15 things to help you feel merry

Shopping, wrapping, traveling, cooking and endless errands fill up the last few weeks of December. No matter the holiday you celebrate, you’re likely feeling or have felt the pressure of the day-before-the-day preparations. 

Well, I’m all about perspective and rest. So I’m here to give you a holiday break! Spend 15 minutes skimming through these 15 things that will make you laugh, cry, smile and feel merry and bright. 

  1. Here’s the best sugar cookie recipe if you’re feeling uninspired in the baking department. 
  2. Is someone getting a bike this year? Pump them up with this “I just learned to ride a bike” celebratory video. 
  3. Unsure what to give your third cousin? Remember avocados are a great gift
  4. Seeing “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”? You should follow it up with Mr. Roger’s only holiday special, where the Neighborhood of Make Believe celebrates the fictitious holiday “Slopperydozafanoondapuck,” which translates to “what a difference one person can make.”
  5. Or, follow it up with the Tom Hanks-directed holiday classic “The Polar Express.”
  6. I’m a sucker for Christmas at Downton Abbey, so I’m obsessed with Martha Stewart’s masterpiece – Gingerbread Abbey.
  7. I love history and podcasts, and this is the best of both. Learn about the WWI Christmas truce in this podcast by Radiolab. 
  8. Looking to build a joyous playlist? Here’s a list to get you started.
  9. Maybe don’t add this performance to your playlist (but the students and conductor get an A for holiday effort). It makes me giggle every year.
  10. If I ever need a good cry, I watch a “military homecoming” montage. This one hits the spot. 
  11. Pets in winter outfits. Need I say more?
  12. Learn about the history of the awesome game where you win chocolate coins – Dreidel!
  13. Could you put together a light display like these neighborhoods? For a $50,000 prize, I might try.
  14. I’m putting together this holiday roundup, so I’m going to shamelessly plug the only thing that truly gets me in the holiday spirit – the OG “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” This song can be a breakup jam, applied to your least favorite relative, sang to your dog, etc. The most versatile holiday classic. Yes, I said it.

I’ll leave you with this – the holidays can be magical and they can be really hard. Family doesn’t always mean relatives, it’s not the gifts that matter, and perfect isn’t achievable. Life is messy and hard as it is – don’t put pressure on yourself this holiday season. Spend time with people you love and who love you. And when in doubt, think about this dog who got a puppy for Christmas.