A Gen Z’s ChristmasSamuel Laro has stockpiled some of his best tips to revitalize your Christmas season this year.
I love everything about the Christmas season—the snow, the music, the laughter, all of it!
Christmas is a time of celebration and promise. As members of Generation Z, we celebrate the season in ways different to past. Yet, year after year, Christmas may seem redundant or even expensive—so, let’s fix that! Let’s celebrate the “12 days of Christmas” in our own “Gen Z” way. I’ve stockpiled some of my best tips to revitalize your Christmas season this year.
1. Watch An All-Time Favorite Christmas Movie
In my opinion, the greatest film ever made is “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992). I love “The Muppets“ more than any other franchise. It was directed by Brian Henson (Jim Henson’s son) and is a must-watch for me every December. It has the entire Muppet gang, accompanied by the brilliant Michael Caine (who said this was the most difficult film he starred in). This movie is full of laughs, tears and the lesson that “wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.”
2. Cheap Gift Idea #1: A Playlist
Our parents made each other mixtapes … so let’s do it too! Using whatever streaming platform you prefer, make a playlist for your family, that special someone or even your closest friends. With about 12 songs, create a playlist that is undoubtedly “them”— their favorite Christmas tunes, their favorite hymns—anything! It costs nothing and is sentimental.
3. Cookies Are Always A Win
Make cookies and take them to people who need cookies. Cookies are my love language. Nobody can be mad if cookies are in the room. You could bring them to school, nursing homes, church—anywhere, really!
4. Go Christmas Caroling!
In the movie, “Elf,” Will Farrell and Zooey Deschanel’s characters say that “the best way to spread some Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” I think that’s true! Gather your friends, get some hot chocolate and hit the streets! It’s a great way to meet your neighbors. It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not, what matters is that you are giving back to your community.
“Gather your friends, get some hot chocolate and hit the streets!”
5. Participate In Christmas Activities At Church
Get involved with your church youth group! In recent years, I went to Christmas concerts, caroling, counted money for The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle efforts and more. There are so many ways to give back to those who need it most.
6. Cheap Gift Idea #2: Skin Care Gift Packages
This one sounds expensive, but hear me out. You can get some inexpensive lotions and moisturizers from any store and give them to your loved ones. My skin always gets very dry in the colder months, so a gift of moisturizer is always very welcome.
7. Go Thrift Store Shopping
As a college student, I understand that money can be super tight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish! You can find plenty of looks at The Salvation Army’s thrift store. From ugly sweater parties to more formal dinners, you can find it all at the thrift store while staying within your budget.
8. Go To A Christmas Eve Service
This one is very sentimental to me. Every Christmas Eve, millions of people around the country gather in chapels and sing God’s praises. They remember the baby who changed the world. Grab a bunch of your friends for dinner beforehand, then head off to church and spend some time celebrating who Christmas is really about: Jesus Christ.
9. Find A “Festival of Lights”
As a Maine native, there were always several “Festivals of Light” every winter. Brilliant lighting designers hang thousands and thousands of LED lights in nature and let the public tour the light garden. These festivals are very Instagrammable and make great date nights too.
10. Start a Gratitude Journal
This is something I try to do year-round, but I deliver at Christmas. In my own gratitude journal, I write pages for each of my friends and family members. Whenever I think of something they do or a character trait that I am grateful for, I write it down! Then at Christmas time, I give them the page. Personally, it encourages humility and can bring you a lot of joy.
11. Cheap Gift Idea #3: Handwritten Letters
This coincides with the gratitude journal. Handwritten notes may be old-fashioned, but they are not out of style. Your loved ones will truly value the time you took to use your hands to make something for them.
12. Reread the Nativity Story
I’ve heard the Nativity story told for almost 20 years and it can start to seem repetitive. However, I’ve recently realized that’s not true. Thousands of years passed between God’s promise for a Savior (Genesis 49:10) and Jesus’ birth, yet Jesus’ arrival in that humble manger was at just the right time. His birth was at the moment when the world needed Him most. Rereading the Nativity story again could be the very moment we need to hear it most.
Whatever plans you have this Christmas, I challenge you to trust Jesus Christ. He fulfilled a massive promise by arriving in Bethlehem that silent night, and His presence can be experienced in your life, right now, today. Merry Christmas!
“Rereading the Nativity story again could be the very moment we need to hear it most.”
Samuel Laro is a theatre student at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. While he is at school in Illinois, he considers Maine to be home. Sam has written many plays, short scenes and devotionals for local Bible studies. When he’s not writing, you can often find him calling his Mom.