No matter your age, Christmas time is always a reason to slow down and celebrate. But let’s admit it: for some of us, being an adult sometimes means losing a bit of that holiday spirit through the years. This means that we sometimes need a little bit of help to get into the Christmas mood, which is exactly what I want to offer you today!
Scroll down to find my ultimate Christmas bucket list with 25 fun Christmas activities that will get you into the right mood this December. You’ll find my favourite options for solo activities or things to do with your significant other, friends, family or even neighbours:
25 Christmas activities
1 - Get Christmas decorating
Although this might sound more like a chore than a pleasant activity, I still added it as #1 on my list because nothing gets me into the holiday spirit faster than making my space nice and festive! If you have enough themed decorative items at home to get going, I don’t encourage you to just go out and splurge, but going around the shops to buy some pretty Christmas decorations can be a lot of fun too! In case you feel uninspired, I find that it’s always a good idea to decide on a colour theme for your Christmas tree each year. Whether you opt for the classic red and white or be a bit unconventional and choose a gold instead – or heck, push the boat out with an untraditional PINK theme! Either way, I like getting the colour down – this way you’ll know exactly what to look for!
2 - Make your own Xmas ornaments
This is a nice alternative to the activity above, especially if you have kids! In case you’re feeling crafty this year, why not try and make your own Christmas decorations from paper, cardboard or natural ingredients instead? You can find tons of ideas on Pinterest and this can also count as an eco-friendly initiative in case you decide to recycle some stuff you already have at home.
3 - Decorate the Christmas tree
Okay, this one’s a no-brainer! Most people decorate their Christmas tree at the beginning of December to speed up that festive spirit and the magical atmosphere around the house, but I really love my family tradition of setting up the tree on the first Saturday of December. This brings us all together for a family day of digging out the decorations, indulging in treats and kicking off the festive season right from the start.
4 - Buy an ugly Christmas sweater
You have to admit, some ugly Christmas sweaters are so horrendous, they’re cute! I’m a big fan of ugly Christmas sweaters and I think everyone should own at least one, just for the laughs. Thrift stores are great places to find good-quality, authentic (and often hideous) sweaters.
IDEA: In case you want to boost that holiday spirit together with your friends, you can even organise an ugly Christmas jumper party or contest at home where each one of you can show off their choice. Whoever wins gets to take an eggnog shot!
5 - Make a DIY wreath for your front door
Heh, another one for those looking for fun Christmas crafts! Making a Christmas wreath or garland is actually extremely easy and quick and it can be made from various elements such as cut greenery branches, artificial plants, colourful Christmas globes and even popcorn!
6 - Do a Christmas movie marathon
Another obvious one, but I simply can’t help it! Christmas movies never get old and when you have so many iconic classics to choose from (Love, Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Night Before Christmas etc), it’s impossible to not organise a marathon!
7 - Get a specialised advent calendar
Maybe this idea is less classical and very 2021 instead, but I think it’s still really fun! Buying an advent calendar is an excellent way of tracking the days left ‘til Christmas and creating a bit of excitement each morning when you know you’ll be opening another little door to get a surprise. There are TONS of options out there for all tastes and preferences – with edible gifts such as chocolates or bonbons, with mini skincare items, tea packets, small tree decorations, toys and more.
If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own advent calendar at home!
Here are some pretty cool advent calendars worth checking out:
8 - Bake some cinnamon cookies
Okay, not necessarily cinnamon cookies, you can bake any cookies or cakes you like. But one thing’s for sure: nothing screams “Christmas!” like the smell of freshly baked goodies at home. If you’re up for the challenge, you can also make a gingerbread house or a classic British fruit cake. And don’t forget about decorations: anything from colourful sprinkles to chocolate or coconut flakes will do!
And if you need some festive cookie cutters, I found these ones that I really like because they have 20 different shapes to choose from at a very good price.
IDEA: If you have too many cookies, you can organise a cookie swap with your friends or neighbours. Sharing is caring!
9 - Make some mulled wine or eggnog
What would Christmas be without a hot cup of spiced mulled wine or some strong eggnog? I mean… a little alcohol never hurt anybody, especially when all the relatives come together! In case you’re not a fan of liquids that might make you dizzy, then a cup of homemade hot chocolate is just as good.
Pssst: here’s a delicious German mulled wine spice mix that I really love.
10 - Visit a Christmas market
If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where you have a Christmas market, it would be a real shame not to enjoy it. Go shop for gifts and handicrafts, taste all the flavours from the food stalls and listen to some carols as well. What could be more festive!
If you’re feeling adventurous and up for some travelling, you can check out my dedicated article about the 10 Best Christmas Markets in Europe.
11 - Go around chasing Christmas lights
Here’s an idea for things to do on Christmas Eve! Spending a relaxing evening with your friends and loved ones just walking or driving around the city, admiring the Christmas lights sounds like heaven to me. Or you can take a stroll around the neighbourhood to see what your neighbours have set up for the holidays at their houses!
12 - Make a Christmas playlist
There’s just something about December that makes me listen to carols and Christmas songs continuously. No, seriously, I start blasting “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on the 1st of December and I can’t seem to get bored of the eternal classics for the whole month.
So if you’re struggling with feeling festive, why don’t you make a Youtube or Spotify playlist with your favourite jingles?! Guaranteed transformation from grumpy grinch to holly jolly!
13 - Hang some mistletoe
Mistletoe is cute, festive and it gives us endless excuses to kiss our significant other more frequently in December – and I’m all for it! And if you don’t have a significant other? All the more reason to hang that mistletoe! Who knows where a cheeky Christmas kiss may lead… time to pucker up!
