After finishing my list of essentials to get you in the Christmas spirit early this year, I realized that it catered to each of our five senses. And now that I know that, I'm kinda tempted to stimulate all five at the same time with Christmas cheer and see what happens....
Anyway, here are my essentials.
1. Christmas Puzzle
One of my family's best Christmas traditions is always having a Christmas puzzle going in the family room. It's relaxing; you work on the puzzle with the fireplace and Christmas tree in the background, and it gives you an excuse to keep the tv off. And somehow, looking for 4 minutes for a puzzle piece with a picture of a gingerbread man on it has an oddly effective way of rooting the Christmas spirit in your subconscious.
2. Christmas Music
I won't make any specific recommendations. Just make sure it's good music, whether it's, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses; Here Comes Santa Claus by Elvis or a live version by Bruce Springsteen; Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives; the funny, crass and NSFW Gigolo by Gunther; the universally adored All I Want For Christmas is you by Mariah Carey or the always fun to sing along with, Zat You, Santa Claus? by Louis Armstrong.
Ok, I guess I just passively-aggressively recommended some music.
I feel like the Dickie is the next Ugly Christmas Sweater- it is ready to be brought back, even if it's only by hipsters and the occasional grown-up prankster.
What if I bought a few different colored dickies then coordinated them to match my different colored Chuck Taylors? I could wear wear the dickie-and-Chucks tandem on consecutive days but change the colors. That could be really, um, what's the word I'm looking for? Oh right, "Terrible".
Jim Gaffigan once joked that giving a flask as a gift says, "Hey, you look like a drunk on the go", which is exactly why no one wants to be caught with one.
But it's different during Christmastime. It's long been understood that December is Flask Stigma Amnesty Month. So go ahead. Break out your flask and fill it up with something dark, warm and gut-tingling, that goes well with egg nog.
5. Mulling Spices
Mulling Spices are a great little thing you can do to get the Christmas spirit embedded deep into the recesses of your subconscious. You just buy a packet of them, add them to some combination of water, apple cider and wine, simmer and it automatically smells like Christmas. It costs under $3, takes under 40 seconds to make and it smells fantastic. It's simple but so effective even a staunch Jihadist would be in the Christmas spirit after smelling mulling spices.
Bachelors are especially encouraged to use mulling spices because it, 1) Will make guests think you're festive, and 2) Guarantee your place stinks less.
(this one from etsy.com)
6. Mistltoe Belt Buckle
Sure it's crass and devoid of class, but wouldn't you like to own one anyway? Ya know, just in case you ever won a bet with a significant other and needed it?
7. Fleece Socks
It boggles my mind that there are people who do not own fleece socks living in areas that get snow.
8. Ugly Christmas Sweater
I don't think the hipstery trend of wearing bad Christmas sweaters is waning at all. A lot of people joke about them, but alarmingly few people actually own and wear a legitimately awful Christmas sweater. I got one last year and rocked the hell out of it. I discovered it my closet a few weeks ago after having completely forgotten I owned it, coaxing out an, "Oh, f%#k, yeah!!" of Christmas delight.
Ideally, the Holidays are about being cozy and maybe even a little cheesey with the ones we love. What could be a better vehicle for both than an ugly Christmas sweater?
In order to live out my dream and simultaneously immerse all of your senses in Christmas spirit you would have to be: doing a puzzle with a mouthful of booze, while listening to Christmas music in your dickie/ugly sweater ensemble whilst simmering mulling spices.
Now that I see it written out like that it doesn't seem as far-fetched, in fact I do it all the time. Hell, I've done that alone before 7 am on Christmas morning.