Operation: Christmas Spirit.


This is the first time in forever where I haven’t been in the Christmas spirit. I have taken all of the precautions; putting up the Christmas tree, drinking eggnog, baking cookies, listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, and buying Christmas gifts. There is just something missing. My stomach usually has those fluttery feelings when Christmas time is here, but this year I’m lacking that holiday cheer. I know a lot of things are different this year, and that may be the reason why. There are people missing, I won’t be going home, the weather is warm, and I’m not sure what to expect.

I’m ready to step up my game and boost my holiday spirit. Starting today, I am going to do Christmasy things to bump up my holiday cheer.


I went to the store today and bought a couple Christmas puzzles. I love puzzles. Remember the time I did a 1000 something piece puzzle in two days to save myself from losing a bet that would result in me eating over 20 cherry tomatoes? I never joke around with puzzles!

Griswold-House-700px national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-chevy-chase-clark-griswold-poster-1989

While Nick and I put the puzzle together tonight, we are going to watchΒ National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s going to be on ABC Family tonight, and it’s one of my favorite Christmas movies. I used to watch this with my brother every Christmas. Don’t worry, I’m not forcing Nick to do a puzzle with me. He is the one that thinks I have no Christmas spirit and I’m kind of a scrooge. You all know me well and know this is not normal for me. I used to be a Christmas psychopath.


I bought some cute holiday mugs to have some hot cocoa with eggnog in it tonight. I haven’t bought a Christmas mug in a while, so it was a necessary purchase. I may break out my espresso maker and add a couple of shots to my drink. Nick will probably break out the rum, and I’m all for that.


As I was checking out, I found my FAVORITE magazine. THE HOLIDAY EDITION, THE ONE I LOOK FORWARD TO EVERY YEAR! I can’t wait to go through and look at the recipes. That’ll for sure put me up on the Christmas cheer meter.


Here are some activities I’ll be doing to get in the Christmas spirit!
-Outdoor Iceskating
-Make Christmas Cookies
-Christmas Shopping
-Take Christmas Photos
-Send Christmas Cards
-Make Tree Ornaments
-Drive Around Looking At Christmas Lights
-Go See The Nutcracker
-Buy Gifts For Someone in Need.

What do you do to get in the holiday spirit?Β 


  • Barbara

    I am totally with you on this one! This year it didn’t feel like Christmas, it just came and went. I watched movies, ate Christmas food, put up decorations and I tried to find my Christmas spirit but it didn’t happen. A lot of people I work with felt the same way. Weirdest Christmas ever!

    Reply to Barbara
  • Kimberly Truong

    I usually get into the Christmas spirit by wrapping presents, but I was in the same boat. It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me lately. It is Christmas Eve and I am not like uber excited about it. But what usually does the trick for me is watching Surviving Christmas, which is my traditional Christmas movie with my brother!

    Reply to Kimberly Truong
  • Taylor Norris

    Can you do anything about the kind of ads that come up on your page? I’m not against ads, but maybe you can ask your company to switch out what they place? All of the diet pills and fad muscles seem to be really contradicting the new life you want for yourself and your readers.

    Reply to Taylor Norris
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Taylor!

      I use google Adsense, which usually get based off of personal google searches from your browser. If you’ve clicked on any sites lately, they’ll usually pop up on your screen. What you see on your ads isn’t the same as what others are seeing.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Taylor Norris

        OK, thanks. But it’s weird because I don’t see ads like this on any other web site or Facebook. And I’ve never clicked on an ad for a diet pill.

        Reply to Taylor Norris
  • Kristin C

    Where in North Carolina is there an outdoor ice-skating rink? That would be fantastic! I’ve lived in NC all my life and have never heard of one.

    Reply to Kristin C
  • Sophie

    Oh no Taralynn! Don’t be sad, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful christmas… Just take things as they are and see the positive in every situation.
    I wish you a very happy christmas and i’ll think of you πŸ™‚

    Reply to Sophie
  • Sarah

    i like to ring bells for the salvation army and sing christmas carols.

