Recalibrating Your Christmas

woman putting selected clothes from her wardrobe for donating to a charity shop. decluttering, sorting clothes and cleaning up. reuse, second hand concept. conscious consumer, sustainable lifestyle.

The most magical time of the year has finally arrived, and holiday spirits are high everywhere you look! It’s a time for fabulous parties, giving gifts, and celebrating Christmas with loved ones. But it also comes with a lot of pressure to shell out money you don’t have for that expensive flight home or take time off work that you really can’t afford when you would rather take advantage of that much-needed holiday pay. It can make Christmas challenging, and I know I’m not alone in thinking so. 

I can’t help but compare where I am in life to where I feel I should be, which can be a bit jarring. It’s hard because I really have to get myself back into a gratitude mindset, which is the hardest thing to do when the holidays feel like they’re all about the presents and who has the most extravagant Christmas dinner and best party plans.

In research conducted by the mental health charity MIND in 2017, 45% of people aged between 18 and 24 said they’d be too embarrassed to admit that they’re lonely at Christmas, while two in five people admitted they’d be less likely to talk about their mental health to loved ones at Christmas time. 

With that said, I wanted to write this article to throw all the holiday expectations out the window and encourage you to create beautiful memories with your chosen family, whether that means being with a group of friends in the same boat or even filling your days with fun stuff to give back to yourself and be a little selfish because, after all, you’ve been working hard all year and when did you last set aside or even have the time to plan little staycation events for yourself? Remember that December 25 is just one of 365 days in the year, and you should decide how and whom you spend it with! 

Embrace New Traditions

When spending Christmas away from my family, one of the keys is creating new traditions that resonate with my current situation. I start by listing activities or experiences I’ve always wanted to try but couldn’t due to family obligations. This might include exploring a new hobby, volunteering, or planning a solo day trip. 

Embracing new traditions helps shift my focus away from what I’m missing and instead builds a Christmas experience that’s my own.

To implement this in your life, start by preparing your space with DIY Christmas decorations. Sure, you could buy decorations, but making them yourself can be really cute and therapeutic. Plus, think of how accomplished you’ll feel once you’ve made cute ornaments you can show off on Instagram! It’s easier than it sounds – you can use ribbon, ornaments, and other dollar-store finds to make homemade designs to use indoors and outdoors.

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Start with something like this cookie container made using Pringles cans that have been blowing up on TikTok (

Plus, it comes with a bonus: You get to snack on salty chips and refill the cans with store-bought or homemade cookies. 

Next, put something cute on that front door to let everyone know you’re no Grinch! And don’t worry, this good Housekeeping article has you covered: (

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Then, organize a holiday binge session of all your favorite Christmas movies like my fave “Deck the Halls.” You can one-up this new tradition if you feel like connecting with your loved ones back home by trying out a “Watch Party” function where you sync to your family or friend’s TVs so you’re watching simultaneously! This will make it feel like your home away from home, and what the hell is technology for if you can’t binge with your buddies and chat the whole way through with the live chat on screen?

If you feel like doing something different and want to be around people, the NBA on Christmas Day is such a boss move! Apart from the NBA Playoffs and All-Star Weekend, the NBA on Christmas is the biggest stage of the season. You can go alone and catch the Christmas spirit by proxy with all the energy that a good game day brings, or if you don’t want to go it alone, bring some friends, get a little turned up, and jump around like you’re living your best festive life. Ticketmaster sells tickets in almost every city; I dare you to try to get the holiday sads at a live game.

Next up, if you’re feeling too cozy and want to stay in your robe all day, that sounds like the perfect recipe to read every book you said you wanted to read last year but didn’t. You’ll feel super grounded, meditating in someone else’s thoughts, and I always feel so at peace and grounded after reading.

This next part is for doing some good for yourself and others; let’s get you ready leading up to the “new year, new you” vibe.

First, take advantage of the extra vacation time to do that wardrobe purge you’ve meant to do for ages but have yet to find the time. I have never once felt bad after a wardrobe purge. Not only do you feel more organized and refreshed making way for the new, but it’s the added feel-good energy that goes perfectly with the gratitude and Christmas spirit we are trying to get than when you go down to Goodwill and re-home your unwanted stuff to someone that really needs these items.

You can also donate your time to a local food bank or women’s shelter. I did it recently, which was better than any gift I could have received. Not to sound too corny, but giving can feel better than receiving. All the feels. Priceless.

Now reward yourself for doing so well all year and stop off at your local photo printing service (there’s a ton at CVS), develop some photos, and order some cute frames off Amazon because having IRL pictures in frames around your house is the new flex we all should want. It’s also a super cute way to remind us of who we care about, thus leaving us with a clear list of who to thank this year for being in our lives, which leads me to my next task, Christmas babies.

A Groupon gal’s day (or even a solo date) is always a good time! I don’t care how little or how much you have to spend, they always have something for every occasion, and now that most people are out of town, you might find you have the whole place to yourself. If your friends are still in town, go on Groupon and find some friend date spa action. Again, this is for a fraction of the regular price, and even treatments as simple as a mani-pedi with your bestie never fail to get you into the spirit.

Lastly, remember this is just a guide; you can bake, dress, party, and purge any way that floats your boat. This roadmap has helped me through the season, and I choose to spend the holidays alone at least once every few years to fall in love with the festive season again by checking these items and checking in with myself.

By embracing new traditions, reaching out to loved ones, giving back, decorating your space, and practicing self-care, you can turn this time of year into a season of personal growth, connection, and happiness. Remember that the holiday spirit is all around you, waiting for you to embrace it and make the most of it, even when you can’t be with your family.

Merry Christmas, Biotches!

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