I really can’t believe we are in the last month of 2020, but I’m sure most of you can relate to that feeling. Although I’ve been spending a lot more time at home, I am still somewhat unprepared for the rush of Christmas spirit (I get why people plan so far ahead now), and because Christmas will be different this year, I think that is even more of a reason to appreciate the small, charming touches that make the holidays feel special. If you feel the same and aren’t sure where to start, I compiled some fun ideas/inspiration for various crafts and activities to do this holiday season. I did a post very similar to this one for Halloween/Fall and I had a lot of fun making it so I wanted to do the same thing, but all Christmas/winter themed!
I know many of us aren’t able to see family for the holidays this year, which can bring up a lot of emotions, understandably, so even though these crafts and ideas won’t be able to replace that time, I do hope this provides a fun mental get away and a nice dive deep into holiday fun.
Put Up Decorations
I don’t have much experience with holiday decorating, but I do know I thoroughly appreciate some great lights or sparkly ornaments. And although I’ve been seeing lots of pretty pictures of grand Christmas trees and intricate decor, there’s no need to put in that much effort or money (unless it’s something you truly enjoy, of course). A simple touch like displaying holiday cards, filling some vases with a set of ornaments, or lighting a wintery candle all are lovely ways to bring christmas into your space.
- Minimalist Decorating (The Spruce)
- Easy & Elegant Christmas Decoration Ideas (Real Simple)
This is the first year I’m really aware of how wasteful Christmas wrapping is. I never gave it much thought before because I wanted to make gifts look as nice as possible so the person on the receiving end would know I put in some effort, however, I know how I feel when I receive an online order that has an unnecessary amount of packaging. Here are some things you can use as wrapping paper.
- paper grocery bags: I don’t know about you but I’ve been getting a lot of groceries lately, and I have quite the paper bag collection. I normally just use them as trash bags when cooking, but I think they are nice for wrapping as well. If you cut them and use the inside as the outside of the wrapping, it looks like rustic paper wrapping, or maybe the bags you have, have a cute design on them like the ones above from Trader Joe’s.
- newspaper: If you still get the newspaper in the mail, this is a fun, repurposed option.
- other options: old coffee table books and magazines. Reuse old gift bags you have received (I used to think it was considered rude to reuse old gift bags, but honestly, it’s just a way to repurpose and appreciate something that would otherwise be thrown out or sitting in a closet).
- Other Eco-Friendly Christmas Ideas (Country Living)
If you like DIY crafting, these are all easy to try or get inspiration from!
- Ways to make your home smell like christmas (Martha Stewart)
- DIY Wreath (Food52)
Drive around to look at lights
Driving through light shows or safely driving through neighborhoods can both be fun ways to spend a winter night out, while still staying cozy in your own vehicle. Pour some hot chocolate and enjoy the ride!
Enjoy The Snow
Obviously not everyone has snow, but if you live in an area where a true snowy winter is a thing, it would be a good year to let loose and play in the snow! Sledding, snow-ball fights, building snowmen, or even making snow ice-cream (if you dare).
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to enjoy a full on spa night. Painting your nails, pouring that fancy bath oil, using a face mask, savoring that bar of chocolate or glass of wine.. whatever it is that feels like an at home chill day/night to you, go with that!
Sweatpants and comfy t-shirts have been getting a lot of use this year, so even if you’re not getting new jeans and blouses to wear out, it might be a nice treat to yourself buy new pj sets or loungewear to keep you warm this winter.
- Target Flannel Pjs
- Aerie Bottoms & Top
Do a Gift Drop Off
If you live nearby friends and family and you’ve ever wanted to get really into the Santa lifestyle, you can live your dream by using your sleigh (or appropriate vehicle) to deliver gifts, no contact needed. You can even schedule a FaceTime to open presents together.
Fill Out Christmas Cards
If you’re not buying individual gifts this year, sending out cards is a lovely and personal way to let someone know you’re thinking of them this holiday season. If you’re not into paper cards, you can go with a digital option like Paperless Post. Also, if you’re unsure of what to write, just start with a simple “Merry Christmas!”.
Dress up… Kind of
I love putting sparkly eyeshadow on and wearing a dressy outfit every year for christmas, but this year “dressed up” could look a bit different. Even if you’re not going out, dress up anyway! It is still a fun way to celebrate the holiday. If you prefer to stay more casual, try something fun like antlers, an ugly Christmas sweater, or fun socks, which can brighten and lighten things up a bit!
Try a New Recipe (or a classic one)
If you are having more quiet nights this month, it might be a good time to test out new recipes for your holiday meal! For example, I don’t usually give myself much time to prepare the family meal, and I always make the same things, but for Thanksgiving this year I made stuffing from scratch for the first time, and a homemade pumpkin pie as well. Still very familiar and doable recipes, but since I had the extra time, it really added an extra oomph to the day. If you aren’t having a big holiday meal, you can still make some cozy classics!
- Honey Whipped Ricotta and Prosciutto Crackers by Half Baked Harvest
- Shepard’s Pie by Simple Recipes
- Chicken and Rice Soup by Salt and Lavender (this recipe is a great way to use turkey, ham, and/or chicken leftovers!)
- Stuffing Meatballs by Good Housekeeping (this is another yummy way to use leftovers)
- Peanut Butter Blossoms by Preppy Kitchen
- Hot Chocolate Laced Cookies by Half Baked Harvest
Have a holiday themed beverage
- Fall Drink Guide by Bethany (several great winter recipes as well)
- Other holiday drink ideas (Good Housekeeping)
- Salted Caramel Creme Brulee Latte by Half Baked Harvest
- Other Hot and Cold Drinks by The Kitchn
Purchase an Advent Calendar
If you want to make christmas last all month then an advent calendar is a fun option! They range from this .99 cent chocolate calendar from Trader Joe’s all the way to more luxury options. It is a fun daily activity and an exciting way to countdown to Christmas!
Facetime with Family
Since a lot of us won’t be seeing family or friends for Christmas, it is a nice time to schedule a group zoom or facetime.
Christmas Themed Instagram Accounts
If you prefer a more laid back approach, scrolling through winter/christmas themed instagram accounts can also be a great way to unwind. Here are some of my favorites!
Are there any diy crafts, baking projects, or new activities you’re looking forward to trying this winter?