Keeping busy in the month of December may not seem like too difficult a task. Between gifts, cards and holiday dinners, there’s plenty to do. Oftentimes the challenge lies in dealing with the stress the holiday season brings.
Here are 25 fun activities to try throughout December.
Enjoy The Snow
Snow can be a hassle, especially when shoveling is required, so it pays to make the best of it. Build a snowman, have a snowball fight or make a snow angel. An afternoon in the snow makes the hot chocolate taste even better.
When it comes to door-to-door visits, there’s strength in numbers, so bring a good-sized group; the more the merrier. Watching the mix of joy and confusion on each homeowner’s face is its own kind of thrill.
Ice skating can help most anyone get into the winter spirit. It’s also a great way to get exercise without having to deal with the snow. Go around the rink, pick up a little speed with each lap and you’ll be comfortable in no time.
Throw a Party
It can be an ugly sweater party or just a simple potluck dinner, but no matter the theme, there can never be too many holiday parties. Rotating hosting duties with friends is a good way to keep the fun going throughout the month without feeling the burden of making eggnog week after week.
One reason to pray for snow is that without it, sledding wouldn’t be possible. Climb to the top of the hill, ride the sled all the way down to the bottom and do it all over again. It’s as simple as that.
Do Some Shopping
Procrastinators who missed out on Black Friday aren’t completely out of luck. Shopping deals start to pop up as it gets closer and closer to Christmas, with discounts especially prominent in outlet stores. And while many feel the mad rush of Black Friday is exciting, scrambling for a gift at the last minute can be just as fun. Just don’t tell anyone.
Holiday decorating can feel like a chore, but once the process is over, it’s that much easier to get into the spirit. The end of the year is also a good time to do some general redecorating around the house. As the expression goes, out with the old and in with the new.
Set a Personal Goal
New Year’s resolutions are usually reserved for this, but if you’re looking for a challenge, set an attainable goal for the month of December and give it a New Year’s Eve deadline. Then, spend each day chipping away at it. Sometimes a little pressure can be a good thing.
Catch Up On Your Favorite TV Shows
Most series go on hiatus in December and with a little extra time off, there’s a golden opportunity to binge-watch the episodes you’ve missed in the passing weeks, without having to worry about falling further behind. It’s an especially good activity for those days or nights of being snowed in.
Donate To Those In Need
Everyone knows the holidays are about giving, but there’s no need to stop at friends and family. Churches and community centers accept nonperishable food items to give to people in need. Giving just one item can go a long way in brightening the holidays for others.
See the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
It’s often said that New York City is beautiful around Christmastime and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is a big reason why. The tree will be lit on Nov. 30 and will be available for viewing all December long.
Go To the Jones Beach Light Show
Though the annual drive-through show went dormant for a few years, it started up again in 2014. The display of Christmas lights is beautifully arranged into depictions of Christmas symbols and popular characters. Tune in to the simulcasted radio channel to enhance the experience.
Get Creative With Cards
Even though it’s easy to send a Christmas card with a picture, homemade cards have become more popular in recent years. Materials such as glitter, finger-paint and fabric have turned making a Christmas card into a unique kind of arts and crafts project.
While you may be busy thinking of others this holiday season, don’t forget to take some time for yourself. A fancy lunch, extra shopping purchase and some beauty pampering are just some of the ways to indulge.
Everyone deserves a little R and R, so why not treat yourself to some during this hectic month? A massage, day at the spa, a bubble bath, take-out delivery or cup of tea (or glass of wine) in front of the television are a great start to putting your to-do list on hold.
Watch a Holiday Movie
Netflix typically has a nice selection and TV networks can always be counted on for marathons. The only real question is where to begin. With movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and countless others, there’s never enough time to get to all of them.
Read a Book
Go on a technology hiatus for a few hours and hunker down with a blanket, hot beverage and a good book. Choose from a traditional classic, holiday favorite or whatever is on the New York Times best-seller list.
Volunteer Your Time
While it is important to help those in need year round, the holidays can be extra hard for those in need. Consider helping out at a soup kitchen or coat drive, reading to seniors or listening to someone who needs a friend.
Have a Secret Santa Exchange
One way to spice up gift-giving between friends is to make the identity of each giver a secret. That way it’s much harder to predict what kind of gift you’ll end up opening. Plus, it’s always interesting when the time comes to guess who your gift is from; you may not know your friends as well as you think.
Make a Playlist
Put together a playlist of your favorite holiday music and enlist a friend to help. It’s a fun activity and is a great way to organize the songs that go neglected for the other 11 months of the year, so that when the time comes to have guests over, you’re ready.
See The Rockettes
The Christmas Spectacular show at Radio City Music Hall, featuring the Rockettes, is one of the holiday season’s most famous attractions. With performances running all month long, multiple times per day, there are plenty of opportunities to catch one of New York City’s oldest Christmas traditions.
Bake Some Treats
If ever there’s a time to indulge a little, it’s the holidays. Though classics like gingerbread, shortbread and sugar cookies can be hard to resist, there are always new and intriguing recipes to experiment with like biscotti, cookie bars, lemon squares, cakes, pies and breads. Try enough of them out and before you know it, there may be a new favorite on your list.
Make a Holiday Drink
Mull some wine, sip some cocoa or enjoy an Irishman’s whisky hot toddy. Whatever drink you choose, have fun educating yourself about wine and spirits.
Take a Trip
Cold temperatures and snow have become so synonymous with Christmas that it’s easy to forget that those things may not be for everyone. Sometimes spending a few days away from home can be the perfect way to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Warm locales are a popular choice, but merely seeing an unfamiliar place might be relief enough.
Catch Up With Loved Ones
Not every holiday plan has to be overly elaborate. The holidays often bring people together and December could be the only chance to spend time with friends or relatives who live far away. Catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a while can be its own kind of gift, so be sure to double-check that guest list.