Family time is sacred for the student who has just spent months away at college, so finding ways to celebrate Christmas is of prime importance. During the semester, we are reminded of how much we miss the creature comforts we grow so attached to at home and sometimes, we get homesick. Come home this holiday season with some fun ways to celebrate Christmas, optimizing the little time you have with your family before it all begins again.
1. Choose a different main course
If anything will shake up the tradition of Christmas day, it’s changing the main course. American’s everywhere will be feasting on the Turkey roast with all the trimmings, but why not switch it up and have a fish main, instead?
2. Bake the dessert
One of the greatest gifts of all, is food—and this rings especially true at Christmas time. Celebrate Christmas this year by baking the family Christmas pudding and impress your family with those cooking skills you’ve acquired since you’ve been away!
You'll enjoy: Two alternatives to Christmas Pudding
3. Handmade gifts
Nothing says sentiment more than a handmade gift. A great way to celebrate Christmas this year is to set aside some time to craft a keepsake for a friend or for your family. Perhaps you enjoy knitting or want to give it a go? A ball of wool and knitting needles are inexpensive, but result in fantastic blankets or tea cosies—a great way to kick off the Christmas celebration.
4. Host a surprise Christmas party
What better way to celebrate Christmas than with a great party? Invite all of your family and close friends over to your family’s home and lay out a fabulous spread. Click play on the stereo and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
5. Write letters
With tech and social media so prevalent in our modern lives, we forget that writing a small note can be such a welcome gift. Along with usual gifts, write a handwritten letter telling that person that you are thankful for all that they have done this year—I promise it will put a smile on their faces!
6. Invite that exchange student over to your family for Christmas day
Have you ever been an exchange student? No? International students often find themselves unable to afford to go home and will have to spend Christmas on their own in their dorm. Give them a way to celebrate Christmas this year and invite the exchange student from your class over for Christmas dinner.
7. Wear Christmas sweaters for the day
If there’s a time to be goofy, then it’s definitely at Christmas! Get your whole family involved and buy each other fun Christmas sweaters to wear on the big day. What a great family Holiday snap that will be!
8. All Pitch in with Christmas dinner
Mom is usually the one slaving over a hot stove when Christmas day comes. This ultimately means that she doesn’t get to sit in on the Christmas movies or the festive games that you usually have lined up. Give her the gift of breathing, and take it in turns to watch the cooking, baste the turkey or boil the vegetables. When it comes to washing up after the big feast, teamwork means it’ll all get done super-fast so that you can all enjoy the rest of the day as a family.
9. Buy a disposable camera for vintage shots
Let’s not forget that in the not-so-distant past, we used film to capture those special moments in our lives. In an effort to steer away from our iPhones and social media, another way to celebrate Christmas is to buy a cheap disposable camera from the local Walmart and snap your family throughout the day for printed keepsakes.
10. Have yourself a merry movie marathon
We must all admit that we enjoy spending time on our own sometimes, and while Christmas might not be the ideal time to do it, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Christmas all the same. If you're spending the holidays on your own this year, movie marathons provide hours of endless entertainment, reason for snacking AND passes the time. Best of all, this is an activity for multiple people even without being in the same room! If you're missing family, use skype to talk to your family while the same movie is playing in the background.
Need some movie inspiration? Read: Nine Best Christmas Movies
Wake up early and meet the sunrise, take photos and feel gratitude. Write about your experience of a solitary Christmas at the end of the day, eat your favorite foods and take a long bubble bath right before bed to wind down for one of the most appealing ways to celebrate Christmas.