Oprah has her favorite things and I, too, have my favorite Christmas activities. As Christmas approaches, I've been thinking about some of the things you can do that don't involve a lot of money, but have more meaning. The holidays typically fly by so quickly this time of year. I sometimes feel sad the day after Christmas because everything is all over so quickly. We are so busy running around doing the shopping, the baking, the Christmas parties that we rarely sit down to enjoy it. Because I am an adult and don't have children yet, I still want to join in the festivities of the season. Don't judge! Here are my top favorite Christmas activites leading up to Christmas that allow you to take time out of your busy schedule and partake in the holiday spirit.
Watching Christmas Movies
The best way to get into the Christmas spirit is to watch Christmas movies. My mom loves Hallmark movies and she can watch this channel all day long, but for those needing some of the classics, check out Netflix, Amazon Prime or your local library and grab those oldie but goodie Christmas flicks. Stage a movie night with adult friends or with your kids. Serve popcorn and hot cocoa. Wear pajamas. The point is to get you feeling all of the feels when you originally saw these Christmas classics.
My favorite Christmas movie of all time is Santa Clause with Tim Allen. I watch it every year and in fact, had the DVD for some time before giving it away. Now I'm in my 30's and continue to enjoy watching this flick. It's funny, heartwarming and really gets me into the Christmas spirit.
Baking & Eating Christmas Cookies
When else can you bake as much cookies as possible and not feel too guilty about it? This is a great opportunity to experiment and try different recipes. You can always give away your creations to reduce the guilt. They make for wonderful, homemade presents. They also make your house smell fantastic so you don't even have to waste money on those scented candles.
I usually make around 2-3 kinds. There is a scone recipe that I only make during this time of the year which means I look forward to making them each year. They are not the traditional Christmas cookie but tastes so good dipped in coffee or tea. I bring them everywhere: to work, to parties, to dinners and even gift them to neighbors.
Children love to help too when it comes to cookies so a great opportunity for them to be your helpers. It's a great family tradition to start and keep. It doesn't cost that much and you can be as creative as you want. If you are not a baker, it's ok, it's sometimes the family time that counts.
Watching the Glow of the Lights
Since it's only my husband and myself, we don't put out a lot of Christmas decorations, but we do hang up lights. I love the glow they leave behind. If we can, we usually keep them on instead of the the overhead lights. It makes our living room a little bit more magical. I've been using the same lights for 5 years now and so far so good.
This by far the easiest and simplest way to decorate. Since we don't usually have a tree, I usually drape them around our window. One year, I collected long branches outside, spray painted them silver and draped them over it. Very minimal, but very beautiful.
You can also walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park and take a look at the decorations your neighborhoods have set up. It's wonderful to see things light up at night. It create a whole different world.
Listening to Christmas Jazz Music
Ahh! Nothing like hearing good Christmas Jazz and Mr. Buble's beautiful voice during this time of year. Here's a link to my Pandora Christmas Jazz Station. You're welcome! It beats the Christmas music you hear on the radio. A little bit more soothing and dramatic to leave in the background.
I don't know, but there's something about this type of Christmas music that feels just a little bit more holiday. I think it's because these melodies are usually in the background of my favorite Christmas movies. They make even writing this post a bit more dramatic and serene.
Attending Midnight Mass
Every year, my family always goes to midnight mass. It's a Catholic tradition to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Mass is celebrated at midnight. It's a more lively affair especially late at night. The church that I've been going to since I was a child always has a choir and always sings songs. The lights are all on, the church is decorated, the bells chime and the choir starts their song. It's a beautiful feeling!
I had a chance to celebrate Christmas abroad in a predominantly Muslim country a few years ago and we were able to find a Catholic church to celebrate mass. It was amazing to see so many different races celebrating Christmas. The mass had the same lively feel as my home church.
The best thing about all of these simple Christmas activities is that they don't cost a lot of money or generate a lot of waste. In fact, many of them just allow you to spend time with each other. Aren't the holidays all about that anyways? Not the sales, but the traditions you create and the memories you keep. What are you favorite Christmas activities? Leave a comment below.