14 - Organise a ‘Secret Santa’
I remember “Secret Santa” from school and I also know it’s a popular Christmas tradition at workplaces around the world. But you can also organise your own ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchange with your family or a group of friends. In order to skip the awkward moments and questions, it’s always better to set a maximum spending limit for everyone such as 10 or 20$.
For gift inspiration, I recommend checking out my article: 37 Useful Christmas Gifts for Travel Lovers because I have a special section with travel-related gifts under 10$!
TIP: To help keep things ‘secret’, use a free online name generator like Draw Names. Just enter the names and emails of all the participants and you will be randomly allocated a member of your group as your giftee via email!
15 - Christmas songs bingo
This is such a great idea! You just need a playlist (make sure all the songs on the bingo cards are in the playlist), a group of friends and this printable Christmas song bingo. Whoever “scores” 5 songs in a row on their bingo card wins!
IDEA: Not a fan of bingo? You can try some Christmas crossword puzzles instead. If not, there are lots of free, printable Christmas games on the web that are perfect for a pre-christmas party!
16 - Go shopping for gifts
This is another one that can feel like a chore for some and a fun activity for others. I fall in the second category and I really love running around the city finding the perfect gifts for my loved ones! The key here is in the organisation – the closer to Christmas it gets, the more daunting gift shopping can be.
17 - Wrap the gifts
Now that you’ve got all your gifts sorted, it’s time to wrap them nicely! I find wrapping gifts to be a calming, almost therapeutic activity that I really enjoy. Okay, I’m pretty sure you’ve realised by now that I’m a big sucker for everything Christmas!
IDEA: Feeling competitive? Why not organise a speed wrapping contest with your other Christmas-loving friends? Sounds crazy but it’s crazy fun!
TIP: Even though I love wrapping Christmas gifts, I am also super conscious of the paper waste and that many types of wrapping paper can’t actually be recycled! If you’re like me and dedicated to cutting down on your waste, try to avoid using paper with coatings, glitter, foil, etc. as they are generally not recyclable. Personally, I like to use rustic, plain and simple wrapping paper – which I usually get for free from my local bakery (the stuff they normally use to wrap the bread!). I just ask for a couple extra sheets when I buy my loaves! Much cheaper, such a vibe and 100% recyclable! In case you don’t have a bakery around, you can just use an old newspaper. Oldschool and cute!
18 - Dress up and take some Christmassy pictures
This one is for all my Instagram lovers out there. Okay, you’re seen my gram, so you KNOW that I love getting all dressed up in festive clothes under the pretext of “making content”. After all, dressing up to take some cute pics counts as self-care and can really boost your mood regardless of the season! Not to mention that it’s a lot of fun!
19 - Go to a Christmas concert, theatre show or pantomime
Lots of theatres, event halls, local choirs and churches organise themed shows and concerts during Christmas time and it would be such a shame not to go and see at least one to get you into that magical festive mood.
20 - Go ice skating
Ice skating is always fun, regardless if you’re going by yourself, with friends, with your partner or the little ones. It involves getting active, enjoying lots of cheerful music, and not taking yourself too seriously – so it’s always a good idea for some feel-good fun. Finish the evening with a hot cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate and you’re golden!
21 - Host a party and play some festive games
Gather your closest friends at home and organise a fun Christmas party! Ask everyone to bring their staple Christmas dish to share, or you could all watch a themed movie, listen to that playlist you made earlier or play some games like the Christmas song bingo I told you all about. Or search for some Christmas charades ideas! The possibilities are endless, but the most important thing here is to be with your loved ones. No matter what you do, after a few glasses of eggnog you’ll be jingling all the way!
IDEA: What about a Christmas scavenger hunt to get you out of the house? It’s kid-friendly too!
22 - Make and send Christmas cards
Here’s another one on my list of Christmas craft ideas. Why buy Christmas cards from the supermarket when you can organise a family photoshoot or get crafty with colourful paper and art supplies and make your own holiday trinkets to send to your loved ones?
IDEA: As a bonus, you can also make and send some cute homemade cards to nursing homes – I’m sure everyone will love them!
23 - Donate to charity
For me, Christmas is all about giving and sharing – and not just with the loved ones around us! Donating goods or items to your favourite charity, volunteering at your local homeless shelter or giving away your kids’ old toys to a family in need are all excellent ideas that will brighten someone else’s day and, I promise you, it will brighten yours too.
24 - Build a snowman
In case you’re lucky enough to live in a place where there’s snow in December, I challenge you to be a kid again and build a snowman or make snow angels on the ground. Use a carrot for the nose and two stones for the eyes. Adapt and improvise or make it a competition but, most importantly, never forget how to have fun!
TIP: I know, we don’t get much snow in London, but there is a way to cheat the (weather) system! Head to The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead for some indoor skiing, snowboarding or just to play in the snow and go down the ring slide!
25 - Write a letter of gratitude
This one is inspired by the letters to Santa that are written by little ones each year. Obviously, we’re all grown up and ‘Santa’ has stopped visiting us, but this doesn’t mean that us adults cannot write letters too! … Just this type of letter isn’t to Santa or asking for gifts. Instead, write a list of things you’re grateful for. This time of year can often feel so materialistic, so it’s nice to tune into all you have received, have achieved and focus on the things that are important to you. Honestly, it’s so simple yet so powerful. I know it helps me!
This was my ultimate bucket list of Christmas things to do that will make you feel festive and jolly! I’m sure you’ll find something that will make you feel better in my list above, regardless if you’re a Christmas enthusiast or a real Grinch. Just pick your favourites and get ready for an unforgettable day!