    Reply to Sarah
  • Emily

    What happened to Emily?

    Reply to Emily
  • Keri Frank

    Hey! Christmas is definitely different in the warm south – I fully understand! There is a groupon out for outdoor iceskating near the Nascar building in uptown in Charlotte (I think it is like $7) and there is a thing out for you to go to the Nascar track and they have over a million lights decorating it that you can drive around and see. Finally, there is a place called Mcaddenville a little town or village that goes all out with decorations you might like! You get to just drive around and it is soo pretty. My husband took me there a few years ago for the first time and it was amazing! Hope these ideas help!

    Reply to Keri Frank
  • jessica mclaughlin

    I’m in the same boat this year too with the Christmas Spirit but it’s gotten a little better with some help from Hallmark Channel! haha.

    Also I love your drapes!! I have to know where you got them from! Im looking for something similar!

    Reply to jessica mclaughlin
  • Haley Thibeault

    Hey Taralynn! I’ve been a huge fan of your blog for a long time, and you’ve inspire me to write my own. It would mean the world to me if you ( or if anyone else on here ) would take the time to read it and possibly comment on some posts, I would be so grateful. Also, do you have any tips on blogging? I’ve only been doing it for about a week, but I love it already!


    Reply to Haley Thibeault
  • Cindy

    It is really hard to be in the Christmas spirit when the weather is warm. I live in the desert and it NEVER feels like Christmas.

    That photo of Grumples is seriously all I need to feel the spirit. That is like Christmas card material. Beyond adorable!!!!

    Reply to Cindy
  • Lindsay

    I love all of your ideas to get into the Christmas spirit!! I’ve been meaning to watch Christmas Vacation for weeks! I’ve felt that way before and can totally relate. Listening to “Where are you Christmas?” by Faith Hill makes me feel better (after a few tears!! be warned lol). I love your blog and how real you always are with your readers πŸ™‚ lots of love and Christmas magic!!

    Reply to Lindsay
  • Amy

    So cute! You guys are adorable!!! Have fun πŸ™‚

    Reply to Amy
  • Bailey

    Send me a Christmas Card!! I love getting mail!!

    Reply to Bailey
  • Alissa

    Yeah, I’m not feeling super Christmas-y this year, either. I do love seeing all the lights that are up everywhere, though. And don’t worry, once you’ve lived in the South for a while, 50 IS cold πŸ˜‰

    My favorite Christmas movie is Love Actually.

    Oooh, and I second the recommendation to head to Asheville to visit the Biltmore Estate if you’ve not been…it is so beautifully decorated for Christmas.

    Reply to Alissa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It’s like 28 degrees with frost today! Sheeeeeesh! This is kind of helping haha.

      Love Actually is an amazing movie!:) Maybe I’ll watch that tonight! And YES, we are all heading to the Biltmore this Christmas!:)

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • sara

    I go up and down with Christmas spirit each year. Sometimes like this year, I’m totally into it and other years not so much. Decorating usually helps. From your photos it looks super Christmasy. Don’t force it if you aren’t feeling it!

    I also tried to comment on the troll/haters post but couldn’t for some reason. I just wanted to say that I never comment but I love your blog. I think it’s inspiring the way you open up your life to people and that you seem like a very real person. You post the good and the bad. There are many of us who think you’re awesome, ignore the haters.

    Reply to sara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah, I think it has a lot to do with what the person is going through in life. I’ve tried to force it and it hasn’t worked, but maybe it’ll come when Christmas is closer.

      And I appreciate your kind words. That means the world to me.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out

    I love to play christmas tunes and drink peppermint hot chocolate!!

    Reply to Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out
  • mookie

    I remember moving to Georgia from the north and my first Christmas felt the same way you are feeling now. One thing I think you should do since you are in NC is go visit the Biltmore Estate. They go all out for Christmas and it is just beautiful! The Biltmore Village is really cute too. it’s weird having milder weather at this time of year but I try to remember what my dad says, “people don’t move to the south for the summers, they move for the winters.” Good luck girl!

