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25 Things to Do Before Christmas

The Ultimate Bucket List to Help You Count Down

Photo by Antonio Castagna ( 

If you get excited about the holidays it can be hard to wait, even when they’re right around the corner. But that doesn’t mean December has to be boring! Here are 25 things to do to help you countdown to December 25th.

Go on a Hot Cocoa Date

Grab a friend, family member, or significant other and head to your nearest coffee shop for some hot cocoa. Don’t just get it to go—sit down and enjoy your company (and your cocoa) in a different setting.

If you don’t want to spend money on hot chocolate from a coffee shop, get some at the store and enjoy it at home. Add whipped cream or marshmallows and enjoy a good conversation with a loved one over a cup.

Decorate a Tree

While pre-decorated trees are totally convenient, there’s nothing quite like doing your own decorating. Whether your tree is real or artificial you can make it your own with lights and ornaments. Put on some Christmas music, pop some popcorn, and get decorating!

Write a Letter to Santa

Get ready to bring back childhood memories. As strange as it might sound, writing a letter to Santa is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. If you feel silly doing it on your own, invite some friends over and make a party out of it. Make a list of what you want for Christmas and address it to Santa at the North Pole—maybe you’ll get lucky and someone will get you something from your list!

Create a Christmas Playlist

Whether it’s for a party or for your own listening pleasure, a Christmas playlist is a must for every year. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to craft the perfect playlist year after year.

Look at Christmas Lights

Make a night of it and go look at Christmas lights. If your community (or a nearby one) doesn’t do a tree-lighting ceremony or have a public display of lights, you can drive around nearby neighborhoods to look at lights. Just don’t forget your hot cocoa!

Drink Eggnog

Eggnog is a special treat around the holidays. Whether you drink it in latte form, spiked, or just regular eggnog, get a glass and enjoy it while it’s here.

Make Your Own Cards

This might sound tedious at first, but it can actually be fun. Get some craft paper, scissors, glue, and a couple of markers to make your own Christmas cards. Cut out shapes in the paper and glue them to the front of cards for decoration. You can also add glitter or use patterned paper to make a more exciting card.

It’s the thought that counts, but making cards for your friends and family is a great way to show them you care. By taking the time to make something beautiful, you show how much they mean to you, and that makes a wonderful gift for anyone special.

Hang Stockings

While you may not have a chimney to hang them on, hanging stockings on the wall or off of a counter is fun and festive. You can use glitter glue to write your name (or the names of loved ones) across the top, and fill them with small gifts and candy. It’s a great way to “wrap” a gift, and it makes your home feel a little more festive.

Go See Santa

Even as an adult, going to visit Santa at the mall can be enjoyable. Go with younger family members or friends’ children, or go on your own. Just like writing letters to Santa, stopping to see Santa at the mall can bring back a special kind of holiday joy you haven’t experienced since you were a kid.

Build a Gingerbread House

A Christmas classic—build a gingerbread house. You can build a traditional one or get creative. If you get a few friends together, you can make a whole gingerbread neighborhood. And if you make gingerbread men cookies, you can add them to your scene. There are tons of options, and each one will help you get into a festive mood.

Wear an Ugly Sweater

Find the ugliest Christmas sweater you can and wear it out this year; if you aren’t confident enough to rock an ugly sweater in day-to-day life, try to find a local ugly sweater event to go to. Or just wear one at home! No matter where you go, wearing an ugly sweater will definitely get you in the holiday spirit.

Watch a Christmas Movie

This one is obvious—since it’s Christmas, watch a Christmas movie. But you can have fun with it! Watch a movie you haven’t seen since you were little. Have a marathon and watch all animated classics. Invite friends over and have everyone share their favorite film. Watching Christmas movies can be fun, even though it seems like habit.

Go to a Christmas Party (or Throw Your Own)

If you don’t get an invite, throw your own party! It doesn’t have to be crazy, or even that big. Getting together with a few close friends or family over the holidays is a great way to spread holiday cheer. It may not seem like a party, but with some festive decorations and fun food it can be.

Fill Your Home With Peppermint

Peppermint candles, peppermint lotion, peppermint candy. You can’t go wrong with this scent. Add a little (or a lot) to your home to make it feel warm all season long.

Bake Christmas Cookies

They don’t have to be elaborate, but Christmas cookies are a great treat. Use cookie cutters to make shapes like trees or stockings, or just cover some sugar cookies in red and green sprinkles. The best part about Christmas cookies is that you can either enjoy them yourself or give them as a gift. Who doesn’t enjoy getting a plate of cookies?

Wear Christmas PJs

You don’t need to wear them on Christmas Eve, but spending one night in Christmas-themed pajamas is sure to fill you with holiday cheer. You can get friends together and wear them all for a Christmas movie night, or match with your children or significant other. Even if you wear a Christmas PJ set by yourself, you’re bringing holiday cheer.

Build a Snowman

Building a snowman is a classic winter activity, but not everyone can do it with snow. So build a snowman however you can: use real snow, paper, or cotton balls to make a snowman this year. Look for ideas online or get creative. No matter how you do it, building a snowman will help get you ready for Christmas.

Have a Christmas Photo Shoot

It can be with friends, family, or just on your own—having a photo shoot with Christmas-themed props or outfits is a fun way to celebrate the holiday. You can turn the photos into Christmas cards, or make a Facebook album to share some holiday cheer with your friends and family. 

Make a Family Recipe

Think of something you loved to eat around the holidays. Now make it! Take a family recipe you love and learn how to make it, or make it your own. If you have children, teach them how to make it. Trade recipes with friends or share with your significant other. Making a recipe you loved as a kid will make your Christmas even better.

Wrap Your Gifts

It can be easy to throw everything in bags and add a little tissue paper, but think about how you felt ripping open wrapping paper as a child. It might be harder to do, and you may need a couple YouTube tutorials for help, but wrapping some of your gifts with paper will be worth it. 


Spread a little happiness this year. Your donation doesn’t have to be monetary. Donate old clothes to Goodwill, or bring toiletries to a shelter. While you’re thinking about others this holiday season, extend that generosity to those outside your inner circle. 

Donating your time is another great way to spread some love. Volunteer at a local food bank or walk dogs at the nearest human society. Donating your time is just as valuable as donating money or objects, and will make someone feel loved this holiday season.

Find DIY Gifts for People

Your brother might really want that new video game, and that’s fine. Get it for him. But think about homemade gifts for some people in your life. You can buy product in bulk to make your own candles; make one for your mom, and one each for your friends. Since men can sometimes be hard to shop for, make beard oil. There are tons of do-it-yourself options on the Internet and you can find one for almost everyone on your list. Homemade gifts are thoughtful, and can be fun to put together while you make them your own.

Cuddle Up Under a Holiday Blanket

Holiday blankets are often huge and warm—perfect for cuddling up under. You can use it while watching movies, drinking cocoa, or just hanging out. No matter when you use it, you’ll be cozy the whole time.

Get Christmas Socks

As a kid, the last thing you wanted for Christmas was socks. But the older you get, the more you want them. Christmas socks are especially great, because you can wear them and add holiday spirit to any outfit (even if no one can see them). With so many options, you’ll find a pair you love and have them to wear all season long.

Warm up by the Fire

There’s nothing better than cozying up by the fire. If you don’t have a fireplace (and you’re in a location where it’s safe to do so) you can build a fire outside. Cozy up by the fire pit if you can’t on the couch! Either way, a fire to warm your hands is also a great way to warm your heart this holiday season.

So there you have it—25 things to do to countdown to Christmas! Happy holidays!

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