Holiday Bucket List: Holiday Activities & Festive Things to do!

It is December! Holy Moly this year went by so fast. I have a 11 month old and a 2 and a half year old and can’t wait to tackle this list with them. I already love Christmas but being able to watch all my favorite things through their eyes is something I have looked forward to forever. In this post you will find The Holiday bucket list. Follow along with me and let me know which ones you accomplish.

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The holidays always seem to arrive way too quickly. Having a Holiday Bucket List filled with fun things to do can help keep you in the festive spirit. You don’t have to stress yourself out and try to accomplish everything from this list. Make it manageable. First, only pick the activities that meant the most to you or that you can see yourself smiling with. If you know you’re going to go overboard on activities, then force yourself to keep it to a certain number. 

Fun Christmas

  • Get your Picture taken with Santa. Whether you have a child or are a child at heart, go to the local mall and get a cute picture with Santa. When you are taking pictures with Santa you need a really cute picture frame to remember it by. Check out these pretty 2023 and silver ones.
  • Chop Down your Own Christmas Tree. Nothing beats the Christmassy feeling and scent of having a real, lush tree in your living room for the season.  
  • Connect with an Out of Town Friend. The Holiday season is the perfect time to catch up with an old friend that you haven’t connected with in a while. Give them a quick call or text and set up a time to get together.
  • Make a Christmas Playlist. Playing Christmas music during the holiday season is so much fun and gets you in the spirit.
  • Participate in a Secret Santa. Doing a secret Santa exchange with family members is perfect. It is especially great if you have a large family and don’t want to buy gifts for everyone. I do one with my siblings every year. There are a lot of us including spouses so it makes it more affordable.
  • Watch a Holiday Movie Favorite. Put on your comfiest pjs, make some popcorn and watch a holiday movie that will get you into the spirit. Why not make it a movie marathon.
  • Host or Attend an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. This is so much fun. You can buy so many Sweaters or take out your random craft supplies and make your own.
  • Work on a Christmas themed puzzle. Set up a table in the corner or get a roll up puzzle mat. Choose a fun puzzle to put together a little at a time throughout the month.
  • Host a holiday game night with friends. Grab a board game, put on some Christmas music, and enjoy some hot cocoa.
  • Track Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. This is so magical for your little one to see. It will also encourage them to get to sleep when Santa is close.
  • Wrap Christmas gifts together. Have your little one help wrap the presents they may get for others. I got a plain white roll of paper and am letting my son color it. You can trade wrapping paper. Just be careful not to bring any presents for any of the people who may be in attendance.

Cozy at Home

  • Read Christmas Picture books. I made a Christmas book advent calendar for my son. You can always just collect some books and throw them in a basket to have around all season.
  • Buy matching Christmas PJs for your family. I love doing this. I buy our Christmas PJs in October because it can get hard to find all the sizes you need.
  • Put up Christmas lights. This is so fun and makes everything look so magical.
  • Watch a Holiday Movie Favorite. Put on your comfiest pjs, make some popcorn and watch a holiday movie that will get you into the spirit. Why not make it a movie marathon.
  • Elf on the Shelf. At the beginning of the holiday season, this elf is placed all around the home acting as Santa’s eyes and ears, making sure all the children are behaving. Each night after the children have gone to bed he goes back to the North Pole to report to Santa. He returns to your home in the morning, but always to a different location. If you have kids it’s fun to hide and find him. It’s one of those activities for all ages. We started it this year. It is a lot of work but will make the season even more magical.
  • Hang Stockings. Stockings are such an essential Christmas decoration. Usually they create a cozy atmosphere with their cute appearance, and in addition they’re a wonderful spot to hide those tiny Christmas presents in.
  • Create an Advent Calendar. An advent calendar is a countdown to Christmas with little boxes that hold chocolate or small gifts. If your kids are too small for chocolate, create an advent calendar with Christmas books.

