Christmas Magic: Adults Can Enjoy It Too!

blur bright candy celebration
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now that Thanksgiving has passed in the US, I can officially talk about Christmas without someone trying to stab me to death with a turkey baster… I want you all to know I did contemplate naming this post “My Grownup Christmas List” but it truly didn’t apply.

ATTENTION THOSE WHO DO NOT CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS…. so obviously if you don’t celebrate Christmas… that’s cool, but you’ll probably want to skip this article… and I can’t promise that I won’t have a few more Christmassy posts this December 2018…. HOWEVER  feel free to scroll through the activities listed a lot of them are still fun if you aren’t into Christmas, and at the VERY END are two links for “What to do on Christmas if you don’t celebrate” one a bit festive and one not so festive.  And a bonus link of a list of countries that don’t celebrate Christmas. (So Merry Christmas! err… I mean, there you go! Enjoy!)

ATTENTION THOSE WITH CHILDREN:  I’ll be honest, my target audience for this one are the childfree adults. (This could mean childfree by choice, waiting on having children, those who tried and could not have children, or empty-nesters who now don’t know what to do with their children grown and out of the house.) That’s  not to say that you won’t find useful or helpful information if you are a parent with young ones, there are some great options on this list to do with family or even as a date night with you and your partner however, if you are looking for a list specifically to do with the family, this isn’t the blog.

Okay back to CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!

To be clear… the Christmas I’m discussing now, and most likely will be discussing throughtout this month is that mystical magical light-filled wonderland feeling kind of way… not ‘religious’ Christmas, it’s up to you what you practice. I recognize it’s origins and have my own religious practices…. SO I’m not going into religion, I have enough fun with that at my own family gatherings why would I want to argue with strangers over the internet? Anyway…

Whether you are a single individual, a childfree couple, or a person with oodles of children, you can enjoy Christmas for yourself, not just through a child’s eyes.  There are so many ways to enjoy Christmas as a grown-up!  (Note location information will be based upon my general knowledge, so if you live outside of the United States or your state has something very specific that I have not visited, it won’t be listed, however, I know that a lot of these activities can be done outside of my suggested locals, it might take some research but you got this!)

Just a quick list (these can be done by yourself, with friends, with family, or with your significant other):

