'Tis the season of twinkling lights, elves on shelves, carolers, and festive pillows! We love the holiday season and all of the fun traditions involved. From transforming our homes into cozy winter wonderlands to creating new memories with friends, family members, and loved ones this time of year is always marked with precious times. Today, we're sharing Thirteen December Bucket List Items to make this month one brimming with positive experiences!
1) Make A Wreath
Don't get us wrong, we love a pretty "Chip and Joanna" wreath from Hearth and Hand, but there's also something so special about taking time to use your own two hands to create something festive. It may seem challenging and slightly overwhelming when even beginning to contemplate wreath crafting, but we discovered an easy guide from Martha Steward that provides all the ins & outs. Check it out here >> Looking for a more farmhouse-y vibe? Why not test out the waters of making your very own magnolia wreath? This guide by HGTV is a great place to start >>
2) Host a Holiday Movie Night
While holiday parties may be infiltrating your December calendars, sometimes it's nice to forego the velvet and sequin attire in favor of coziness. Why not go against the grain and host a holiday movie party? Whether you're looking for a night filled with laughter (we see you, "Christmas Vacation"), or a tear-jerker romantic classic ("Love Actually", we're looking at you), the possibilities are endless! Invite everyone to arrive in their coziest Christmas pajamas and to bring a snack to share, then snuggle up for a great evening. Not sure where to get started with possibilities? Check out this killer list from Better Homes & Gardens of the 55 Best Christmas movies >>
3) See Your City's Best Christmas Lights
This season hosts some of the brightest and most exciting light shows, and you might be surprised to discover that your very own city and/or town offers some of the prettiest shows around. One evening this season, swing by a local coffee shop for some hot chocolate and sweet treats, then spend the night driving around town seeing all the lights of the season. You might even get lucky and run across a house like THESE ONES >>
4) Go Ice-Skating
Even if you live in a warmer climate, you'd be surprised at all of the synthetic iceskating options that are available now! And if you're lucky enough to live up north and somewhere colder, then take full advantage of your winter-themed temperatures, bundle up, and spend the season skating away.
5) Bake Homemade Gingerbread Men
Many of us probably have memories of grandmothers making ginger bread men, and the iconic baked good finds its way into everything from Nutcracker songs to movies. Who knew that making them could be so much fun, though? We love this yummy gingerbread recipe by Nerdy Mama -- they're perfect in that they are soft AND don't spread, making them perfectly "decorate-able".
6) Handcrafted Ornaments
Ready to make your Christmas tree the most original of the season, or looking for a unique gift to bring to the hosts of one of your many upcoming holiday events? Handcrafted ornaments bring creativity and originality to your home, and create a sense of love and appreciation for others. The creative process does not need to be overwhelmingly difficult, though! Even if you're a newbie or hoping to involve kiddos, there are options for artists of all levels. Check out this guide for some of the best handmade Christmas ornaments >>
7) Christmas Tree for an Lonely Neighbor
The holidays are often marked by a balance of both joy and sadness, and sometimes it's easy to get caught up in our own busyness and it causes us to overlook those hurting around us. Make a point to seek out lonely neighbors or friends who may need some extra compassion, companionship, and love this season. Go the extra mile by bringing them a Christmas tree! Even if it's a small countertop sized rosemary bush with a few lights, you'd be surprised how much joy and hope it can provide. Check out HGTV's mini Christmas tree guide >>
8) Round Up a Group of Carolers
The art and tradition of carolers has long been lost... but it doesn't have to be! Why not round up a group to bring some song-themed holiday cheer to your neighborhood? You don't have to be professionally trained vocalists... after all, Buddy the Elf says "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"
9) Teddy Bear Donation
Sometimes a cuddly teddy bear or stuffed animal is the best form of safety you can provide for a child in need. This time of year, it's easy to find teddy bears and other stuffed animals are easy to find, so why not pick up a few extra and donate them? We love the organization of "Stuffed Animals for Emergencies" check 'em out >>
10) Bake New Treats
If there's ever a needed excuse for baking and trying new recipes, Christmas is it! Purpose to try out new recipes this season... who knows, maybe you'll end up landing a new family favorite! Don't feel like you have to stick to traditional sugar cookies, though. This roundup from Delish features some perfect ideas >>
11) Send Christmas Greetings to Soldiers
Every day, we have people overseas fighting for our freedom.... and while we recognize these brave duties on national holidays like Independence Day and Memorial Day, it often slips our minds during the holiday season. Many of these men and women are apart from their families for the holidays, and it's up to us to bring them a little joy. Check out Shutterfly's guide to sending cards to soldiers >>
12) Host a Holiday Game Night
Similar to the holiday movie night, a game night is a great way to get everyone together for some festive fun. Have everyone bring a treat to share and their favorite board game, then spent the evening creating fun memories together.
13) Incorporate Other Culture's Traditions
Many, many countries around the world celebrate some form of Christmas, but it's always interesting to learn about the different traditions involved. This year, choose two different countries and research their holiday traditions. Then, if possible, incorporate one or two of those unique memory makers to your own holiday agenda... not only will this give you a fresh set of memories, but it will also give you a chance to try new things! Check out this article for some ideas >>