Sometimes we get so wrapped up with buying gifts that we forget to actually CELEBRATE the holiday season! Don’t get me wrong giving thoughtful gifts to my friends and family is one of my great joys in life but we also need to celebrate the season! Take a little time to enjoy the holidays by doing any or all of these ideas.
The first items that I’m going to leave un-listed are to buy, wrap and ship presents. I thoroughly enjoy these activities, but they are par for the course when it comes to the holidays so I will leave them off this list—but don’t forget to do or enjoy them!
1. Have a wrap party
After you’ve purchased your presents wrap them with someone! The more the merrier! Gather gift wrap, tape scissors and ribbon and wrap with friends or family. This will make the task go by faster and make it more enjoyable instead of a chore. Don’t forget the holiday themed snacks like a holiday themed popcorn tin, holiday cookies, hot chocolate, apple cider—really make it festive! I also suggest adding a wrap battle to your party! Have someone who isn’t wrapping be the judge of the best wrapped gift. This is really fun for any kids in the house, let more than one person be judges and they can vote!
2. Make a Gingerbread House or Christmas Cookies
Get messy with Christmas arts and crafts and make a gingerbread house! You can get kits to make it easy to assemble gingerbread houses, trains, Christmas trees, there are so many options. Or really get into the spirit and make one from scratch with your own gingerbread! If Christmas cookies are more your speed, grab some cookie cutters and dough (store bought or made from scratch) and decorate to your hearts content!
3. Watch a Christmas Movie
I’m not sure it gets any better than this! This is a great way to relax and slow down during the holiday season. Cozy up under your favorite blanket, yes it can be a holiday blanket if you have one, and watch your favorite Christmas Movie. Better yet, go for a full marathon—morning until night Christmas movies!
4. Zoom Present Exchange
If you can’t be with your friends and family this holiday season that doesn’t mean you have to miss the expression on their face when they open the amazing gift you got for them! Schedule a zoom call this holiday and share the love, digitally!
5. Christmas Decoration Drive
One of the highlights of December is driving around different neighborhoods and checking out all of the houses adorned with bright twinkling lights! Put on your favorite Christmas music and drive through spirited streets. Make it even more fun by making it a scavenger hunt or play a game of “I Spy”! Be on the lookout for your favorite sights! A sleigh on the roof, icicle lights, a blow up snowman, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, a house with all white lights, a house with only red and green lights, and see who can spot them first.
6. Make Handmade Ornaments
If you’re decorating a tree this year, add a few touches of your own. I love beautiful store bought ornaments and baubles passed down from family members, but make some of your own memories this year and create a few new ornaments for your tree. A craft store will have everything you need to make something beautiful, they might even end up being under the tree instead of on it!
7. Easy Hot Chocolate Tasting
Mmmmmm, chocolate! Create a flight of hot chocolate to taste test. This can be done with hot cocoa from scratch or really simply with instant hot cocoa mix. Just add in your favorite mix-ins:
Cinnamon: Add a cinnamon stick and powdered cinnamon on top
Peppermint: Add a candy cane and swirl until it melts in the chocolate, also add some crushed peppermint on top
Salted Caramel: Just melt a caramel candy (or two) into your hot chocolate and add a dash of table salt or sea salt to the top.
Try these different versions of a holiday favorite drink! If you are imbibing with friends of-age then try a version with Bailey's Irish cream and another with Kalua. Don't forget the whipped cream!
8. Buy a Present for Someone in Need
This is the season for giving and it always makes me feel better to get a gift for someone in need. Shopping for someone who will definitely appreciate a gift, no matter who it’s from warms my heart! The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree has always been a favorite of mine but also several stores offer a giving option at checkout. For example, Barnes and Noble offers you the option to buy a book for someone in need at checkout. Take advantage of these offers at least once this season. It brings a child in need so much joy and you will feel the joy of giving too!
9. Light Christmas or Winter Scented Candles
Make it smell like the holidays! Light a candle and let the fragrance fill your home while you cozy up with a Christmas book, what a relaxing way to spend a seasonal evening!
10. Buy Christmas Pajamas
This one is traditions for so many, but still some people haven’t tried it! There are many ways to do this, you can buy them for your family and have that be the present they unwrap on Christmas Eve, and then wear them and jump in bed to wait for Santa. Or, you can all go to the store together and everyone picks out their own Christmas Pajamas. I, personally, love to go out on Christmas Eve and buy Christmas pajamas. After all the shopping is done and the presents are wrapped I love this one final activity before the big day!
11. Buy a Treat-Yourself present, and wrap it!
This year we could all use a little treat for ourselves so if there is something that you want this year that you probably won’t get from anyone else this Christmas, go ahead and buy it. But keep a little of that anticipation and wait until Christmas to open and use it.
Hopefully this list gave you great ideas outside of your normal holiday to-do list of decorating the tree and your house, as well as buying and wrapping presents.
Very Happy Gifting!