Planning Ahead for a Season Full of Festive Fun

As the month of November draws to a close, I hope that you are finally seeing a little more room in your fridge having successfully used up all of your Thanksgiving leftovers. I also hope that you are looking forward to the month of December with as much excitement as all of us here at 4smartypants. The Christmas season goes by so quickly it is important to take a moment to plan the month’s activities so as to take advantage of this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

Always a sucker for nostalgia, I would be remise not to recommend you look back into your favorite Christmas memories for inspiration. Was there a favorite holiday tradition you had when you were a kid? Perhaps you would like to turn this fond memory into a new tradition in your own home. Maybe you saved an article at some point and always planned to start a tradition “one of these years”. Well, I’m here to encourage you to start (or keep) traditions to make the most of the season this year.  

I realize that attempting to wade through the numerous seasonal activities can be as daunting as deciding on the perfect Christmas tree. To help, I have brainstormed some suggestions and organized them into five categories. I have included ideas that can be done in the evenings during the work week so that each day can be filled with festive flare. This list is by no means exhaustive by there should be enough activity ideas to last the whole month.

Christmas Crafting

Many people enjoy the inspiration for creativity the Christmas season has to offer. Sadly though, Christmas crafting is one seasonal activity that often gets put on the back burner. Many blame “lack of time” for this neglect. To this I say hogwash! Crafts don’t have to be reserved for weekends and they don’t have to take a lot of time. With a little planning, a little holiday crafting can fill up down time during a too quiet morning or in a slow afternoon. Crafting  can also be a fun way to spend an evening by the fire while watching Christmas movies. Now that the excuse of “time” is out of the way, next time you’re out, pick up some supplies for when the crafting fairy starts tickling your ear.  Keep your supplies easily accessible so that set up and clean up don’t hinder your creativity. Now comes the fun! Selecting what crafts to conquer! You don’t have to be a pro like Martha Stewart, just enjoy the fun in being creative and crafty. Below are a few fun suggestions that are reflective of Christmas traditions from different parts of the world.

Christmas ornaments

Clove oranges

Candle making

Greeting cards

Bird feeder wreath

Special Seasonal Events and Activities

Ever hear someone retell a story of a special seasonal outing and say “Oh, I always wanted to do that”? Well, make this year, your year to be included in the festive fun. Below are some activities that are sure to help you get into the Christmas spirit by enjoying the wonderment the season has to offer.

Attend a holiday production like the “Nutcracker” or “A Christmas Story”

Drive or walk around and look at Christmas lights

Meet friends for lattes and holiday shopping

If you live in the area, drive to Amish country for special holiday finds

Take a sleigh ride

Visit Santa with some little ones

Attend a holiday bazaar

Go ice skating

Plant an evergreen

Attend a special Christmas presentation by the symphony or a Christmas choral concert

Pick out a Christmas tree

Christmas Baking

Many feel that baking Christmas cookies is something reserved for grandma’s kitchen. Boy are they wrong! There is something about the sweet smells of Christmas recipes baking in the happy oven in your own home. For those who claim they don’t even know where to start, I’ve included some ideas for sweet confections that can be shared with carolers, neighbors, coworkers or on your own all cuddled up by the fire.

Christmas Cookies

Peanut Brittle

Traditional sweets and baked goods

Gingerbread cookies

Fudge

Entertaining

Christmas parties are special and super fun! I recommend hosting at least one get-together to celebrate this special time of year with those nearest and dearest to your heart. Themed parties can be a fun way to spice up the season. Below are just a few ideas to get your hosting wheels turning. To entertain your friends and loved ones this year consider hosting a…

Tree trimming party

Cookie exchange

Gingerbread house party

Christmas caroling party

Cocktail party

Special Santa photo party

Winterfest

Charity Work

Before we go overboard and blow our budgets on frivolities related to the season, it’s important to first remember those less fortunate. Below are some ideas to consider when looking to give back to those in need this Christmas season.

Make a dollhouse with friends for a special child in need

Offer to help at a local mission

Help winterize the home of someone who is elderly or disabled

Take a ticket off an angel tree and spend some time shopping for gifts for that special someone

Take advantage of seasonal coupons and go toy shopping for Toys for Tots

Take your children and their friends Christmas caroling at a local retirement home

Host a crafting party and donate all goods to local charities like Toys for Tots, a local women’s shelter, a foster care private agency, missions or to elder care services

December is always such a fun month that should be enjoyed fully. I hope that this post has provided some ideas that you can incorporate into your holiday festivities. Seasonal activities can be so fun but also a little daunting. That is why I recommend taking the time now to do a little planning ahead to make the most that this season has to offer! Happy planning and Merry Christmas!

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Categories: Activities, children, Crafts, Elder Care, Entertaining, Family, Food, Gifts, Home, Parenting, Party Planning, Social Life, Time Management | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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