  • Holiday sales, bazaars, crafter’s markets (sometimes held by towns—on a closed off street, churches, libraries, schools… I suggest checking out the local papers, asking around your community, looking at signs near schools/churches, and just googling “local bazaar”)
  • Light shows (sometimes held by an individual’s private home, farms, a town square, concert venues/halls, amusement parks, historical locations, stores/store-fronts)
  • Tree Lightings (Many towns have a tree lighting spot, usually in their town square or at their municipal building)
  • Displays/walkthroughs (sometimes held by an individual’s private home, farms, a town square, concert venues/halls, amusement parks, historical locations, stores/store-fronts)
  • Get a picture with Santa (of course you can go to most malls though I wouldn’t recommend waiting in line at the Mall, some have it at the end of walkthroughs, some have a friend who dresses up at a party, or at those house tours, museums, check the listings )
  • Drive around and check out lights
  • Get a cup of holiday hot cocoa or enjoy a holiday seasonal treat (Check out the specials at your coffee shop, restaurants, heck I even saw “limited edition: Hot Cocoa cereal” at my local food store)
  • Town tours (some locations may have winter history walks, sleigh rides, trolleys, or house tours)
  • Catch a Holiday film (small movie theaters and some libraries will often show a holiday related film… Or you can rent, purchase, stream, dig out an old box of Christmas decorations… or binge watch Hallmark, you have options)
  • Holiday Musical performance (street performers, carolers, local historical sites sometimes have minstrels, libraries sometimes have quartets and bands in their meeting rooms, college campuses may have musical performances, etc.)
  • Take a Big City trip (New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cincinnati, LA, Washington DC, Orlando, Boston, etc.)… things are happening in the cities! –Shopping, plays, displays, crafters markets etc.
  • Check out Amusement Parks ( A lot of amusement parks will offer special Holiday events, especially if you live in the Orlando area both Disney and Universal have special events as well as holiday theming—food, games, rides, etc. throughout their parks. I also heard that Sea World and LegoLand do stuff too, and there’s this thing called “Ice” done by a Mariott, apparently Orlando brings it?! And much more… places like Dollywood, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Hershey Park… all offer Holiday attractions. I have links below.)
  • Check out special towns that show off that Christmas spirit! (I have a few towns within driving distance to me–driving distance can be 10 minutes to  3 hours for me at least–that really get into Christmas and redo their entire town. Also think of towns with a long history. Examples I can think of are like Cape May in NJ or Naples in FL… What will help are a few links below but also do a Google search for “Christmas things to do in ___” and a lot of a local towns or day trip locations will come up.  blank= your state, or your county and state…. You can also say “near” instead of “in” …  I mean just some random ‘googling’, I found several in driving distance of me, and lots around the entire United States! Some links below)
  • Animated Christmas specials (yes this is technically just movies listed again, but there will always be a special place in my heart for “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”… for others this might be Rudolph, Charlie Brown, or the Grinch. )
  • Create a special Christmas music playlist (Spotify, Pandora, ITunes, old school mix tape, semi-old school CD mix… or check out CDs from your local library, tune into the SiriusXM Christmas channels, or check out playlists made by others on services such as Spotify)
  • Donate food, clothing, or toys to a local drive (Some places will have trees with tags on it to donate to a local family, community centers and libraries may have donation bins, you can stop at your local food bank, you can find a place that hosts a Christmas meal for the homeless such as a soup kitchen, many food stores have ways you can donate food items, some museums/auctions/events give discounts to those who bring a toy for toys for tots…..)
    • PRO TIP: If donating do your best to provide new/unused items and make sure all gifts are unwrapped (unless it specifically says to wrap a gift, you should always make sure your gift is unwrapped since the organization who keep track of everything will  need to know what they are handing to the child so they need it unwrapped until they wrap it)
    • Have access to a public place? Or storage to contain donations until they get dropped off? Then hold a drive yourself! Or have a party with the requirement that everyone bring a can-good etc.
    • Also, there are lot of homeless animals out there, so think about donating to animal shelters nice clean blankets, hay, food, or even volunteer to help take care of the animals, see what is around you and what places might need help, local farms may need some extra hands too!
      • PLEASE DO NOT ADOPT A PET UNLESS YOU ARE READY FOR A LIFELONG COMMITMENT! A Pet is like a baby, you can’t just be like “hmm it was cute at Christmas, but now eh, whatever I think I’ll bring it back to the shelter,”  that’s awful!! So please, don’t gift a pet or get a pet willy-nilly! It’s a commitment, a wonderful one but still a commitment so know if you cant make that commitment or not before you decide to take in a pet.
  • Attend a Play or Ballet: a lot of local theaters will hold plays/ballets such as The Nutcracker, Scrooge, The Grinch, etc.  (or you can go to one at your big city trip, for example: if you went to NYC you could see the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes)
  • Host a party (or go to parties) lots of themes and options, this can be with friends, co-workers, or post a bulletin board or check out meetups!
    • Cookie exchange party
    • Ugly Sweater Party
    • White Elephant or Gift exchange party
    • Bring an item to donate to Toys for Tots or your local Food Pantry
    • Holiday themed Minute to Win it challenges
    • Holiday Mixology Night (whip up some Nog & more!)
    • Holiday Movie Marathon Night
  • Go on a sleigh ride
  • Go Sledding/Skiing (This all depends on where you live, the weather, and where you are willing to travel so this could be your backyard, or this could be a resort, I didn’t provide lists that could be a post all by itself )
  • Check out the night life and see what is around (some bars and night clubs have holiday themed parties, there are Santa Pub Crawls, and fancy parties)
  • Sign up for a Run/plunge for charity (if that’s your thing there are Santa races and other holiday themed races/walks/plunges that help out charities)
  • Write out Christmas cards (let’s be honest, only the child free and emptynesters really have time for this any way… Also don’t sweat returning someone’s Christmas card unless you truly feel the need… if you don’t do cards, you just don’t do cards.)
  • Write out Thank You cards (or even just text or call those you appreciate! )
  • Spread Holiday Cheer with Random Acts of Kindness (I am probably going to do a whole post on this at a future date, but an example  would be to pay for the person’s coffee behind you in line)
  • Decorate/Light Candles/Make Your Home Festive
  • Bake/Cook Christmas Delights (such a cookies, cakes, pies, try making a Ham, lots of traditional Christmas treats can you can try to make! Try your hand and making old school eggnog, or some boozy treats as well!)
  • Get Crafty! (crochet, knit, paint, sew, make ornaments)
  • Feed the animals! (Decorate Trees outside in a way to feed the animals such as thread popcorn and cranberries, make ornaments to hang on a tree outside, some places have reindeer you can feed, or donkeys you can feed)
  • Play Christmas themed games (You can make up your own, do a search for ones to do, or even purchase a themed game. My favorite is Holiday Fluxx, which is a ever-changing rules/goals card game which is holiday themed, it has Halloween, Hanukah, Thanksgiving, and New Years in there too! However, I tend to play Monster Fluxx around Halloween.)
  • Do a Christmas/Winter themed Puzzle (Dollar stores, craft stores, Barnes and Noble, Target, Amazon, and some library booksales will have puzzles)
  • Download a Christmas themed app (lots of silly fun ones, ones where you build a Christmas village, others are just Christmas themed Candy Crush/Bejeweled)
  • Read a Christmas themed novel (I hope in the future to do a post on this but I think it’s going to be a doozy, since I read a lot in general, and have read a lot of fiction and nonfiction based around the holidays and it’s quite a list… I also have a large to-read list as well… I can’t make any promises for 2018… for now I recommend going to your local library and checking out their displays, going to the book store and checking out their displays, or just looking up holiday lists on Goodreads.com)
  • Build a Ginger Bread House (Okay so technically this could be under holiday baking/cooking or under crafting but for most it’s considered a category all it’s own so, I gave it’s own spot on the list)
  • Glam it up! This is the time to wear those silly socks, and unabashedly don our fuzzy hats, and big sweaters. So if you are into it, wear those silly clothes and jewelry and makeup!
  • VideoChat/Call Friends/Family who are far away (or even not far away! Either way, make time for those you care about and give someone you love a call. You can Skype or just chat over the phone. Heck even just Facebook messenger or a text can be a nice way to catch up. But in the hustle bustle of life, it’s great to take a moment and chat. Even send a text like “when are you free, I’d love to catch up with a phone call?”
  • See a Live Nativity  (okay this is religious… However even if you aren’t religious these are great performances and sometimes they even have live animals. Of course, if you are religious/spiritual, you may also want to check out your local church’s midnight or candlelight mass, they have lots of beautiful ceremonies and presentations…. no matter your views please be respectful of people’s different practices/beliefs)
  • Go to a Winter Solstice meditation/group/yoga event (depending on the specific event, the people guiding the program, and the attendees, this can be considered religious or spiritual event, or just recognizing self healing and the changing of seasons.)
  • Pamper yourself  (Get a holiday bath bomb from LUSH or a fun smelling lotion from Bath and Body Works. Buy a fun holiday nail polish. Take the time to take care of yourself and truly appreciate who you are as an individual)

