The holidays are in full swing and for those of us who consider ourselves the “memory makers” in our families, it is a busy time indeed. December can fly by in a whirlwind of activity but if we aren’t intentional it’s all too easy to allow the urgent to overtake the important. That’s why I like to create a Holiday Bucket List. I make sure I’ve included the things most important to my family AND myself then get out my calendar and start scheduling.
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Holiday Bucket List
Everyone’s Holiday Bucket List will look different and it’s fun to see what others include. Here’s mine for this year:
1. Watch classic holiday movies.
We’ve already watched Miracle on 34th Street on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And for the past 25 years or so we’ve always watched It’s a Wonderful Life the night we put up the Christmas tree. We also like to watch A Christmas Story while eating takeout Chinese food. Each year I try to add a DVD or two to our Christmas movie collection. This year I’m buying Holiday Affair which I’ve never seen. What are your favorites?
2. Set up a hot cocoa station.
Earl Grey is my usual hot drink of choice but it just wouldn’t be the holidays without the occasional mug of sweet and creamy hot cocoa. I like to set out hot cocoa mixes, miniature marshmallows and candy canes so they are handy when I want to make hot cocoa to enjoy with a Christmas movie. There are lots of YouTube videos demonstrating how to set up a hot cocoa station.
3. Take a drive to see Christmas lights.
Each year we take our Great Pyrenees, Shiloh, to Sonic for dinner and then for a drive through our local park to see the Christmas light display. I don’t know what he thinks about the lights but he sure does enjoy tater tots and bites of our cheeseburgers.
4. Attend live production of The Nutcracker.
We are going to see The Nutcracker at our local university this Saturday night.
5. Go to the movies.
There are always some good movies out during the holiday season. Some years we go to the city with our adult children to see a movie at a really nice movie theater, complete with reclining heated seats and food and alcohol service. I definitely want to see Mary Poppins Returns.
6. Read at least one book set at Christmas time.
The LWD December Book Club selections will be posted tomorrow (December 1st) and all three books will be Christmas themed.
7. Watch cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix and the Hallmark Channel.
8. Light Advent candles each Sunday before Christmas.
The first thing I decorate each year is our entry table. This is where I put our nativity set and Advent candles. I enjoy taking a few quiet moments each Sunday in December to light the candles and reflect.
9. Create a Christmas playlist.
I’ll be sharing the LWD 2018 Christmas playlist soon! In the meantime, here is the link to the 2017 version.
10. Bake holiday goodies to share.
11. Sip mulled wine by the fire pit.
I’m going to be watching the weather forecast for clear nights that aren’t terribly cold. I’ll then make some mulled wine (if you have a favorite recipe, please share in the comments) and we’ll take it and some blankets out to the fire pit.
12. Select charities to support.
When creating my holiday bucket list I like to think of others, as well. A musician friend of ours collects money and provides gifts for over 1400 nursing home residents and veterans. He also performs for them. There are many worthy causes and this is one that we are supporting this year.
13. Schedule a mid-week getaway during December.
David still has several vacation days left so we are going to sneak away for a couple of days. I’m going to try to have all our gifts bought and wrapped, cards mailed and house completely decorated first. Then we will enjoy a couple of quiet, relaxing days at our favorite hotel.
14. Host a holiday party.
I haven’t decided what sort of party it will be but this is definitely on my list.
15. Attend Christmas Eve service.
We do this every year and it’s truly a highlight for me. Singing “Silent Night” by candlelight in our beautiful church is one of my favorite things each year. We then come home, grill hot dogs and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Because apparently we are silly/quirky people.
So, what is on YOUR holiday bucket list? I’d love to hear about your favorite holiday traditions so let’s chat in the comments.
If you’d like more Christmas activity ideas and a free holiday bucket list printable, click here.