Technically I’m a Jew, which means every year right around this time, I start to feel totally left out. But with years of experience feeling ostracized and semi-depressed, I think I have finally nailed down a few sure-fire ways to up my endorphin flow during the holiday season, without resorting to anything super extreme like a last minute Catholicism conversion (Chill dad, chill! My menorah isn’t going anywhere any time soon). So religious preferences aside, I’m inviting all of you to reserve some time on your iCal so you can take full advantage of the season’s simplest secular pleasures! Plus, what’s more holiday-themed than a lovely little laundry list?! Not much!
Make a snow angel. I know this requires snow or at least a significant amount of fake snow, so I apologize ahead of time if you don’t have any handy. The last time I made a snow angel, I was still wearing “bras” from Limited Too and though my snow angels from holidays past are most definitely buried and LONG gone, that euphoric feeling of creating an angel in brand new wintertime powder is still fresh in my mind. It’s such a simple act, but it will make you feel young again/force you to lighten up, I swear. And the added bonus? Unlike the limited technological possibilities you had available during your youth, modern day allows us all to capture this rare care-free/artistic moment and then humblebrag blast it all over the internets! So filter that badass angel you just whipped up with some good ol’ Valencia and call it a celebration.
Hold a red Starbucks cup. I’ve heard that just by carrying these little cups of joy around town, your happiness will increase tenfold. I bet you could even tote a red cup filled with air and still reap the joyous rewards. Cheap AND festive?! It’s the little things, you guys!
Bake stuff. Chances are it’s cold outside, though it’s also very possible that you live in a region that’s been struck with unseasonably warm weather. (Shout out to Los Angeles and your absurd 80-degree November temps!) But forgetting about global warming symptoms for just a sec, you have to admit there’s something truly cozy about placing sugary flour balls into the oven and then impatiently waiting as the whole house fills with that buttery smell humans are fully wired to enjoy. Suck at baking and/or not down with manual labor? Go buy some break and bakes! If your cookies come out even half as good as they look in those Nestle Tollhouse commercials, then you can consider this Festivus a total success.
Drink your calories. Hot chocolate, peppermint mochas, a pumpkin flavored beverage — whatever floats your secular boat! Nothing says holiday cheer like liquid indulgence. And if you really feel like getting into the spirit, add some alcohol to the mix! Everyone else is already drunk, so you might as well put in a solid effort to catch up with the rest.
Go festive light gazing. I’m no Old Testament expert, but I’m pretty sure “Thou shalt hang pretty, glittery lights for everyone to see” is not included in the 10 Commandments and is therefore up for grabs to whoever wants to get stapling/hanging/wrapping these little strings of joy. And speaking of commandments, I’m strongly suggesting that you gather a few friends, hop into a cab/SUV/your mom’s minivan, and take a few laps around the neighborhood while you appreciate all of the sparkly beauty provided by the elaborately decorated homes/trees/bushes/storefronts! And maybe, if you’re feelin’ extra merry, blast some Nat King Cole out the window while you sip on a few of those delicious liquid calories.
Give ‘N Syncs’s 1998 holiday album a quick listen. Are tracks 3-9 sprinkled with semi-religious undertones? Sure. Are Lance’s soft signature bass-y whispers on “Under My Tree” laced with subliminal Bible verses? It’s possible. Do ‘N Sync’s hypnotic melodies and perfect harmonizations outweigh their obvious partial-ness to Christmas? Of course they do. I think JC sing-said it best when he angelically stated: No matter what your holiday/It’s time to celebrate/And put your worries aside/And open up your mind. Our second-ish favorite boy band member knows what’s up.
Participate in cold weather sports. Athleticism is optional, but if you’re one of those naturally coordinated, active people who can pick up any sport no problem, then MAZEL TOV! You’re single handedly making those of us gripping the ice rink’s kiddie wall for dear life look like holiday pansies. But whether or not you’ve been blessed with hand-eye coordination or any sense of balance, this is the time of year to throw your self-consciousness out the twinkle light rimmed window and enjoy some season-themed exercise! And if you’re worried about making a total fool of yourself, just remember – everyone around you is way too high off of holiday cheer to even notice your multiple face plants into the snow/ice/miscellaneous frozen surrounding surfaces.
DIY it up with a cheesy greeting card. And then if you’re feeling really warm and fuzzy, send it via snail mail. All of your friends will be shocked that they received something in the mail that wasn’t a) a Pottery Barn catalog or b) an offer to open up a new credit card. So capture you and your significant other/dog/cat/etc’s most flattering mug shot, head on over to your local drug store, and choose the tackiest holiday-themed border design available in their photo department. Look at you spreading that cheer, making all of your friends and family grin from ear to ear! Okay okay, I’m done.