Out and About

  • Go to a Local Christmas Festival. It could be a parade of lights or welcoming Santa coming to town, attend a local festival in your city.
  • Walk around the block to look at neighbor’s Christmas decorations and lights. This is simple, free, and will become one of my favorite holiday traditions.
  • Take a Sleigh Ride. It might be a little hard to find one in your area but that’s why this is a bucket list. If you come across a place that does it, grab some gloves and scarves and get ready.
  • Shop for gifts at local places. You can find a small boutique or craft festival to shop at. If you don’t have one in your city, you can always check out Etsy for some amazing gifts.

Festive Food and Drinks

  • Leave Cookies for Santa Claus. On December 24th leave cookies for Santa Claus. (This will be a great late-night snack for Mr. and Mrs. Claus as they put out all the presents and stockings). Use this cute plate set. It comes with everything you need.
  • Sip on Hot Chocolate by the Fire. There is nothing quite like sipping some hot cocoa while watching a fire. It’s a great way to relax and reset for a day.
  • Eat Candy Canes. There are so many flavors to choose from. Here are some choices; peppermint, pickle, Twinkie, organic peppermint, Red Hots cinnamon, Oreo, Lemonhead, Funfetti, Sweetarts, Hersheys Chocolate Mint, and Jolly Ranchers. I couldn’t help it. I went down a rabbit hole and there are so many fun flavors to try.
  • Make a hot chocolate bar. Hot Chocolate is the beverage of winter. Splurge on toppings you normally don’t use like cinnamon, heavy cream, and gourmet chocolates. Making hot cocoa should be fun and there are many ways to make it fun. You can get the classic Swiss Miss packets here. Your Hot Cocoa needs this Wilton Snowman Cocoa Trimming Kit. Peppermint spoons make your cup so fun. This gourmet set would make a beautiful gift.
  • Make Rudolph pancakes. For a reindeer, all this takes is bacon for antlers, frozen fruit, and dabs of whipped cream to make the eyes and nose.
  • Make a Christmas themed breakfast. Make tree shaped waffles or Santa pancakes. Use powdered sugar and strawberries to make them extra festive.
  • Bake Christmas Cookies. What is Christmas without cookies?! Spend the day baking and then participate in a cookie exchange with others. Host a family baking party. Everyone can make their own special treat. You can play Christmas music or watch Christmas movies.
  • Make a gingerbread house. There are so many great options when making gingerbread houses. I like the option of buying gingerbread house kits so you don’t have to worry about baking the gingerbread.
  • Deliver Holiday Treats to neighbors and friends. What else are you supposed to do with all the yummy baked good you make?

Crafty Christmas

  • Make a Homemade Gift. There is always something special about giving and receiving a homemade gift. There are so many great kits you can get online to make a lot of gifts for so much cheaper. Here are a few ideas: Gifts in Jars book, Friendship Bracelets, Candle Making, and even a Hot Sauce Making Kit.
  • Make an Ornament. Put on your creative activity hat and make your own holiday ornaments for your tree or someone else’s. Most craft stores carry clear bulbs that can be filled with an array of festive things. There are so many fun kits to get to make your own ornaments. This set has wood slices that you can decorate to have a more natural look. This set has some cute, beaded ornaments that are great to make with your kids. This set is a really cute build your elf ornament.
  • Make Paper Snowflakes. Make some with your family and hang them on the tree. Your little one will love seeing their artwork hanging up. Grab some white printer paper and get those scissors ready. There is no wrong way to make a snowflake.
  • Create Handmade Christmas Cards. With a collection of papers, ribbons, glue and some decorative pieces you can create some pretty festive Christmas cards that will wow your family and friends. I love sending cards. You can use any pictures you’ve taken during the year for those cards. It definitely doesn’t have to be a professional picture or even Christmas related. You can buy some cool kits online if you don’t have a large collection of crafts like I do. This kit makes really cute Santa faces on cards. You can get this set and have your little one color their own cards.
  • Make a Wreath for your Front Door. Give your guests a warm welcome by placing a beautiful crafted wreath on your front door.
  • Have a gift exchange consisting only of homemade or used items. This is a great way to have a sustainable Christmas. Go to your local thrift store, you will be surprised what you could find.

