Finding The Good Times At Christmas


I have to admit, that I’m pretty much the Grinch when it comes to Christmas.  The carols, the frantic shopping, the need to see everyone on or before Christmas day as if the apocalypse is coming.  It’s too much for me.

So that I don’t completely kill the buzz each year, I’ve tried to find some simple ways to find the good times and block out the noise.  If you find yourself with festive-fatigue like me, hopefully this will be helpful.

1. Light It Up

Admit it. Christmas lights are fun. Even if it’s only to walk around and see who’s going to have the biggest electricity bill in order to out do the Tidwells in No.9.

Find a street near you that’s lighting up and get down there, or string up your own fairy lights. It’s hard to not get in the Christmas spirit when you’re surrounded by so many LEDs.

2. Get Crackin’ (Jokes)

We all know how lame and safe the jokes are in the Christmas crackers. They are usually so benign that there’s nothing funny about them.

Well, each year my friend prepares his own Christmas joke and reads it out as if it was from the cracker. He makes sure that the joke is perfectly inappropriate or incredibly pointed at a family member (choose this family member wisely – you’ve got a full day ahead of you).

3. Surprise Gift! BAM!

Christmas means a lot of things to different people. The most common factor in everyone’s Christmas is ‘giving’. Sometimes this can just turn into a list of ‘Who I need to buy for’.

Maybe for someone on that list, you make extra effort. Maybe you overbuy for them or make them something really special.

Maybe you and your mates don’t ‘do Christmas presents’ – well, surprise them! Maybe, you appreciate your barista and he needs to know it, buy that hard working hipster some beard oil or sign them up to the Dollar Shave Club!

There’s nothing better than spoiling someone you care about. Especially when it’s prefaced with the outburst “SURPRISE!”

4. Treat Yo’Self

I know this isn’t in the spirit of things, but I buy myself a Christmas present … or two. Yeah, it sounds needy and lame but I find it’s a good way to celebrate the year and fill in the gaps that others have missed.

It’s usually something I can share on Christmas day, but the
pre-requisite is to buy something that I want that no one else will buy me. A good single malt scotch, overpriced wine, 2kg of high grade Chocolate (the stuff that should be illegal) … 3 dozen Portuguese tarts. Whatever you want.

5. End the night with a Christmas Movie

Christmas day is a big one for the Hanna’s. Different venues, different types of traditional meals, way too many presents and the standard ‘weird date’ that my uncle brings.

So at the end of a big day, I need some time out. The last few years I’ve been ending the night with a Christmas movie. I’m not talking It’s a Wonderful Life or Love Actually. I’m talking about movies that just happen to be set around Christmas time for no reason.

The first year, it was Die Hard. Last year, it was Home Alone. This year, my shortlist is: In Bruges, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Iron Man 3 or the more family friendly Millions.

… who am I kidding. I’m definitely watching Iron Man 3 cause I’m a geek.

Here’s a great list of the 50 Best Christmas Movies.

Hope you have a great Christmas!