'Tis the season to be jolly. However, as the times change, so do traditions. For many, the classical tree decorating and gift wrapping may not be as appealing as it used to be Marcelo Goldmann lists five ways to spice up your December holidays.

Hi, 5 ways to spice up your Christmas

Whether you celebrate Christmas, a different holiday, or not at all, the December holiday season is imminent. This is a great time to reflect on the year that has passed and to get together with your family and friends. However, as the times change, so do traditions. For many, the classical tree decorating and gift wrapping may not be as appealing as it used to be. As you look for new ways to celebrate, may you find inspiration in the following 5 ways to spice up your December holidays.

Ignore the holidays and just chill out

This may be the least exciting prospect from the list, but not any less important. If you have had a rough year, it is sometimes good to take advantage of the holidays to take care of yourself. Treat yourself to the foods you like the most, visit a spa, go for long walks, watch all those series you’ve been meaning to but hadn’t had the time. The important thing is to take it easy and do what feels right. After all, you’re doing it for you.  

Casserole gathering

If you are a foreigner and know foreigners that will be in Finland away from their families during the holidays, you can get together and make typical food of your countries. That way you not only combat the loneliness of the holidays in a foreign country, but also get to try new food. I myself have participated in these gatherings and I can wholly recommend them. It is exciting to have people from other cultures try some typical food from your own country and experience their reactions. It doesn’t have to be a three-course meal; a simple taste of home will suffice. When I joined such a gathering, I made simple quesadillas and a “hot” (mild) sauce and I received no complaints. It also doesn’t necessarily have to be typical food from your home, but just something that you like and want to share.

Photo booth 

Halloween is long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up for the holidays. One addition to your gathering could be a makeshift “photo booth”, which is nothing more than a space where you and your friends can take fun pictures with each other to commemorate the occasion. You can make an activity out of making props or costumes with cardboard, colours, wooden sticks, and yarn. This will let your inner children shine. You can have a contest where the most creative props win some prizes. 


This challenge has already become a tradition in student circles. The idea is that you have to survive until the midnight of 24th of December without hearing the ultimate Christmas classic Last Christmas by Wham!. Naturally, there is no formal verification of who has been Whammed. You will have to rely on the code of honor. If you want to up the ante, you can try to trick each other into clicking a Youtube video with the song, but I wouldn’t recommend putting your friendship to the test like this. 

Escape the holidays and go traveling

If celebrating the holidays is definitely not your thing and you want to escape the holiday cheer, you could travel to a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas. You could for example have a shopping and skiing holiday in China, go hiking in Mongolia, or visit monuments in Egypt


Read more: Hi, 5 Christmas present ideas that don’t suck, Hi, 5 Finnish Christmas traditions

Marcelo Goldmann

A Doctor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Oulu. "Life is like a rubber duckie, you gotta keep it afloat to see its splendor." Instagram: @marcelogman

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