emotions we often don’t allow ourselves to feel because we are stressed out with work or academics.

Plus, decorating can also focus your energy on a creative outlet and helps you find different ways to express yourself. Creative projects such as making crafts to hang up around the house, doing DIY ornaments or even just shopping for decorations can brighten up your mood. If you live with family or friends, you should definitely try these things out with them too. It’s more fun to share the holiday spirit with everyone. We don’t need any Scrooges this season, that’s for sure!

Christmas can bring us feelings of happiness and joy associated with childhood, emotions we often don’t allow ourselves to feel because we are stressed out with work or academics.

Even just sitting down and taking the time to decorate might give you a chance to do things you don’t normally get to do during finals. Whether that be expressing your creative side with Christmas art and activities or creating playlists specially geared toward relaxing by the fire instead of studying, Christmas cheer can help you take a proper break and refresh.

But Christmas isn’t just about the decorations; it’s also about the music. Aside from putting up a tree and making garlands, turn on those holiday bops and get ready to rock around the tree or mellow down with a cup of cocoa and snuggle up with your pal by the fire. Music is always a great way to relax or escape the world, and there are tons of great playlists to choose from on Spotify or YouTube.

Sometimes holiday bangers can get a little overplayed, especially if you’re a retail worker or you have little siblings. In that case, try making Christmas-themed snacks and meals. Decorating doesn’t only have to happen on the tree. You can buy a gingerbread making kit and have Zoom sessions with your friends where you compete to see who can make the best house. Or, try helping out with Christmas dinner this year and test out that delicious roast recipe you’ve had your eyes on for the last couple of months. It doesn’t hurt to try!

By taking part in all these Christmas-themed activities and connecting with your inner child during the holidays, you can escape the crazy state that is the world for a while and just enjoy yourself. Not only will your body thank you for the break, your mind will too. You’re a hardworking Bear, and you deserve a break sometimes. So, let this holiday season grant you the chance to be merry and jolly. Happy holidays!

Contact Pamela Hasbun at [email protected].