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 are some ideas to get you started:
1. Watch classic holiday movies.
Our family likes to watch Miracle on 34th Street on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And for the past 30 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. 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.
It’s fun to sip hot chocolate from insulated travel mugs and listen to Christmas carols while touring a Christmas light display.
4. Attend a live production of The Nutcracker.
If you can’t find a live production, look for an online version. You can still make it an “event” by dressing up if you’d like.
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.
6. Read at least one book set at Christmas time.
Choose a classic like A Christmas Carol…
Or something more modern like one of these…
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.
This is something I’ve done for several years now and it’s always fun to choose a selection of old and new songs. Here are the links to some of mine:
10. Bake holiday goodies to share.
I like to order a case of organic canned pumpkin from Amazon and bake several loaves of pumpkin bread to share. The nice thing about pumpkin bread is that it freezes well. But choose your own favorite!
11. Sip mulled wine by the fire pit.
Watch the weather forecast for clear nights that aren’t terribly cold. Then make mulled wine, gather a few cozy blankets and enjoy an evening by 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 to choose from.
13. Schedule a mid-week getaway during December.
If you have any vacation days left try to sneak away for a couple of days. Make sure all your gifts are bought and wrapped, cards mailed and house completely decorated first. Then enjoy a couple of quiet, relaxing days in the midst of this busy season.
14. Host a holiday party.
Whether you opt for a quiet cocktail party, a raucous white elephant party or something else, this is a fun time of year to entertain. Just be sure to get your invitations out early because people’s schedules get busy in December.
15. Attend a Christmas Eve service.
This has always been 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.