TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27TH, 2020

Christmas is one of the most memorable times of the year — whether you choose to enjoy the time with loved ones, to embrace the holiday spirit or to commemorate a religious and traditional celebration, Christmas is a time to appreciate what you have. With the holidays nearing on Dec. 25, here are some things you can do to capture the Christmas spirit and make the most out of your time away from school.

Activities

Christmas is often a time of year when people come together and join to practice age-old traditions that celebrate the Christmas spirit. Visiting Christmas Tree Lane on Fulton Street is one of many celebrations that capture the essence of the holidays in Palo Alto. There is nothing better than taking a stroll down Fulton Avenue with a hot drink and your family to see the extravagant and seemingly limitless decorations that embellish the houses of Christmas Tree Lane. Relax and take your time off school to see the sparkling Christmas lights, reindeer, snowmen and Santas that only come around this special but chilly time of year.

If you don’t want to venture outside to celebrate Christmas this year, there are still many things you can do in the comfort of your own home. “Elf”, “Home Alone”, “The Grinch”, “The Polar Express” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” — who has not seen or at least heard of these classic films that always return each year during the holidays? If you have not, you have lots to do during Christmas. These films are fun, filled with holiday spirit and are sure to get you into the cheerful mood that Christmas brings each year. If you have seen these movies before, do not worry — these films never get old and can be rewatched over and over again. Or, you can try watching new movies — there is an endless selection of holiday films you can select from. So, spend some time watching these classics with your family and friends to truly embrace the Christmas spirit and to escape reality into the world of elves, Santas and reindeer.

Treats

When you think of the holidays, you may think of delicious, mouthwatering treats. To make a statement, you can take simple snacks and jazz them up for the holidays by adding decorations. The most basic snack starts from pretzels. Pretzels can easily be transformed into festive treats by dipping pretzels in melted chocolate or by combining candies and pretzels to make an addicting trail mix. For those who prefer something healthier, strawberries are an easy fruit to embellish. You can easily add frosting and sprinkles to create little figures or trees. Lastly, if you are a naturally gifted cook or are just up to a challenge, making and decorating cupcakes is a fun way to portray holiday spirit in delicious treats. You can frost the face of a snowman or use decorations such as mistletoe or snowflakes.

Besides decoratingtreats, the holidays are also a good time to spice up warm drinks which are perfect for the colder weather. It all starts with basic drinks like coffee or hot chocolate. From there, you can add cinnamon, spices or peppermint to give plain drinks the taste of the season. Another well-known holiday beverage is apple cider. Although cider can be found in stores, homemade apple cider is much more satisfying and also simple to make. Starting from apple juice, all you have to do is stir in some spices such as nutmeg, cloves, ginger or cinnamon until the flavor is just right. These festive treats and drinks are some of the best ways to impress your friends over the holidays.

Decorations

Christmas just is not the same without all the festive decorations that embellish houses, streets and stores each year. Decorations are the best ways to light up the season and to bring the spirit of Christmas into your home. While you can easily buy standard Christmas decorations at stores, spending time with your loved ones to create your own homemade decorations will bring a unique feel to both your home and to Christmas itself. Here are our tips for decorating your house this Christmas.

Christmas trees are classic decorations that can always be found in homes during the holiday season. This year, spice up your holidays by creating your own ornaments to embellish your tree. Take a clear ornament and use acrylic paint to create your own designs on it, or use fun Christmas stickers to embellish it. You can paint snowmen, Santa or whatever your heart may desire on your ornament — that is the best part about making your own, personalized decorations.

It is always the small details that make the most difference in our lives, and decorating for Christmas is no different. If you do not want to spend too much time creating decorations, you can always use paper to make small embellishments in order to accentuate the Christmas spirit in your home. The possibilities are endless — you can cut countless snowflakes, angels, or mistletoes out of paper and use these cute cutouts as decorations all over your house. You can do whatever you like with your decorations, like decorating your dinner table, the walls in your room, the windows or your own desk. Spend some time this Christmas year personalizing your home and enjoying the Christmas spirit through homemade decorations and embellishments.

Gifts

People look forward to the holidays for the yummy treats and celebrative activities, but more so, they often look forward to the numerous gifts waiting under the Christmas trees. This is why it is important to plan ahead and prepare presents early. Most younger children will be satisfied with popular toys, but make sure to buy similar toys for all younger relatives or you may have some trouble. If you are having difficulties deciding what to buy try something that looks expensive or has a hidden meaning to it. This creates the illusion that you put a lot of effort into choosing the gift. For teenagers, you can go for electronics like speakers, headphones, etc. and if you’re scared of letting them down, just give them money and they can buy themselves whatever they want.

If you just want to give your friends and family a small gift of appreciation and would rather not spend a lot of money, you can always make some homemade treats and package them in cute holiday containers. If you’re too lazy to bake cookies or brownies, just take a jar and neatly fill it with hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, and peppermint sticks or flour, sugar, and chocolate chips. These cocoa mix and cookie mix jars are cute and easy to make. If you don’t want to do anything or you’re in a rush, just go to any local grocery store or florist and buy some pretty, festive flowers.

Turning the holidays from an exciting time of year into the most amazing time of year is simple. With festive activities, treats, decorations, and gifts, you will never feel more prepared. Sit back, embrace the upcoming season and take time away from school and stress to truly celebrate the magic of Christmas.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Miranda Chen is a senior at Palo Alto High School. Despite only being a staff writer on The Campanile for one year before she became an Editor-in-Chief, Chen has grown to become incredibly passionate and excited about her future in the field of journalism. When she is not participating in journalism, she enjoys spending time at coffee shops, playing the cello and enjoying time with her friends outside of school. In the 2015-16 school year, Chen is excited to serve as an Editor-in-Chief and work with the rest of the editors in order to improve The Campanile.

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