Ultimate guide to having the holly-est jolly-est Christmas ever

It's time to break out the tinsel and start blasting your holiday tunes

Turkey day has come and gone — and even though I’ve been celebrating Christmas since Nov. 1 — others are just getting started. 

What joy the month of December brings; winter break, hot cocoa and cookies, and the opportunity to sit on a fat old man’s lap at your local mall. 

With only one week underway, there is still ample time to live your holiday fantasies and have the best one yet. (Although I can’t promise you’ll meet a time-traveling knight like Vanessa Hudgens.) 

Decorations are your best friend

I naturally redecorate my room twice a month. I get bored of the same trinkets and look for fresh changes. Christmas has always been a chance for me to express my creativity, and it gives me a reason to purchase everything at Target. 

But this holiday season won’t be as simple as your grandma putting up a Nativity scene and waiting to place in baby Jesus until Christmas Day. No, I am talking decorations up the wazoo. I want your space so festive that it looks like Hobby Lobby threw up on it. 

Start with simple decor — garland, baubles and stockings. Then up the ante to fit your personal style. For me, this means patterned duvet covers that look like a Christmas sweater, red snowflake throw blankets and way too many sparkly tea lights. 

Let your imagination run wild and have fun, but don’t forget to put the star on top of the tree. 

What’s Christmas without carols? 

It’s officially time to bust out your Christmas playlist, even though I know you’ve been listening to it since August. (Or is that just me? Alright.)

While it’s important to enjoy the classics like “Last Christmas” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” be sure to expand your horizons to different takes on these tunes. 

Find covers from your favorite artists — you’d be surprised how many people have sung “White Christmas,” including Lady Gaga and Darren Criss and Chris Colfer when they were still on Glee. 

There are also plenty of original songs that completely shake up the traditional Christmas narrative. One of my favorites is “Christmas Without You” by Trixie Mattel which laments the absence of a lover during Christmas time but does so in a comedic way. 

And how could I forget the most important song of them all? Belt your heart out and blast “All I Want for Christmas is You” by the Christmas queen herself Mariah Carey to ad nauseam until your neighbors kindly tell you to turn that racket down. 

Cozy up by the fire

Back home in New Jersey, it gets extremely cold, and more often than not even when I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas, I still get one. 

So what better way to beat the frigid temperatures than curling up in a blanket with a mug of hot tea or cocoa? 

Crank the heat up — think about the utility bill later — turn on the TV and snuggle with whomever you choose, whether it be your significant other, best friend or pet. 

If you’re more into Netflix, there’s plenty to choose from. My recommendations include “Nailed It! Holiday!” and “Christmas with the Kranks.” And if Hallmark movies are more your speed, do yourself a favor and watch “Christmas Mail.” 

As Drew Gooden said, “If you find something that is worse than a Hallmark movie, you have something beautiful on your hands,” and that is truly what “Christmas Mail” is.

Wintertime fun 

Even though it may be colder and all you want to do is stay inside, there is so much to do before opening presents. 

Go ice skating and fall over a thousand times — you know they do say every time you land on your butt an angel gets its wings. In downtown Phoenix, we have CitySkate, but almost any city you live in will have free skate options at a local hockey rink.

Pick the tallest and fattest balsam tree at the farm, and make sure you tie it to the top of your car before it flies off on the highway. 

Decorate a gingerbread house either from scratch or a kit. Cover it in frosting and candies and then devour it two minutes after you finish.

Christmas comes in at a close second in my personal ranking of holidays. I get to spend time with family and friends all while doing the thing I love — getting presents. 

And now, it’s less than 20 days away. So pick up the lights and get to decorating! 

Reach the reporter at omunson@asu.edu and follow @munson_olivia on Twitter. 

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