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23 Ways To Make Christmas Magic When You're A Grown-Up

When you stop believing in the magic of Christmas, Santa stops visiting, and you get socks instead. Keep the magic alive for another year with these tips from Visa.

It was easy to get in to the Christmas spirit when you were a kid because it was all:

But now that you're a grown-up, it's all a bit:

However, these little hints and tricks might help a germ of Christmas spirit ignite in your heart:

1. Buy a chocolate Advent calendar.

With permission from maceelaine to make in to a gif/Flickr/(CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via maceelaine

Because not only do you get chocolate before breakfast, your excitement will grow as the amount of chocolates disappear.

2. Or get crafty and make one.

JodiMichelle/Flickr/(CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: jodimichelle

Not for yourself – that's a bit sad, and you know what's in it. But they make a great gift for a grinchy loved one to get them equally revved-up for the season. It'll make you feel extra seasonal too.

3. Whenever you get moody at work, type Christmas + Animal + Gif in to Google images.

Because, it's the quickest way to raise your Christmas spirits and has been proven by scientists to boost your productivity.

4. Switch from tea to hot chocolate. / Via

With marshmallows. Obviously. You can pimp it up with squirty cream, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir it up with a candy cane for an extra festive flavour smack.

5. Plan your tree.

Randy Robertson/Flickr/Attribution http://2.0 Generic (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: randysonofrobert

You're a grown-up – you can decorate your tree however you want. Even if that's pandas and pickles.

6. Or make a DIY one out of books. / Via

Or washi tape stuck to the wall, or paper, or even a few festive twigs in a vase will leave you feeling a bit more Christmassy than if you hadn't bothered.

7. Do grown-up versions of activities you LOVED as a kid.


Like making paper snowflakes. Geek-style – like an R2-D2 paper snowflake.

A quick Google image search will find you similar templates.

8. Get your pets Christmas presents. / Via

Because you know that they'll be over the moon and will give you that warm Christmas glow inside.

9. Make a (fake) fireplace. / Via

Play an atmospheric fireplace video (via YouTube) on your laptop, and you'll feel like you're roasting chestnuts in no time.

10. Dig out your old Christmas jumper.

Matt Buck/Flickr/(CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: mattbuck007

Because then you'll have Christmas close to your heart.

11. Go for a Christmas manicure.

Maegan Tintari/Flickr/(CC BY http://2.0) / Via

Because your mum NEVER would have let you do that when you were 7. Or DIY with this tutorial.

12. Put fairy lights EVERYWHERE.


EVERYWHERE. And use them instead of turning on the big light.

13. Only wear clothes that are glittery.

With permission from Stars for Streetlights / Via

Because, nothing makes you feel more festive than wearing stuff that shines by candlelight. This amazing Stars for Streetlights tutorial shows you how to make your collars pop with fabric glue and glitter.

14. Mull all your drinks.


You can make quick and easy mulled wine and mulled cider (or just warm festive apple juice) in a slow cooker. All you need to do is add your base drink (red wine or cider) then handfuls of some or all of the following: cloves, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, allspice, brown sugar, apple slices, cranberries, sultanas, lemon juice, lemon peel, nutmeg, and ginger. It's all down to personal taste and will slowly brew away in about an hour, leaving your house smelling like Christmas.

15. Make your own ornaments.

Getty Images/iStockphoto tomalv

This cinnamon air-dry dough recipe is cheap, easy enough for your cat to do, and will make your house smell like Christmas from here to Twelfth Night.

16. Hide the pickle.

Elvissa/Flickr(CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: elvissa

It's not rude – it's an allegedly German tradition where you hide an ornamental gherkin (pickle) somewhere in your house/on the Christmas tree. The first person to find it each day wins – either a prize or pure victory.

17. Pull the cat off the Christmas tree for the 39th time.

Then finally give in and take a photo for Instagram because they look so cute.

18. Roast some chestnuts…


…in the microwave. Just slit the little pointy end with a knife and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Serve peeled with butter and salt to dip. Mmmmm.

19. Make a Christmas songs playlist.

SNL / NBC / Via

Even better – get whomever you're spending Christmas with to make one too, and combine them and put it on random. Or make each other Christmas mix tapes (YouTube playlists if you're lazy).

When you're done, make a Christmas movie playlist too.

20. Get some Christmas stories on audiotape…


…and listen to them all over the house. The easiest way to inject Christmas cheer into your life – even when you're cleaning the bathroom.

21. Bring out the extra-snug pyjamas. / Via

Because, they are the cosiest things on Earth. If you have siblings/an other half, make them wear matching ones.

For extra Christmas cheer, put them away after Christmas ends (boo, hiss!), and bring them out again every December.

22. Go and see a pantomime.

einstraus/Flickr/(CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: einstraus

There are even a few late-night, adult-orientated shows on. Google is your friend here.

23. Make a list of family traditions you want to carry on. / Via

If you're Christmassing with your partner or with friends, draw up a list of traditions your family used to do when you were a kid, and cherry-pick the best ones, then add some of your own.

For example: a special Christmas Eve dinner and one present at midnight.

Feeling the Christmas magic and ready to shop like Santa’s elves?

When you fill your shopping sleigh, pay online with Visa and we've got you covered. Find out more.