Frosty Outside Fun

  • Go Ice Skating. During the Christmas season, outdoor ice-skating rinks start popping up, even in places that have no snow. Put on a pair of skates and cruise around the rink. Follow it up with a cup of hot cocoa.
  • Build a Snowman or Make a Snow Angel. Escape to a winter wonderland to make a snow angel or an old fashioned Frosty. Have fun plopping yourself right into the snow, waving your arms and legs to create the perfect angel or stacking big balls on top of each other for a jolly snowman (don’t forget the carrot nose, hat and stick arms).
  • Go Sledding. Going down a snowy hill is so much fun. Get this fun 3 pack to use with your family.
  • Have a snowball fight. You can get outside in the snow and have some fun. If it doesn’t snow where you live, get some fake snowballs and play inside.

Moms Silent Night

  • Do a 12 days of Christmas Self Care Challenge. This could include a night of taking it easy, giving yourself a healthy boost, going on a solo date, going outside in nature.
  • Do a digital detox. It will help you focus on what really matters this season.
  • Give yourself or get a winter pedicure. I love this machine and these colors are perfect for the Holiday Season.
  • Buy a new Christmas candle. Christmas candles make your house smell so good. This Warm & Cozy candle is the perfect scent with hints of orange, cinnamon, clove, and pine.
  • Plan a cozy Christmas date with your partner. Watch a romantic holiday movie, wrap gifts together and eat a fancy, or eat a fun appetizer tray eaten by the tree.

Season of Giving

  • Donate a Toy. Christmas is all about giving. Giving a gift to a child in need is one of the most rewarding things to do this holiday. Whether it’s money, your time, or even items you no long use, giving to others is truly what this season is all about.
  • Send Christmas Cards to people in need. Send cards to children, armed service members, the elderly, or others in need.
  • Leave a container of goodies for delivery drivers and mail carriers on your front step. Fill your container with chips, trail mix and candy, along with some drinks like bottled water or Gatorade. Add a Thank you message for your drivers.
  • Volunteer at a nonprofit
  • Contribute to a jacket/mitten drive
  • Donate to a food bank. When there is a sale at your grocery store, get a little extra to donate to those in need.
  • Adopt a family for Christmas. I have done this before with my family and it is the greatest feeling in the world.
  • Offer to babysit a friend’s kids. Even if it’s only for a couple hours, they can go on a date night or even catch up on their shopping.
  • Give a stranger a gift card. This could be as simple as $5 for the person behind you at your local coffee shop. Kindness is contagious.
  • Put up Christmas lights for an elderly neighbor. This is such a big help. They might not have family nearby that could help.
  • Donate pet food at a local pet shelter. A lot of times animals can be forgotten about. When you are buying some food for your pet, get a little extra for those pets in need.
  • Donate blankets or coats to a shelter. When you are cleaning out for the new year, take those coats that don’t fit to your local shelter.
  • Tape coins to a vending machine and treat someone to a snack. How fun is this?! Take a few quarters and tape to the machine with a note.
  • Give a server a generous tip. When those servers are working during holidays away from their family, it’s a great to experience the extra kindness from a stranger.
  • Pay off a school lunch debt. No kids should go hungry, especially at school with others kids around.
  • Drop off treats to a fire or police station. They work so hard for the community and deserve the extra treats during the holidays.
  • Hand out gloves and mittens to the homeless. It can get super cold outside. Providing those in need with some warm comfort is easy
  • Pay for someone behind you at the drive through window. This is always fun to do and puts others in a great mood.

What are you planning on doing on this list? Are there things on this list you do every year? Is there anything new? I can’t wait to hear all about what you choose to do. Let me know down below.

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