    Reply to mookie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I experienced a Georgia Christmas before! I’m trying to think of the neighborhood we drove through to look at lights. I may have done a blogpost on it. I’ll have to look it up for you! We are definitely visiting the Biltmore when my parents come to visit for Christmas! I heard it’s magical πŸ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kayla

    The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear! You need to watch Elf too I have watched it 4 times already this year, love him! Xx

    Reply to Kayla
  • Hannah

    Super cute mugs! Where did you get them? Totally understand about the Christmas spirit thing..it doesn’t even feel like Christmas time yet to me this year…I live in Texas and the weather hasn’t been cooler like it normally is this time of year…maybe that’s it!

    Reply to Hannah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah, I’m starting to think its the weather factor for sure! I actually got those mugs at walmart and they were under $5. So cute for the price! I have friends (not exes) that live in Texas. What part are you from?

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • karli

    Your dog makes me want a dog and I am a cat person. He is just so cute and fluffy! Also, where did you find those mugs? They’re adorable and I am in need of a cute christmas mug.

    Reply to karli
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Awww thanks! I actually got those mugs at walmart and they were under $5. I couldn’t believe how cheap they were! I went in for a puzzle and came out with much more. Whoops!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Marissa

    I’ve noticed as I get older (I’m in my mid/late 20s now) it is harder & harder for me to get into the Christmas spirit especially because I’m not around my young cousins & my brother is older. I love National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation & usually watch that, The Holiday, & Love Actually every Christmas.

    Reply to Marissa
  • Jessica

    Christmas Vacation is my favorite holiday movie – LOVE IT!

    PS – The picture of Mr. Grumples is adorable! Too cute!

    Reply to Jessica
  • Jenn

    Haha – Christmas in the warm south is a little weird. It felt odd buying our tree and wearing short sleeves during it. I’ve been making Christmas cookies to try to get in the holiday spirit, and last night, I picked up cards to fill out for friends back home!

    Reply to Jenn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It is so weird. When I was a kid, I lived in Hawaii and still go into the Christmas spirit, but doesn’t every kid? I think I’ll do what you did and go get some cards!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer Arteaga

    You should go to McAdenville for Christmas lights …. I lived in Charlotte until I was 13 and we would go to see the lights every year around Christmas. They were magical back then!!!

    Reply to Jennifer Arteaga
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That’s what I heard! I googled “McAdenville” and the only thing that popped up were Christmas lights. They take that pretty seriously! I can’t wait πŸ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jennifer Arteaga

        Awesome and Yes they do ….. when you go take your camera to take lots of pics!!! I live in Raleigh and they have something here in Meadow NC nothing like McAdenville but it will do …….

        Reply to Jennifer Arteaga
  • Linda @ TheFitty

    I’m sorry you can’t get into the Christmas spirit! what helps is spending time at a Christmas market, visiting a Christmas attraction, and maybe even spending time alone staring at the snow, finding a quiet appreciation from within. πŸ™‚ when all else fails, throw yourself into serving others because giving to others gives you yourself the warmest feeling of all.

    Reply to Linda @ TheFitty
  • Alena

    I have been in Chile for the past 4 months and so I missed my traditional Thanksgiving. By that point, I’m looking forward to Christmas. Next Wednesday my fiancΓ© and I are going back to PA! So, this year my Christmas spirit has been on full blast because I’m ready to be back home and see my loved one! I hope you get the Christmas spirit back!! Much love coming your way!

    Reply to Alena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That’ll be exciting – although Chile sounds pretty great! What were you doing there? I bet you’re excited to be back with your fiancΓ©! I wish you two the best Christmas!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Winny

    Those few weeks before Christmas are the best, there’s nothing like Chritsmas atmoshpere! Love how cosy Mr Grumples looks like ;D

    Reply to Winny
  • Laura

    love those mugs! Where did you find them?

    Reply to Laura
  • Anna P

    Its the most wonderful timeeee of the yearrrr. πŸ™‚ Glad to see you’re adding a little Christmas spirit into your life XO

    Reply to Anna P

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