What’s new and shiny and brings joy this holiday season?
Well, the ultimate Holiday Season Bucket List of course! Now, before you run off thinking this one is like the rest, hang on friend, we’re about to bust out of a Holiday Season rut here!
Here’s the thing, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas! (Yes, that’s 3 capitalized LOVES in a row). There’s something magical about the feeling of the holidays, knowing it’s cold outside, warm inside, and full of simple family moments.
There’s always so many fun things to do but it’s easy to fall into the trap of running from party to store to event without a clear intention.
So here’s a beautiful list of ideas.
Do one, two, or all twelve if you want. The main thing is that the Holiday season is spent doing the things you love with the people you love.
Now, without further ado, the 12 best things you could do this Holiday Season!
1. Visit a Christmas Drive Thru
Wait a second friend, there’s a way to do this in a spectacular way! First, get everyone into their pajama’s (bonus points if they’re Christmas pajama’s but not necessary). Then, load up a basket with popcorn, water, and fruit snacks for the drive. Finally, pop all the kids into the car, and take in the scenery.
One of my favorite traditions is to go to a light show which takes us through tunnels of Christmas lights, past inflatable decorations, and surrounds us with music.
If there isn’t one nearby, then just stroll through a neighborhood and turn on your favorite Christmas songs. Between the music, lights, and snacks, your family will be in the holiday spirit and having fun without any hard work.
2. Christmas Karaoke!
A few arguable “facts”:
Everyone loves the festive music this time of year.
Everyone knows all of the words to their favorite holiday songs.
Well, why not combine this into a fabulous event for the whole family? Whether it’s your teens having friends over, a family night, or even a fun date night with other couples, this one is sure to leave everyone happy.
The best part? You can keep it really casual or invite guests to get all dressed up (any guesses which I prefer? Let me know which route you’re taking in the comments below). Toss in some snacks, drinks, and an easy game of “Forehead Detective” or “The Name Game” and you have a full blown party! Or, a fun and easy family night with the kids!
3. Bake together
Why should Christmas cookies have all the fun? Kids love creating things with their hands, adults need to spend time off gadgets and creating things as well. The best solution to this? Baking! During this season when the weather’s cold and you’re craving some warmth, why not use this time to bake? Whether it’s bread, cakes, the aforementioned cookie, pies, (cinnamon rolls), or any other tasty treat, spend more afternoons in the kitchen teaching yourself and/or your family to make food.
Three things i’m trying this year:
4. Send a letter
Snail mail is the best mail! Okay there, I said it! Who doesn’t love receiving hand-written letters or artwork created by loved ones?
It’s such a beautiful act of kindness to take a few minutes out of your day and write a letter to someone you care about. Not only is it a fun surprise for the person receiving the mail, but it’s also a fun experience for the sender.
Whether you’re 2, 12, or 82, anyone can get a piece of paper and send some love in the mail.
Another perk of snail mail, we keep our beloved United States Postal Service in business!
Top 5 Ideas for who to send a letter to:
- Grandma! Of course this will brighten her day.
- Teachers. A sweet note of thanks from their students will mean the world to them.
- Your best friend. She’ll be delighted to open up a special surprise!
- Your postal worker! Come rain or shine, hot or cold, they always deliver your packages and a note of gratitude is sure to brighten their day.
- A far-away relative. Whether it’s a distant cousin, far-away aunt, or an uncle that lives to travel, the reminder that they’re still in your heart can make them feel like home in an instant.
5. Watch a Christmas movie
You may already know that Fridays = Family Movie Night in our home. Well, one thing that makes this tradition extra-special is our Christmas Themed Family Movie Nights in December (Okay, I’ll be honest, we start in November! LOL).
One tip is to let each member of the family choose 1 movie that you’ll watch that month. It’s fun for everyone to pick out their favorite Christmas movie and makes everyone feel great when it’s “their turn” to pick.
This is a great time to turn on Netflix, turn off our phones, grab all of the best treats, and spending time together. It’s actually so relaxing to have a dedicated “zone out time” that even if you don’t have kids, it’s a great idea to make an appointment with yourself for a once-a-week binge session.
Our current favorites:
- Little Women
- The Christmas Project
- Christmas with the Kranks
- The Santa Clause
6. Make Christmas Decorations
There’s so many different ‘craft levels’ in this community. Whether you choose to spend an hour or a few days making crafts, it’s always fun to make things for your home.