Also I highly recommend doing many of the at home activities with movies and/or music in the background, it adds another dimension to it. No longer are you JUST coloring a snowy Christmas scene in your adult coloring book but with Christmas music playing and a real fire (or fake fire on your television) crackling, and the Christmas tree lit beside you, and possibly a cup of hot cocoa within reach… well that’s some Christmas magic right there!

No matter what I hope you have a magical season and remember YOU GOT THIS! –Heather

[Note in I have two future posts planned on Christmas one is a Childfree Couple’s Christmas and Spending Christmas Alone. I will probably think of more Christmas things to write about as well but just wanted to give you a heads up if either of those topics interest you!]

green christmas wreath with red bow
Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! HERE’S A LOT OF LINKS!!!!

Small Town Christmases:

https://www.southernliving.com/christmas/southern-small-town-christmas?slide=372288#372288

https://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/holidays/10-christmas-crazy-towns-pictures

https://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/christmas/best-christmas-towns-in-america

https://www.fodors.com/news/photos/16-towns-that-are-totally-obsessed-with-christmas

https://www.housebeautiful.com/entertaining/holidays-celebrations/g23338332/best-christmas-towns/

https://www.tripstodiscover.com/19-of-the-worlds-most-magical-christmas-towns/

https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/old-fashioned-christmas-towns/

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/  (Search this for Christmas towns I found one for Ohio, New Jersey, Mississippi, Wyoming,  Maryland, Virginia, Wisconsin,…. And that was just a quick search!)

And a few specific states that are (at least according to the internet) off the hook when it comes to Holiday towns:

https://www.annsentitledlife.com/newyork/10-best-christmas-towns-in-new-york-state/ (New York)

https://uncoveringpa.com/festive-christmas-towns-pennsylvania (Pennsylvania)

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/article/holiday-events/5-magical-small-towns-for-christmas-romance (Wisconsin)

https://www.tripstodiscover.com/best-christmas-towns-to-visit-in-colorado/ (Colorado)

Christmas Dishes/Treats you can try to make:

https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/g2036/non-alcoholic-drinks/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/g24/christmas-cocktails/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/festive-foods-to-make-for-christmas

https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/traditional-christmas-dinner-recipes/view-all/

https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/food/recipe-collections/traditional-christmas-food-from-around-the-world-19165

Where to go on a sleigh ride:

(older articles, I would call to check on current dates/times/availability… also once again it looks like Pennsylvania is bringing it with the Christmas activities)

https://www.foxnews.com/travel/top-10-sleigh-rides-in-north-america

https://www.newyorkupstate.com/things-to-do/2016/12/10_of_the_best_places_for_sleigh_rides_in_upstate_ny_winter.html

https://www.tripsavvy.com/pittsburgh-winter-sleigh-rides-4153934

https://www.poconomountains.com/things-to-do/ski-snow-activities/sleigh-rides/

Amusement Parks for the holidays:

https://travel.usnews.com/gallery/americas-top-14-theme-parks-for-the-holidays

https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/amusement-parks/photos/best-theme-parks-for-the-holidays

https://www.familyvacationcritic.com/theme-parks-guaranteed-to-put-your-family-in-the-holiday-spirit-art/art/

Article on how to recapture the Christmas magic:

https://www.realbuzz.com/articles-interests/festive-health-fitness/article/5-ways-to-recapture-the-magic-of-christmas/

Some General Christmas Eve Activities:

https://bestlifeonline.com/fun-christmas-eve-activities/

 

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS:

https://greenglobaltravel.com/countries-that-dont-celebrate-christmas/ (Countries that don’t celebrate)

https://www.elitedaily.com/p/10-things-to-do-on-christmas-if-you-dont-celebrate-but-youre-still-feeling-festive-7431925  (You don’t celebrate but kind of want to? Or are feeling Festive? )

https://lifehacker.com/5970307/what-to-do-on-christmas-when-you-dont-celebrate-it   (Generally things to do on Christmas if you don’t celebrate)

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