Friday, December 3, 2010

100 Ways to Make the Holiday Season More Twinkly and Bright

1. Make a gingerbread house
2. Volunteer to serve dinner at a homeless shelter during the Christmas season
3. Go ahead, throw your first New Year’s Eve party
4. Along with a group of friends, adopt a family that needs help with clothing, blankets, gifts, dinner and a tree this season
5. Serve rose champagne rather than your normal wine at the holiday meal
6. Light dozens of candles
7. Put flowers in every room
8. String white twinkle lights on all the trees, both inside the house and outside in the garden/on the terrace
9. Make homemade marshmallows for your hot chocolate
10. Learn about another country’s, or religion’s, holiday tradition, and have a mini celebration in that style
11. Be certain that no friend or family member spends Christmas alone
12. Attend Midnight Mass
13. Attend the Fete Des Lumieres in Lyon, France
14. Make christmas candies, like divinity and fudge
15. Host a night of board games or cards, and serve coffee and dessert
16. Have friends over for a warm night of fondue and mulled wine
17. Go out for an evening of holiday light sightseeing in your favourite local neighbourhood
18. Invite friends to go caroling, and serve wassail and hot chocolate afterwards
19. Volunteer during the holidays at the local animal shelter, so that those that care for these lonely animals all year can have a break
20. Offer to babysit for friends, family or neighbours, so that young parents can have a holiday date night
21. Take the family away to a cabin in the snow for Christmas
22. Invite friends and family over for an old fashioned tree decorating party
23. Visit Harrod’s glorious food hall at Christmas time
24. Spend Christmas in New York City
25. Spend Christmas in Vienna
26. Spend Christmas at the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest, and get bargain rates for a winter getaway
27. Spend Christmas in Paris
28. Play charades
29. Stay in, and have an intimate New Year’s Eve candlelit dinner for two
30. Take the children to a Christmas pantomime, or to the Nutcracker ballet
31. Host a Christmas Eve brunch for friends
32. Make black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck all year long
33. Offer to take an elderly neighbour who doesn’t drive out to do their holiday shopping
34. Set a holiday table to be proud of, including cloth napkins
35. Give the children a holiday budget, and help them learn how to manage money when buying gifts
36. Stick to your own budget this season, so there aren’t any credit card disasters in January
37. Host a whiskey tasting party (fudge is the perfect compliment!)
38. Put together a holiday music playlist, featuring all the family members favourite holiday songs
39. Visit family members that you haven’t seen in years
40. Have a family holiday film festival, with each member choosing their favourite holiday movie to host one evening
41. Have a white elephant gift party for close friends, and share a laugh
42. Finally learn how to properly wrap a Christmas gift
43. Take a scrapbooking class, and make your parents’ holiday gift with their vintage family photos
44. Shovel your neighbour’s walk
45. As a family, choose a volunteer project for the New Year
46. Roast chestnuts
47. Have your carpets cleaned before the guests arrive
48. Make sure there’s always a fire in the fireplace
49. Bundle up, and go for a walk in the city at night
50. Read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to the children on Christmas Eve
51. Open just one gift on Christmas Eve
52. Wake up early on Christmas morning, make a cup of coffee, and just sit in the quiet with your twinkling tree
53. Make a pecan pie, just like Nonie used to make
54. Make a list in your journal of all the blessings you’ve received this year
55. Have a small dinner party on New Year’s Eve, and invite your guests to stay overnight
56. Put Christmas tree lights on the house, just for the kids
57. Make a special memory with each member of your family
58. Deliver Meals on Wheels on Christmas Day, to those that are alone and homebound
59. As part of their gift, start a college savings fund for the younger members of your family
60. Give yourself the gift of optimism for the New Year this holiday season
61. Take loads of photographs, and post them online for the whole family to see
62. Go ice skating
63. Have a karaoke party with friends (the local Koreatown or Japantown often have private rooms for parties)
64. Use another time zone’s midnight, and host a party to celebrate ringing in the New Year in that city’s style (Los Angeles, NYC, Paris, Rio de Janiero)
65. Go black tie on New Year’s Eve
66. Serve your holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, so that you can enjoy Christmas Day (and the leftovers) with the family
67. Play outside with the children on Christmas afternoon
68. Go for a walk on Christmas afternoon
69. Spend a girl’s weekend in the city in early December, and finish all your holiday shopping together
70. Hang crystal drops on existing lighting fixtures, and elsewhere around the house, to catch the candlelight
71. Watch a New Year’s Day cricket match in South Africa
72. Make homemade Christmas pudding, with brandy butter
73. Make your own Christmas crackers
74. Make homemade pesto or tapenade to give as gifts
75. Be very grateful and gracious about EVERY gift you receive
76. Make time to quietly enjoy the holidays with your partner
77. Call your parents if you can’t spend the holidays with them
78. Be available to loved ones that are struggling through the holidays
79. Stock up on small gifts, for anyone you might have accidentally overlooked (especially children)
80. Remember what the season is about, and be kind and considerate to others while holiday shopping
81. Give antique poetry books as gifts. Tie with a simple piece of ribbon.
82. Give the gift of fine stationary and note cards
83. Find the perfect stocking stuffer for him
84. Find the perfect stocking stuffer for her
85. Find the perfect stocking stuffer for kids
86. Use the china
87. Toast each person around the table individually, with a special message just for them
88. Give the gift of forgiveness
89. Vow to set aside differences, and have harmonious holidays (bite your tongue, if you must)
90. Don’t forget thoughtful holiday gifts for those that make a difference all year long (delivery people, house cleaners, pet walkers, babysitters)
91. Don’t forget a gift for anyone that hosts you this season
92. Be sure to have vegetarian and sugar free choices at dinner for guests with health concerns
93. Cut out paper snowflakes
94. No excuses, send holiday cards
95. Don’t procrastinate, it will only bring unnecessary stress to a wonderful season
96. Make, or buy, only thoughtful gifts that are within your budget
97. Be certain to teach your children what the season really means to your family
98. Plant your winter bulbs, like daffodil and tulips
99. Start a window herb garden to use in holiday meals, and all winter long
100. Make sure to take the time to relax, reflect and savour the moment

1 comment:

  1. I love this list, especially #42. I am the WORST gift wrapper in the world. When the kids were younger I would tell people that they wrapped the gifts. How terrible is that?