Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can officially kick off the holiday season! This time of year is, hands down, my favorite. The holiday cheer, lights, carols, decorations, etc – I love it all. I am one of those people who starts dreaming of the holidays right after Halloween. It’s never too early, in my opinion, but I know it’s an unpopular belief : -) The holiday season never seems long enough and I feel like there are always so many things I want to do. This is my ultimate holiday bucket list to make sure I get the most out of my holiday season.
1:Watch a holiday movie
There are so many great holiday movies. Some of my favorites are Home Alone 1+2, Christmas With The Kranks, The Holiday, and Love Actually.
2: Pick out a tree + decorate
I love the smell of real Christmas trees, so we get ours from Home Depot. I try to stick with a consistent color theme for the decorations, so Target is usually my go-to spot for cost effective options.
3: Go to a tree lighting ceremony
You can usually find these locally. We have one at our outdoor mall and it’s a big event! It symbolizes the start of the holiday season.
4: Get hot cocoa + look @ holiday lights
I get peppermint hot chocolate to be exact. Even if it’s just driving around in our car with the heat blasting and looking at lights, it’s still fun 🙂
5: Host an “Ugly Sweater” party
I LOVE hosting parties, especially holiday themed parties. My house is already decorated, so all I need is a good playlist (see below), yummy apps, and booze. For apps, I’ll do pigs in a blanket with these festive toothpicks, mini quiches (from Trader Joes or any supermarket) in the shape of a tree on a platter, and really anything else I can find on Pinterest that’s relatively easy.
6: Bake holiday cookies
Even if it’s just the pre-made dough, I love cutting them with fun cookie cutters, putting in the oven, and then decorating with frosting. Another thing I love to bake is our family favorite Holiday Coffee Cake.
7: Adopt a family
I always try to appreciate how fortunate I am, especially around the holidays. There are a lot of ways to give back during the holiday season. My favorite is adopting a family and buying them a bunch of presents. When you’re assigned a family, you’re given their wish list, so it’s really easy to pick out things that you know will make their holidays special.
8: Decorate a gingerbread house
Target has $10 gingerbread house kits – and they come with all the fun necessities.
9: Pick out a pair of holiday PJs
Target, Old Navy, and Macy’s are my favorite places to shop for cute/affordable pairs.
10: Kiss under the mistletoe
No explanation needed here LOL
11: Create new years resolutions
Even though I love the holiday season, there is something SO satisfying about starting off the new year with realistic goals. I like thinking of them with plenty of lead time to make sure I can really make the most of the new year.
12: Go ice skating
I’m TERRIBLE at ice skating. I feel like everyone says that, but then they get on the ice and are pros. I REALLY am terrible and have to hold the side pretty much the whole time. That being said, it’s still so much fun, especially rinks that are outside.
13: See snow
Since I’m based in Southern California, this is not always possible. But we usually have a trip planned to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead, and if I’m lucky, it usually snows 🙂
14: Create the ultimate holiday playlist
Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, N’Sync, Amy Grant, Dean Martin – THE LIST GOES ON! There are so many amazing holiday albums out there. I have a playlist with all of my favorites that I add to every year. It’s perfect on shuffle.
15: Send holiday cards
Whether you take holiday card pictures (I always think of Monica and Chandler when I think of holiday pictures LOL) or if you just make them yourselves, it’s nice to let the special people in your life know you’re thinking of them.
16: Buy the perfect holiday gifts
There is something so satisfying about picking out + gifting the perfect presents. You’re giving something so thoughtful, and likely something very useful. For me, it’s a strategic process that usually requires a lot of premeditation. However, sometimes the best gifts are found when I least expect it while I’m enjoying the holiday decor at the mall.