4 Fun Activities to Get Your Grinch into the Holiday Spirit

Photo: jluster

I love Christmas. And now that I live in New York City, I "fa-la-la" all the way to the big day.

But even though I’m soapin’ up to Mariah’s holiday hits in the shower, there still hangs a coal-colored cloud of anti-cheer in my condo. It’s called my husband.

You probably have one, too. He grimaces at the thought of watching Yes, Virgina, he runs off to shoot hoops during your cookie exchange, and he forgets the coupon you gave him for 20 percent off that food processor on your wish list, which forces him to pay full price, drastically reducing the spending limit you set for each other, and ultimately leaving you without one extra present you could have had if he had just remembered the friggin’ coupon!

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Yep, he’s a Scrooge all right, but you love him despite his bah humbug-ness. The bright side is that even that fabled Dickensian curmudgeon ultimately had a change of heart.

So how do you get your Grinch into the holly jolly spirit without slipping a sedative into his eggnog? Easy. Plan festive activities that he can wrap his head around — then cross your fingers for a modern-day miracle.

Add a Little to TV Specials at Home

You can’t miss the annual airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, but he couldn’t care less. Especially if it coincides with just about anything on HGTV. But if you’re like me, you want to reminisce with someone special about that grand time when the whole family would pile in front of the tube to catch Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the gang give good ol’ Chuck a well-intended hard time. Convince him to make your once-a-year showings appointment viewing by upping the ante, adult style. Light a few candles, slip into something enticing, and break out a bottle. Every time a character delivers a classic Peanutism, take a drink. At the end of the evening — if all goes according to plan — Santa may have to reconsider whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

Walk into the Woods and Make a Man Out of Him

There are plenty of places to pick up a tree this time of year, and nothing’s easier than snatching one up from the lot down the street. But that’s over and done with in less than 10 minutes. Instead, make an afternoon out of finding the perfect fir by locating a farm that lets you choose the tree, chop it down, and haul it through a snow-covered field like a living Norman Rockwell painting. Once Hercules has safely strapped it to the roof, warm him up with hot cocoa that you’ve hidden under the seat. On the way home, suggest a detour to his best friend's place to catch the game. Extra points if you packed his team jersey.

Look at the Lights (and Get a Little Lit Up Yourself)

Is there anything more aesthetically satisfying than a house so aglow with colorful bulbs that it can be seen from outer space? Add in a yard full of inflatable snowmen and hologram reindeer, and you’ve got an unofficial invitation to drive by and gawk through fogged-up car windows. Convincing your husband to man the wheel as you cause a traffic jam is one thing; making him to do it for an hour when there’s no real destination is another. Quell his fuss by asking if there’s a neighborhood whose lights he enjoyed as a kid. There’s a child inside all of us; he just needs a little encouragement to embrace his. Afterward, GPS the nearest winery, let him grab his favorite grape, and head home with promises of games on the PS3. Maybe you can even let him win one.

Take Him Shopping — To Places He Wants to Go

Most men hate shopping — until you drop them in a store that specializes in gizmos and gadgets. All bets are off at that point, and you better hope you paid off the credit card. Men are notoriously bad at verbalizing what gifts they want, too. Case in point: Your dad, who, year after year, tells you not to spend your hard-earned money on him but feigns excitement when he unwraps another tie instead of an HD camcorder. Nip that problem in the bud with your babe by planning an outing to an electronics store where he can test out the hottest new products and fill his pretty little head with tons of ideas of what he wants waiting under the tree. While you’re there, surprise him with something small, like a new DVD or that mobile accessory he needs. Your thoughtfulness will be rewarded.

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Linsey Knerl's picture

Another great piece by Mikey Rox! Love this article.. made me chuckle and nod in agreement. Have a great holiday!

Mikey Rox's picture

Thanks, Linsey. Happy Holidays to you too!

Guest's picture

What I like to do is drive around a neighborhood near our home and look at the Christmas lights. SO, if we are driving home from dinner, I'll just say "Hey, since we're in the neighborhood, let's check out some of the Christmas lights here." He ends up enjoying up - in spite of himself!