It's finally that time of the year again, and I am in awe! Christmas and New Year's are just around the corner, and I am super excited! Seriously, this year just flew by! I vividly remember yelling "2023" last New Year's Eve, and now here we are again. Adulting can be a downer sometimes. 😞
Let me share a bit about me: December is my absolute favorite month. It's a spectacle of festive vibes – decorations, drinks, lights, and Christmas markets. The way December transforms my usually dull town into a magical wonderland is incredible. The air is filled with the scent of tradition – cinnamon in the shops, almond cakes, and caramel gingerbread brulee in my favorite café.

But, there's a twist. December is followed by my least favorite month, January. The commencement of a new year stirs up a mix of excitement and the stark reality that I'm clocking in another year on the age scale. And if you know me well, you'll understand – I'm not a fan of adulting. It's more of a love-hate relationship.

Back in my home country, Christmas was all about family traditions – mountainside villas, decking out the living room, exchanging gifts, hot chocolate by the TV, hanging socks by the window side, and savoring red sausage soup. Regardless, I always spent Christmas with family. Some days, friends joined in, but family Christmas was unbeatable.

Living abroad has its perks, but it's a bummer not being with family or hometown friends during Christmas. Sure, I have friends here, but celebrating Christmas away doesn't quite feel like home yet. It's been 4 years now that I've been spending Christmas abroad. It has its highs, like the time I worked at a café, serving waffles adorned with beautiful red and green icing and strawberry cream, embracing the Christmas spirit. I love the Christmas café vibe, and I was lucky enough that year to experience it. But there are times I also felt down and lonely, and I don't want to think that it is Christmas and I am avoiding the topic, not doing anything, and not even going to the Christmas market because I will feel sad about it.

Sometimes, I celebrate Christmas alone; sometimes with friends, and sometimes not at all. I've had Christmases where work and exams in January kept me occupied, and I had no time at all to think about Christmas. How I dread January. But this year is special. I've decided to prioritize my happiness over the usual hustle and bustle. I want to embrace traditions and soak up all the Christmas goodness. This time, I'll be alone in a new city, barely knowing anyone. So, I thought, why not create my own tradition? If you're in the same boat, this one's for you!
These are my ultimate Christmas plan and steps:

1) Preparation:
- Choose an advent calendar (suggestions welcome – maybe skincare or chocolate).- Grab Christmas cards for colleagues and friends, and draw some yourself. Write letters to a secret someone, a random person, and a loved one.- Buy cute and budget-friendly Christmas gifts for close friends.- Get cheap Christmas decorations (small lamps, paper mache, glitter).- Write Christmas letters and prepare colorful pens and stickers.- Buy your favorite hot chocolate.- Gather baking ingredients for cookies and caramel cupcakes.

2) Creating the ultimate Christmas To-Do List:
- Watch classic Christmas movies (share your favorites! My favorites are: Klaus, The Grinch, Polar Express, Dash and Lily, Harry Potter, 16 Wishes, The Princess Switch).

- Do small Christmassy things from December 1 to December 25 (looking for suggestions).

- Take on "Christmas dares" and complete them before Christmas.

- Write a letter to yourself on Christmas Eve.

- Christmas journaling and year's reflection.

- Make a yearly scrapbook.- Create your own Christmas party.

- Treat yourself to an advent calendar (need suggestions).

- Visit Christmas markets around your city.

- Do Christmas caroling and karaoke at home.

- Amazing Christmas skincare routine (full of caramel and cinnamon pampering 🎄).

3) Now, for some Christmas dares:
- Play Santa's little helper and offer assistance to random neighbors.

- Have a game of hide and seek at the Christmas Market.

- Pen a Christmas letter to someone, maybe a classmate or a neighbor.

- Dive into the snow wearing just a t-shirt and pants.

- Create a Christmas time capsule of the year and bury it in the backyard.

- Seal the deal – kiss your crush! 😊

- Bake a cake without a recipe.

- Reach out to an old friend and spread some Christmas cheer.

-Dance with a speaker and music in the town hall.

- Hide Christmas letters or cards around town, hoping nice people will receive them.

4) Preparing for Christmas Eve and Day:
Christmas Eve:

- Have an amazing Christmas dinner.
- Play board games using my iPad.

- Build the castle puzzle I bought from my home country.

- Skincare relaxation and hot shower with caramel-flavored soap.

- Cozy movie time.

- Christmas Midnight countdown.

Christmas Day:

- Wake up with a Christmas breakfast.

- Call my family and virtually do a Christmas catch-up.

- Open presents I bought for myself.

- Go to the town hall and soak in the Christmas feeling.

- Christmas journaling.

- Special Christmas dinner reservation.

Extra New Year's Preparation Ideas:
I haven’t exactly prepared anything for New Year's yet because, to be honest, I am much more excited about Christmas than New Year's. But I also have things I want to do on New Year's:

- Write a letter to your future self.

- Watch fireworks by the river during the countdown.

- Reflect on the last year.

Let me know your unique Christmas traditions in the comments. Here's to a festive season filled with crazy ideas and traditions! What are your Christmas plans? Share below! 🎄