Have you ever left behind December feeling let-down? Are you tired of the build-up to a season just to have it go by in the blink of an eye? Well, then you’ve come to the right place. I have researched and collected the top six ways to take your holiday season to the next level. Below is a list put together by an expert of festivities that will be sure to make your holidays more jolly and jovial . . .
- Visit Portsmouth: Everyone goes to Portsmouth in the summer, but we tend to forget about it when winter rolls around. Don’t! In my expert opinion, Portsmouth is the best at Christmastime. With lights in the trees and wreaths on the lampposts, a winter night in Portsmouth is just the thing to put you in the holiday spirit! Get your Christmas shopping done in the most festive atmosphere in New Hampshire with a cup of warm hot chocolate in your hand (and don’t forget to get flatbread at The Flatbread Company!) You haven’t seen the true beauty of Portsmouth until you’ve seen it lit by warm street lamps through a flurry of snowflakes.
- Night-In: If the cold prevents you from venturing far from your home, don’t worry! Cozy up with some friends and binge all of the movies that will revive the holiday spirit from your childhood. Our suggestions include but are not limited to: The Polar Express, Christmas Vacation, A Year Without a Santa Claus, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original AND Jim Carrey versions), Elf, and every one of the seemingly identical Hallmark movies intended for middle-aged women but we all secretly love. Bake cookies, do a mini gift-swap, discuss Christmas plans and eggnog preferences! There’s no time like the holidays to reach maximum cozy levels.
- Get a Gym Membership: Before you click off, hear us out. Endorphins can de-Scrooge anyone in a festive funk! It will also make you feel less guilty as you shove cookies and stuffing down your throat. FitLab has locations in Manchester, Goffstown, and Merrimack (although we highly recommend the Merrimack one) and offers a monthly membership of $40 a month for students! Get a membership for you and a friend to workout together! They also have strength and cardio classes if you struggle to motivate yourself in a solo workout. But don’t be intimidated! It will be you and a bunch of middle-aged women working up a sweat with those cookies in mind. Or go to their Zumba classes! Grab your friend and go get some cardio done by dancing to remixes of your favorite Christmas songs with fifteen or so 60-year-olds! Trust us, it’s a jolly good time.
- Throw a Party: But not just any party! Replace the punch with warm hot chocolate, Scorpion with Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, and tank tops with ugly Christmas sweaters and fuzzy socks! Make it a Secret Santa party, or a Yankee Swap, or even a White Elephant if you’re bell-ing on a budget. There’s no better feeling than festivities with friends.
- Mix Up the Homework Routine: Sometimes just adding something a bit different to your typical routine can help to make your holiday season special. Do homework somewhere cozy. I recommend Starbucks where carols are always playing and holiday mugs are everywhere! Pro-Tip: You can request your coffee to be “for here” and they’ll put it in a mug for you with some adorable red sprinkles. This can both boost your Christmas spirit and give you that last push of motivation to finish your 2018 year strong. Especially for my fellow seniors, nothing can get you through IOC preparations like a good white chocolate mocha latte.
- Read: There are tons of books out there that take place around the holidays! I recommend Let It Snow, a collaborative novel between John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson where three parallel stories taking place on Christmas Eve intersect in ways you wouldn’t expect. It’s light-hearted enough to drain you of whatever negativity remains in you after reading Annie Dillard for far too long, and John Green is a pro-panderer who knows exactly how to hook teens like ourselves with picturesque love stories. But, if you’re not into the good old chick-flicks, try out I Am Half-Sick of Shadows from the Flavia de Luce series! This follows a murder mystery set in 1950’s England taking place a few days before Christmas in teenage sleuth Flavia de Luce’s old mansion. It’s a perfect balance of an intriguing murder, yet not too morbid to dampen your spirits.
With these tips in mind, I wish you a very merry and bright holiday and hope you find some of these suggestions useful in enhancing your holiday season! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so take advantage of it!