Ho Ho Ho! Need Christmas magic but funds are low?

It's most definitely mid-November, but if you're anything like me (and millions of other people) it's been Christmastime in your heart since late October. For many, Christmastime is a special time. It brings gifts, is a welcome break from school and studies, brings families and friends together and has a special heartwarming, happy quality about it.

Or it did, once upon a time.
Remember when Christmas was more than just a welcome break from school? Remember when it was more than a study break you take at home?†When we were little it was up to our parents or guardians to make holidays fun and exciting. Now that we're older, it's up to us to make our own magic or tap into the magic ourselves. If the magic's been lacking of late, bring it back! Read below for a few ideas on how you can curate a great holiday experience for yourself and get into the Christmas spirit, even if you're on a budget:

1. Decorate
Deck the halls with boughs of holly for real! Whether you fancy yourself an interior decorator or not, a change of scenery is always a mood boost, and there's no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to put up some tinsel or holly, or change the colour scheme in your room. This makeover doesn't have to be extensive, nor does it have to cost a lot. Go digging in the castoff decorations box you probably have somewhere at home and see what you can do, or buy a few inexpensive pieces at the store.

2. Bake
Whether you're the Betty Crocker of your friend group or you're not as gifted in the kitchen, a little holiday cooking or baking is a great way to get the smell of the holiday in the air. Bake a cake from scratch with ingredients you already have at home, or get some cookie mix and follow the instructions - just cook up some fun!

3. Watch
Nothing says nostalgia like your old favourite cartoons and all-time favourite movies, and there's no better time for cheesy romantic holiday movies if you're into that. Get some eggnog or sorrel or hot chocolate and re-watch those holiday classics!

4. Listen
This couldn't be a comprehensive list of holiday activities to get your Christmas cheer on if it didn't include listening to Christmas music. Dance up a storm to Mariah Carey's iconic†Merry Christmas,†and Pentatonix'†That's Christmas to Me,†and don't let anyone tell you it's too early, the Christmas queen,†the real MC, told us it's time.
5. See a Christmas pageant
Schools and churches usually come in clutch with the Christmas-themed entertainment. Catch some Christmas fun for free or on the cheap. Watch kids (or adults) sing and dance their hearts out with Christmas-y music on loudspeaker and Christmas-y backdrops.
6. Secret Santa/Pixie
Plan a Secret Santa/Pixie gift exchange with your friends or family. All you need are a couple slips of papers with everyone's name written out and to set a date for the gift exchange and a price limit or guide everyone can agree on.

7. Do something kind
Spend a few hours reading for the blind, playing with children at a children's home, or feeding the homeless. It's good to help others!

8. Plan a holiday party/outing with friends
Plan a holiday party, outing or get together with your friends. Make it a potluck to save some bucks!
Do you have any other ideas to make spirits bright this holiday season? Don't be a total grinch or bore - share them with us down below or on Twitter or Instagram! Merry Christmas!
--Charlene Buchanan