Getting into the Christmas spirit doesn't have to be expensive. And I don't mean stuff like using last year's Christmas cards to decoupage an old tray or something, or stick cloves into oranges and hang them on your Christmas tree. I mean just doing the things that you normally do, but giving some thought to making them special, or just doing little things that help get you into the holiday mood.
I was thinking about that tonight as I was driving home listening to the all-Christmas music radio station Kansas City's Star 102). Radio is free, and you hear a lot of great Christmas music without having to buy it. And as I was getting that link, I see that you can actually listen to the station online through a browser. They play a good mix of old familiar songs and a few new ones; it seems like I always hear a couple of songs that I've never heard before.
We don't take the newspaper anymore, but you don't have to buy TV Guide to find out what's on television, you can access TV Guide online. I've been looking for Christmas movies, hoping to catch some old favorites that I don't have on DVD. I watched "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer" tonight; I hadn't seen it in awhile, and now I'm really glad I didn't actually buy it -- it doesn't hold up very well.
Of course, if you have favorite Christmas movies, you can always rent them rather than buying them; I do buy my favorites, but DVDs aren't terribly expensive anymore. And you can even rent them from iTunes, usually for $2.99. And during the holidays, iTunes gives away a couple of holiday songs for free each week, you just have to remember to go get them.
Amazon also usually has a few free MP3s to download; right now they have a free 5 song holiday sampler that isn't bad at all. Another good thing about iTunes or Amazon MP3s is that you can buy just one song, if that's all you want from an album, rather than buying the entire album. They's usually just 99 cents, and that solves the problem of what to do when you really, really want just one song, but can't bring yourself to buy the whole album.
And those Christmas-patterned paper towels and paper napkins? I buy that stuff anyway, and the holiday-themed ones don't cost any more, so why not get them? And the same thing for liquid hand soap, bubble bath, or any kind of personal care product like that -- as long as you're going to buy it anyway, buy a special holiday version. I know it always makes me feel better. I took a bath tonight in Bath & Body Works' Wickedly Hot Chocolate bubble bath, one of my favorite things in the world. Of course, they don't carry it anymore . . .
The same goes for the cranberry gingerale I bought over the weekend -- I buy it as a special treat, but I'd be getting soda anyway, so it makes sense (at least to me) to buy something a little different that only appears in stores over Christmas. Of course, that doesn't extend to those weird Jones Soda flavors like turkey and gravy. [Shudder.]
Be sure to check out the Advent calendar.
Click the thumbnail above to go to the Advent Calendar page. Once there, click on the number corresponding to the day of the month. Some of the days will have details on little contests or drawings, so check each day for a special note.