We ho ho hope these ideas are helpful when you start planning Christmas 2021! The past two years have been disruptive and stressful for many people, and it can be soothing to participate in unchanged Christmas customs and traditions, if this is something you celebrate. This holiday reminds us of what is really important (family) and all the excitement can make you feel like a kid again. So here are a few Christmas classics and a few fresh activities to try. Don’t be afraid to create new traditions with your family!
Create Your Own Christmas Wonderland
Everyone knows it’s not Christmas until you hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” on the radio. At the grocery store, at the gym, you’ll notice she starts singing earlier and earlier each year… We don’t mind! *soft jingling starts in the distance*
Even though Mariah says she doesn’t care about the stockings or gifts under the Christmas tree (all she wants for Christmas is youuuu), your kids will! Help them help themselves with a Christmas wishlist to get all that important info on Santa’s desk.
As the adult coordinator between the North Pole and your living room, you’ll be packing the goody bags and other boxes, so pick up a set of gift bags with a variety of sizes. Oh, and be sure to grab an advent calendar to start the countdown to December 25th!
While you want to stoke your kids’ excitement for gifts, this is a great opportunity to talk about the true meaning of Christmas, which is generosity and thankfulness. Older children will understand what is really going on and enjoy “playing Santa,” but children of all ages can sort through their toys and donate to the less fortunate. Teach them to appreciate what they have. They should know that giving a gift feels as good as receiving it.
Outdo Yourself with Christmas Decorations This Year
Tinsel, pinecones and twinkling lights—these warm and fuzzy details set the mood for the whole season! It’s all about engaging the senses to create a 360° Christmas feel. Once you’ve set up your main Christmas decorations, finish up with scented candles, a crackling fire and music. For something different, check out these indoor snowballs!
If you want a real Christmas tree this year, the first weekend of December is a great time to visit your local nursery (or pine forest, if available) to pick one up. A word from the wise—measure your ceilings first!
As you know, Christmas lights are an extremely important part of this holiday, and there are dozens of different kinds for every home. They are all designed to dazzle! Indoors, light-up Christmas garlands look gorgeous draped over the fireplace, or wrapped along the banister of your staircase. Fill in any gaps with a wreath or two (make sure it comes with a festive bow!)
Outdoors, you might choose a net of lights for the roof of your house, or a long strand of twinkling lights to wrap around the trees. Inflatable Christmas characters (such as a jolly old man and his four-footed friends) also look at home on the roof.
As for front yard decor, have you seen the enormous inflatable Christmas decorations waiting in the wings? Choose from friendly snowmen, warm gingerbread men, happy penguins and more. Don’t hold back! You can cover every square inch of your home in glittering decorations if you want to. Enjoy.
How about Those Christmas Costumes?
Christmas dinner is filled with history and tradition, and dressing as Mrs. Clause is a fun idea when you get down to the sugary business of cooking. You could also get the whole family involved with a set of matching Christmas pajamas for Christmas eve (they pair well with elf hats and reindeer headbands). The Christmas spirit is a mood you set by providing your family with the sights, sounds, feel and taste of the season. It can be as easy as putting on matching holiday outfits and drinking some hot cocoa as you solve a puzzle or play a boardgame.
Among the less wholesome and earnest of our readers, there may be some irreverent folks who think of this as Ugly Christmas Sweater season! We support whatever makes you happy. Maybe that means a little cosplay this year, dressing up like the Whoville people, or characters from a B-rated Christmas movie like Santa Clause 3. Pssst, if you like these ideas, try playing Whamageddon with your friends!
Did you grow up making a special Christmas meal for your family, maybe your mom and grandma? The nostalgia is off the charts this time of year. Just the smell of cinnamon and ginger can take you right back to your childhood (although the sweets are welcome anytime)
Make some new, happy memories with your kids by creating some yummy Christmas cookies this year. Decorate them together and let your creativity loose. There’s nothing quite like spending the holidays with your family.
So here we are, wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays! May your days be merry and bright.
On top of the traditional activities, what is something you’re doing for the first time this year? Let us know in the comments.