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Need ideas for your Christmas bucket list? These are the 25 things I chose to add to ours this year, and am sharing to give you a bit of inspiration.
But before we dive in… What is a Christmas bucket list?
Simple. It’s just a list of activities you want to do during this holiday season that you think will bring you happiness and joy.
I love creating lists like this because even if I don’t get to do every single one, just creating the list makes it more likely I’ll get to most of them.
It’s easy to get off track during the holidays. There’s so much going on, and it can get hectic. Setting the intention of creating these moments and memories with your family can help you savor the holidays.
(Just a quick note, there may be some affiliate links below. That means if you purchase anything I recommend with my link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
1. Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree is pretty essential when it comes to a Christmas bucket list.
My family is very specific about what we want from our Christmas tree. In our home, we have a foyer with high ceilings, so our goal is to always get the tallest tree we can find in the field.
I say in the field because we love to go cut down our own tree instead of buying one precut. Not only is it fresher, but it’s more fun. We also always opt for a fresh tree as a personal preference, and it’s actually more eco-friendly.
2. Decorate a Gingerbread House
You can buy a kit to make one, but we actually do the entire thing from scratch and cut out the pieces.
It’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, the actual baking process is the easiest part. The hard part is getting all your little pieces to stick together with the icing. We always end up needing about 100 toothpicks to keep our house together.
But the imperfections are a big part of the fun! I will always make sure this one is on our Christmas bucket list.
3. Have a Christmas movie marathon
I refuse to choose a favorite Christmas movie. There are so many classics!
So this year, I’m planning to do a pajama day with the kids (and hopefully the hubby) and just do an all-day Christmas movie marathon.
This should be a bit of a treat for my 5-year-old because she always bemoans the fact that won’t let her just watch TV all day.
4. Go see Christmas Lights
Last year we went to a drive-thru Christmas lights display. We had two little babies then who wouldn’t appreciate staying up past their bedtime.
This year they are officially toddlers and will stay up a little later than before. So I’m hoping we can make it to a light display at the local zoo! Animals and lights, what’s better?
5. Make Fancy Hot Cocoa
I guess some good old fashioned powder mix or chocolate syrup works just fine, but I’d like to amp up my hot cocoa game this year.
My goal is to make fancy hot cocoa from going through the whole process of melting chocolate. If I’m really feeling extra, maybe I’ll add some cinnamon.
6. Bake and Decorate Cookies
Another essential on the Christmas bucket list.
My husband is so helpful in making things like this happen because he has become obsessed with making a perfect sugar cookie and royal icing. So we do the entire thing from scratch, just like our gingerbread house.
But if the goal is mostly just to have fun with the kids, then go ahead and get something pre-made and go to town.
7. Knit Something Cozy
I recently found a huge box of my old knitting supplies in my the basement, and I can’t wait to dive back into this old hobby of mine.
Knitting is such a soothing and meditative process for me. It’s like instant zen, especially with some soft music playing in the background, or maybe even my favorite audiobook.
Usually, I knit as gifts for other people, but this year I’m going to make something for myself for my Christmas bucket list.
8. Give Back
For the second year in a row, we have chosen a card off a tree at a local shop with the age and gender of a local child in need.
My daughter and I picked out a Christmas gift for her, and will drop it back off soon so a little girl in our area will have a gift she otherwise wouldn’t.
I’m sure I will donate some money, or find some other ways to give back, but this is one I’m doing with my daughter to teach her about gratitude, compassion, community, and helping others.
9. Make a Homemade Wreath
Luckily, I have an evergreen tree in my backyard, holly in my front, and some lamb’s ear all over my yard. So I’m just going to go out and cut some pieces off and use some twin to create a homemade wreath.
You could also go to a craft store and purchase items to create a wreath if you don’t have access to free fresh materials like I do.
10. DIY Decorations with the Kids
When I was a kid I remember making a bunch of different homemade decorations with my mom’s help. We did dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, strung popcorn, and more.
I can’t wait to make some DIY decorations with my kids too!
11. Go to a Tree Lighting Ceremony
My town does a tree lighting ceremony every year, and I have NEVER been.
