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This is a guest post by my good friend Kristaleagh Walthall over at Millennial Whiskey!
It is finally Fall, and the holiday season is not too far behind. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore this time of the year. I love the food, the fashion, the feeling in the air, the fact that my husband and I got married right in the middle of the holidays, and everything else you can think of.
My absolute favorite part about the holiday season is that starting in October there are so many things to do! Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holidays, we can all agree that the season calls for time together with our loved ones. I like to spend the holidays with my husband and our friends just having fun and enjoying each other’s company.
But, because there are SO many activities to do during the holiday season, sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. Between trying to figure out what you should do that still captures the feeling of the season, but making sure you don’t miss anything that could be important.
Besides some of the more traditional holiday things like putting up a Christmas tree, lighting the Menorah, dressing up for Halloween, or having friends and family over for Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve put together a list of the easiest yet still exciting holiday season activities that I think everyone should do!
1. BAKE YUMMY TREATS
This is the best time of the year to bake. There are so many flavor options. Fall has apple cinnamon, pumpkin spice, matcha green tea, maple sugar, toasted marshmallow, etc.
Winter has gingerbread, hot chocolate, cranberry, peppermint, etc. There are so many options to choose from which means so many treats you can make!
Also, I like baking during the holiday season because it’s super fun to give what I make away to friends. You can even use baked treats as holiday presents if you love to bake for friends or if you’re balling on a budget this year.
2. GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY THE WEATHER
Fall and winter are my favorite season because I feel like there’s so much more to do outside. You can
- Go on a picnic
- Have a bonfire
- Go camping
- Go on a hike or walk with your family/pets/partner
- Run a 5k
- Go apple picking
- See an outdoor show, etc
If it’s snowing, you can
- Build a snowman
- Go sledding
- Go skiing/snowboarding
- Sit on the back porch wrapped up in a blanket and watch the snow, and so much more.
Outside is just way more bearable during the winter in my opinion so I love getting to go outside and do stuff.
3. PARTICIPATE IN A PHOTOSHOOT
What’s a more fun way to commemorate the holiday season than getting your photo taken? You can get all dressed up and do a fall sweater photoshoot with your friends or get matching Christmas pajamas and do a family one for your Christmas card.
Or even get your partner involved by doing a romantic winter shoot. It’ll be fun to do and you’ll have some great photos to look back on!
4. DECORATE YOUR HOME
I love decorating my house for the holidays. I actually decorated for fall the last week of August because I was too excited to wait. This is also a fun family-friendly activity because you can get the whole family involved with decorating the tree for Christmas or hanging up lights or just placing out the pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
5. DO A SECRET GIFT EXCHANGE
Secret gifting is a fun way to buy presents for friends and family without everyone having to buy presents for everyone. Also, if you’re like me, you like doing these because it’s fun to try and figure out who everyone has!
6. START A NEW HOLIDAY TRADITION
The best part about the holidays is that there isn’t one right way to celebrate them. You get to create traditions based on what is important to you and your family, and it’s always fun to start new ones.
My husband and I started the tradition of going to see a movie Christmas night the first year we started dating. We didn’t start any new ones last year because we literally got back from our honeymoon three days before Christmas, but I want to start some new ones this year if we can.
7. DONATE OR VOLUNTEER
Tis the season of being a little extra generous but that doesn’t just mean money. You could donate to a toy drive or give warm blankets and socks to a homeless shelter.
If you want to be more hands-on, volunteer at an animal rescue or a food pantry. There are so many opportunities to help people around us have a better holiday season. You could even use this as your new holiday season tradition, who knows?
8. HOLIDAY MOVIE MARATHON
Grab some blankets, some comfy pajamas, a hot mug of cocoa or tea, popcorn, a buddy, and you have everything you need for the coziest holiday movie marathon ever!
I personally really love cheesy Christmas movies and I do a marathon of all my favorite ones on Netflix every year. I even roped my husband in when we started dating. Pick a holiday, get a couple of movies, and binge-watch to your heart’s content!
9. VISIT LOCAL SHOP & RESTAURANTS
This is probably one of my favorite activities to do during the holiday season. I work on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, and they decorate for Christmas right after Thanksgiving.
Ugh, it’s so beautiful and magical and I just love getting to walk around with my husband enjoying how amazing it all looks dressed up for the holidays.
Plus, a lot of places do seasonal menus or have sales so you’ll be supporting locals while getting to enjoy the best they have to offer!
10. HOST A HOLIDAY PARTY
In between October and January, there are so many holidays you can choose from and throw a party for. You could do a Halloween costume party or a potluck Friendsgiving or a Christmas or Hanukah dinner party or a 20’s style New Year’s Eve party. The possibilities are endless!
There you have it! I hope you found something on this list that speaks to you while you’re planning out what activities to do during the holiday season. Just remember, it doesn’t matter so much as to what you do during the holidays, but the people who you spend time with and energy on. Focus more on making this holiday season full of love and happiness for yourselves and the people you love and don’t worry so much about trying to do everything you feel like you have to do.
Take a shot for all of the holiday stress and toast to good times with family and friends,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristaleagh Walthall is the author of Millennial Whiskey, a blog dedicated to helping millennials connect with one another over shared interests and struggles. She works full time as a bartender in Central Virginia where she lives with her husband Ryan of eight months and their two cats, Dobey and Ember. In her spare time, you can find her in the kitchen trying out a new cocktail or food recipes, journaling, watching cooking competition shows on Hulu, and snuggling up with the kitties on the couch.
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