By: Will King

Dark nights, frosty mornings and busy workdays… it's not surprising that some of us haven't yet stepped into Christmas and embraced the festive cheer just yet. Despite it's magical quality, December can actually be a really hectic time for a lot of people. From grappling with work deadlines, to buying thoughtful Christmas presents for all the family, there's just so much to consider, and that's before you've even started thinking about your budget!

Yep, if December 25th seems like the small light at the end of a very long tunnel, it can be easy to simply trudge through the first 24 days of the month feeling a bit chilly and sorry for yourself.

However, with the right mindset the lead up to Christmas can be positively joyous. Think of it as a chance to spend quality time with friends and family, give to those less fortunate, and generally let your hair down celebrating the past year. We've put together a checklist of 50 fantastically festive ideas that'll turn you from the Grinch into Santa's right hand man.

And of course, if none of these suggestions work, we recommend repeating the marvelous mantra a la Elf: The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

    • Find an outdoor ice rink and go ice skating.

    • Visit your local Christmas market.

    • Hang your stocking over the fireplace.

    • Bake a gingerbread house.

    • Give money to charity and help those less fortunate.

    • Organise a Secret Santa amongst your office / friendship group.

    • Spend an evening wrapping all your Christmas presents.

    • Watch a Nativity play.

    • Go to your local town's Christmas light switch on.

    • Wear a Christmas jumper.

    • Attend a Carol service.

    • Watch your favourite Christmas movie whilst drinking hot chocolate underneath a blanket.

    • Go to a pantomime.

    • Go for a family walk and pick some holly.

    • Do a big festive food shop and buy all your favourite goodies.

    • Watch the international space station go over on Christmas Eve (tell the kids it's Santa's sleigh!)

    • Put on some festive music and decorate your tree.

    • Make mulled wine or cider (that 'mulling' smell is half the joy!)

    • Have the neighbours round for mince pies and mulled wine.

    • Make Christingles (an orange with sweets, red ribbon and a candle).

    • Kiss a loved one under the mistletoe.

    • Track Santa on the NORAD Santa tracker website.

    • Go for a pre-Christmas meal with family and friends you won't see on the day.

    • Buy 'Now That's What I Call Christmas' for your car and sing along on the way to work.

    • Hear the Salvation Army play as you shop in town (give them some money too).

    • Make Christmas-themed cocktails e.g. Cranberry Mojito

    • Drink lots of Snowballs (advocaat, lemonade and lime cordial… amazing!)

    • Make your own Christmas cake and 'feed' it with lots of brandy.

    • Decorate your office desk with lots of tinsel.

    • Wrap up warm in your favourite hat. scarf and gloves.

    • Scatter 'reindeer food' over the garden (rolled oats and edible glitter).

    • Buy a cheese board with lots of crackers and chutney.

    • Roast chestnuts (preferably on an open fire!)

    • Put together a Christmas shoebox full of gifts for a child less fortunate.

    • Have a pre-Christmas clearout, making space for your new presents.

    • Visit any elderly relatives or family friends and spend the whole day with them.

    • Send out Christmas cards to old friends and new.

    • Watch some old yet comforting TV Christmas specials and revel in nostalgia.

  • Smile and wish strangers a merry Christmas.

Do you have any suggestions of your own? We'd love to hear them, please comment below!