The absolute easiest craft: cut out printer paper and hang it on the window as snow flakes, your kids will be delighted that you’re displaying something they made. Another classic option: string up popcorn as garland. It’s a tasty craft that only requires a few items (popcorn, a needle, and string). If you’re feeling extra crafty, you could even make your own ornaments! I prefer the puffy, air dry clay but you spend a few minutes getting hundreds of ideas from Pinterest!
There’s a little whimsy in creating things for your home. Knowing that something was made intentionally and just for you is enough of a reason to spend a bit of time crafting those paper snowflakes, garland, ornaments, or anything else you can think of.
7. Give to Charity
There’s a saying that goes, “Everyone has either time, talent, or money to give”. This is a fundamental principle of not only my business, but of my life. Helping our fellow humans is an important part of sharing this world. I have a few ideas for you, depending on what you can give.
Time: Why not contact a charity to help with picking up donations, delivering meals to those in need, taking elderly people to the doctor, or doing something else. There’s so much need out there and a myriad of ways you can help.
Talent: I have a friend that moves frequently. Every time she relocates, she finds a new organization to work with. Her passion if donating beautiful family photography sessions to the families of children born with or diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. She may not be able to pay for their medical expenses but she does offer them a valuable gift of memories.
Looking for ideas?
A hair-dresser could donate styling to survivors looking for job interviews, a graphic designer could volunteer their skills to a new business, a chef could teach low-income families how to prepare healthy meals with less food waste, a writer could volunteer to coach high-schoolers on writing their college essays. The list is almost endless and there’s always someone who’d be blessed by whatever talent you have.
Money: Let’s be honest, most non-profit organizations could use additional funds. The best thing is that you could help those in need no matter what you’re passionate about. There are organizations that help homeless teens, refugees, women owned start-up businesses, child hunger, medical fields, law, clean water, animal rights, and so on and so on and so on.
No matter what you think is important, there is likely a need for funding in that area.
One organization that I have come to love is the Giving Machines which are located in 10 Locations (EVEN Hawai’i has one!)
You can find one or contribute online by clicking here: Giving Machines
This is a vending machine with a special purpose. Instead of buying a soda, you can purchase a goat (yes, the animal), a pair of sneakers, meals, textbooks, and more. When you contribute your “gift” this organization sends funds to its local partners all over the world to provide relief.
It may just be the most important gift you give this year.
8. Host a potluck night
Let’s just agree to a few things: we’re all busy, we all have to eat, friends and family make life better.
Now that we all agree, why not make a fun and easy potluck night a part of your Holiday Season? The best thing about potlucks is that there’s a big variety of food, a minimal amount of cooking, and a lot of laughter shared with friends.
I’ve seen potluck pie nights, appetizer nights, and even breakfast-for dinner potlucks and at the end of the day, it’s all fun, food, and friends enjoying a meal and each other.
9. Read Together
One of my favorite things to do a family is read together. Now, let me explain. That doesn’t mean that I read TO my kids. It just means that we all read at the same time. In the same room. Our own books that make us happy. Sometimes that means I’m reading a business book, my husband is reading a philosophy book, my teens are reading young adult fiction, and none of us are reading a Christmas book. That’s okay. During the cold holiday season, spending our evenings curled up in our family room, reading, and being together is a gift.
So, what book do I recommend?
Feeding the Soul by Tabitha Brown
10. Visit loved ones
But wait! Didn’t I say going from place to place was a seasonal trap we should avoid? YES! But this is different. Here’s why.
Loneliness is a huge part of the Holiday Season for so many. Whether it’s elderly people in nursing homes, War Veterans in Hospitals, or your own family, these times can be a challenge. Why not take a few hours to make a trip to a hospital, to your great Aunt’s house, or to a grandparent (if permitted of course)?
Yes! That’s a whole category all by itself! Take a slow Saturday morning to play board games, grab a long nap, or just curl into bed early on a random Tuesday night. With the cool weather and early sunsets, enjoy this time to let your body recover from the constant demands of daily life. Holidays can be such a joy but also may leave you depleted. Take some time this month to enjoy warm socks, cozy pajamas, and quiet time.
FINALLY, MY FAVORITE THING!
12. Hot Chocolate Station!
Oh my goodness, this is actually my favorite thing to set up in our house! I love to grab a bunch of toppings, and create the ultimate hot chocolate bar to enjoy all season long! Toppings include mini marshmallows, mini candy canes, flavored syrups, cinnamon sticks, sprinkles, and always have whipped cream in the fridge!
Having everything on hand makes it so easy to create a quick cup of hot chocolate and brings cheer to my day each and every time!
Want to know what movies we have playing in our home this month?
Click below to get all the details of our Hot Chocolate Bar, White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn, and Movie List!