So this year, I’m adding it to the Christmas bucket list to hopefully attend for the first time after living here for over 5 years now.
12. Make Gifts with the Kids
Buying gifts for some people is so hard! So we make them.
This is mostly for the grandparents, but I’ll have all three kids do some sort of crafts that they can present the grandparents with for Christmas.
13. Create and Send Christmas Cards
I am terrible at sending cards. My thank you cards from my wedding are still in my basement! (I know I’m a horrible human, but we moved midway through filling them out and they got buried in stuff.)
But this year I really want to send out at least a few Christmas cards that I handmake.
I never really understood why Christmas cards were so valuable, but now I have friends that I love but haven’t seen in years because of #momlife. I’d like to send them a handmade card just to keep the connection alive.
14. Listen to a Christmas Playlist
I really didn’t need to put this on the Christmas bucket list because I will do this basically every single day.
This is almost more a Christmastime routine vs. bucket list item, isn’t it?
15. Go See the Nutcracker
The music and visuals of the Nutcracker completely captivated me as a kid. I even would create my own dances and force my mom to watch every single one of them when I first saw it as a kid.
This year, my daughter is now in ballet classes and I would love to take her to experience the magic.
16. Go Ice Skating
It’s been years since I’ve been ice skating!
My husband ice skates all the time because he plays hockey a few nights a week, but my daughter has NEVER been.
So I’d like to maybe have a grandparent watch the little ones while we take my daughter to go ice skating.
17. Go on a Romantic Winter Date
Or maybe this year ice skating will be a date night. There are also tons of little winter villages and festivals in our area.
Most Friday nights are date nights for my husband and me, so going on this Christmas bucket list is getting to do a romantic winter date.
18. Make a Winter Nature Table
We are planning to homeschool our kids, and many of the methods I am planning to follow like to use nature as an essential part of the learning process.
One aspect is many times bringing nature indoors through a winter table.
This December I really want to set up a winter nature table for the kids to explore.
19. Read Christmas Books with Kids
My toddlers LOVE books.
They would read books for hours straight with me if I had the attention span to sit there! If it were up to them I would do 100 readings of Brown Bear in a row.
I like variety in what we read though, and so I’ll head to our local used bookstore and get a slew of Christmas and wintertime books for us to read. I always get used books because not only are they cheaper, but my toddlers are really rough on books. If they end up destroying one, I don’t feel as bad about it if it was used.
20. Go for a Winter Walk in the Woods
I LOVE going out in the woods. Spending time in nature is essential for my mental and spiritual health.
The cold weather doesn’t make it easy to get out where we live though. In order to really make it happen, I have to put it on the calendar and make it a goal.
So going for a winter nature walk with the family is definitely going on the Christmas bucket list.
21. Celebrate the Winter Solstice
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. After that day, December 21, the days will start to get longer again.
In ancient times, and also modern pagan communities, the Winter Solstice is celebrated as the return of the sun. We’ve gotten through the time of the year when the darkness keeps encroaching and can start to look forward to the warmth and long days again.
22. Drink Mulled Wine
This warm spicy wine is sooo good.
I remember the first time I had it was at an outdoor Christmas village in Prague. It was so freezing cold out that I couldn’t feel my thighs, but the mulled wine warmed me right up!
My local winery sells a pre-spiced bottle of mulled wine that you can just dump in a pot and heat up. But I think I’m going to make it from scratch.
23. Meet Santa
This one is already crossed off our Christmas bucket list! We happened to be at a mall that had no line to see Santa a few days before Thanksgiving so we went for it.
Though it did cost me an arm and a leg to get the digital downloads of the adorable pictures.
24. Wrap Presents
Instead of just grabbing some festive paper, I’m going extra with the wrapping this year.
I’ll be using craft paper and green paper to create reindeer stacks of presents for my twins and a Christmas tree for my daughter! Super excited for this one.
25. Make a Christmas Morning Breakfast
This is our family tradition for Christmas morning and it wouldn’t be the same without it on our Christmas bucket list.
After the presents are opened and the kids are happily playing. My husband makes us the most indulgent and delicious chocolate chip pancakes. So good.
What about you? What’s on your Christmas bucket list? Did I miss something essential? Share in the comments below.
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