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The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer by Love Language

(Tune of The Christmas Song) Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Old aunt nitpicking your clothes. Looking for an exit, with none remotely in sight. Oh, it’s Christmas…back home. Ok, aside from me tapping into my inner Weird Al, the holiday season can be equal parts wonky and beautiful. That’s why I decided to give ideas on the best way to spread Christmas cheer this holiday season.

First Things First

Before getting into how to spread the cheer, let’s see how to get it for ourselves.

First and foremost, manage expectations for yourself and others. Have an uncle who gets belligerent after a few glasses of chardonnay every holiday? Guess what, he’s going to this time. So I just thought I’d spoil it for you upfront.

Next, take care of yourself. This season can bring great joy, but you cannot truly experience it if you dread each commitment you’ve scheduled. So instead, take time to bask in the seasonal ambiance for yourself!

Finally, embrace a sense of humor. It works wonders, trust me. “Humor as a defense mechanism” may as well be my middle name.

Now that that’s out of the way, what is the best way to spread Christmas cheer? Some would argue that it’s caroling, donating toys, or volunteering for a local soup kitchen.

With Love

I’m here to demystify this for you. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is with love, specifically your love language. While we may appreciate all love languages, we tend to default to one or two primarily.

For those not familiar with the five love languages, they are (in no particular order) receiving gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch.

Now it’s impossible to know the love language for everyone. You may not have the same love language as your recipient, but spreading cheer is best done from a pure place, and if you’re trying to lift others’ spirits in a way that feels unnatural to you, it will come off as forced.

For example, I am a quality time and words of affirmation person, so I tend to stick to acts that align with those two. My husband is more of a quality time and physical touch person. But love languages can still be well received if not our own. So if I were to shower my husband with compliments, he’d still take it!

Since love languages are described as being on the receiving end, I’ve tweaked them a bit to make them actionable for anyone reading this post. So here is the best way to spread Christmas cheer according to love language!

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer by Love Language

Gift Giving

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer | Gift Giving

This holiday is all you! Those with gift-giving as a love language thrive and shine at Christmas. Gift-giving is the best way to spread Christmas cheer for you, and that leaves so many possibilities. Have a high budget? Go ahead and get gift baskets for neighbors. Know your kids have their eyes on an extravagant toy? Go for it!

Within reason, of course, if your family is like, “dear god, please stop this madness.” Take heed and listen! Is your family over how over-the-top you are for giving gifts? Why not organize a secret Santa gift-giving extravaganza for your coworkers, friends, or community? You can also donate to families in need of toys. There are always healthy alternatives!

Acts of Service

Acts of Service

Acts of service people also work wonders this time of year. There is a heavy focus on gifts this holiday. Still, there are many opportunities to lighten the load of others, from wrapping presents for a super busy relative, donating toys (yes, this can check off this love language, too), or going Christmas caroling (for those of you musically inclined). As a side note, this can check multiple love languages on this list, including quality time and physical touch, if you feel like holding hands or linking arms with your fellow carolers!

There is also such an overwhelming need regarding food security that if you want to give back to a community-based agency, this is my plug to contact your local food pantry and see what they need! Your community will appreciate it if you consider volunteering, organizing a food drive, or donating a few items! Especially if you call and ask the agency what is needed beforehand.

If you didn’t already know, I managed a food pantry at one point in my career, so this topic is close to my heart. To read about it, check out my article published in the New Social Worker.

Acts of service can also be in line with your daily tasks. For example, doing the dishes when it’s your spouse’s turn is still a welcomed gift, no matter the time of year. Sometimes the simple acts make a big impact!

Quality Time

Quality Time

Since this is one of my love languages, I’m always thinking of how to spend quality time with family and friends. For the Christmas season, there are so many options! Throw on a Christmas music playlist and drive around town to look at holiday lights.

Or organize a holiday movie night for loved ones. For anyone looking for different Christmas titles to add to your list, check out my 8 Movies like Home Alone post. It will give some good ideas!

Always wanted to go ice skating? Well, grab those skates and go! Christmas shopping with friends is another go-to of mine. Although this can make it more challenging to shop for the person you’re with (speaking from experience when I had to go back to a store like a week later without my sister in tow).

Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation

This is another one of my love languages, and for the Christmas season, it can be as simple as telling a loved one how great they are or an elaborate, over-the-top profession of love!

If you want to add a bit of personalization to a words of affirmation gift, try making your own heartfelt Christmas cards or writing affirming messages on blank wrapping paper.

For those looking for a pricier idea, there are mountains of seasonal home decor with uplifting messages in stores this time of year.

And here’s a final idea for the more daring of those out there. You can always dress up as Santa and hold a whiteboard with a hopeful holiday message outside for people driving or walking by! I actually knew someone who did this, and he loved it so much that he did it for decades.

Physical Touch

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer | Physical Touch

This is definitely not one of mine! Nobody touch me! All jokes aside, since touching another person requires varying levels of intimacy depending on the recipients’ comfort level, I strongly urge the touchers out there to ask first! There’s nothing quite like going for an impromptu hug and being met with flailing hands and an awkward butt-out embrace.

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer

But I have faith in you! You bring just as much to the holiday season as the others. Mistletoe is your friend if you have a chosen partner to share a kiss with under it. Holding hands while caroling or ice skating is also fun to combine acts of service or quality time with touch. Maybe you get weird with it and have your partner dress up like Santa for a questionable but hilarious massage. Ok, now I’m dovetailing, but this could still work!

And that’s the best way to spread Christmas cheer based on your love language. The holidays are a time for both giving and receiving. It’s also essential to take care of yourself!

In what ways will you be spreading Christmas cheer this holiday season? Leave a comment below or send me an email! I’m always looking for new ideas and would love to know what others are up to. Happy Holidays! May you be at ease this holiday season!


  1. Donna Ross
    December 5, 2022 / 2:57 am

    The holidays can be pretty stressful getting everyone the “perfect” presents. And then my family gets here especially my perfect little granddaughter and then all is well and it was all worth it! Thank you for your beautiful words!

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