‘Tis the season!
We can’t believe we’re already down to the last month of 2018, but we’re certainly not complaining. December is, by far, the most magical month of the entire year. From the weather to the seasonal eats to the holiday cheer that always fills the air, it’s impossible to not feel a twinge of hope for what’s to come. Here are our five favorite ways to enjoy this beautiful time.
1. Spend some quality time outdoors.
Sure, there’s a nip in the air and the wind gusts are fierce, but there’s just something so otherworldly about Mother Nature blanketed in fresh snow. So take advantage of opportunities to immerse yourself in it! From day hikes on weekends to morning strolls around your neighborhood, there are plenty of peaceful moments where you can be present and appreciate the winter wonderland surrounding you.
2. Throw a decorating party.
No matter which holiday you celebrate this month, share the festivities with your loved ones from the very beginning. Invite your friends and family members over for the afternoon, switch on your favorite holiday playlist, get some hot cider brewing and make a party out of it! The memories you create by transforming your home alongside the people you care about most will last far longer than the decorations you’d be setting out alone otherwise. Plus, it’ll make you appreciate the holiday vibes in your home that much more over the next few weeks.
3. Get creative in the kitchen.
‘Tis the season to enjoy all of the best spices and indulgent ingredients of the year! Roast some holiday spiced nuts, whip up a batch of eggnog from scratch, let a pot of comforting stew simmer in your slow cooker and bake to your heart’s content. No matter your favorite flavors, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the kitchen during this magical time. And rather than stressing out and counting calories, just focus on finding fresh, local ingredients and savoring what they bring to the table.
4. Take some time to unplug and reflect.
Most of us have some paid time off built into this month, so why not take full advantage of it together? Leave your cell phone in the other room during family time, let those work emails wait until 2019 and trade Netflix binging for good, old-fashioned conversation with the family members you probably only get to see a handful of times each year. Then, in those instances where you find yourself alone, sit in that quiet for a little bit longer than you typically would and just be where you are.
5. Volunteer in your local community.
If you really want to connect with the “giving back” sentiment of the holidays, look into ways you can volunteer near you. From tending to homeless dogs and cats at the local animal shelter to serving dinner at the soup kitchen to families in need, there are plenty of ways you can give your time, energy and generosity to others that has nothing to do with buying presents. What’s more, volunteering is one of the few things that won’t put added stress on your personal budget during this time of year, so there’s really no reason to not jump in.