The best part of the holiday season is slowing down to spend quality time with those you love. A fantastic way of doing this is to add some new ideas to your Christmas bucket list – so you can make new memories with your family and friends.
This bucket list encompasses all things Christmas to get you feeling festive and cozy!
Whether you love to relax inside or go around and about town to feel the Christmas spirit there are loads of ideas for you.
Why Create a Christmas Bucket List?
Honestly, the holidays are such a busy season and before you know it they are over.
Does it ever feel like after you’ve been running around all month that by the time you sit down to enjoy, it’s all over? This is why having a bucket list for the holidays is key.
This Christmas bucket list will help you be intentional with your time so you can truly enjoy the season this year.
First, Download this Free Christmas Bucket List Template!
Once you read these amazing bucket list ideas for the holiday season you can print this bucket list template to create your own bucket list! DOWNLOAD HERE
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Read disclosure info here.
50 of the Best Christmas Bucket List Ideas & Activities
1. Go Christmas Carolling in your Neighbourhood
Get together with your family or friends and visit some homes in your neighbourhood. Single your heart out and make sure to visit people most in need.
2. Visit a Christmas Tree Farm and Cut Your Own
Did you know that having a real tree is actually better for the environment? It’s actually no different than a farm that grows cabbages, and much better than an artificial tree that will end up on a landfill for hundreds of years.
So get out there, drive to a farm and cut your own! Or you can buy the pre-cut ones to make life a little easier. 😉
3. Attend Christmas Eve Service
Even if you don’t regularly go to church, attending Christmas Eve service or midnight mass can be such a beautiful experience and something I bet you’ll want to do everyone year once going.
4. Send Holiday Greeting Cards
This is at the top of the list for a reason! To send holiday cards you usually have to send them out as early as the first week of December, especially for international mail – but still plan to do it!
A little greeting will make someone feel special and remembered during the holidays.
5. Get an Advent Calendar (for Adults too!)
Who says advent calendars are only for kids?! Go and treat yourself to an advent calendar for adults. There are so many options out there. My all-time favourite was this tea advent calendar I treated myself to in the past.
6. Decorate the Tree
Make an event of your Christmas tree trimming… listen to Christmas carols, have a festive drink in hand, and loved ones together.
7. Put up Mistletoe
Did you know that the tradition of using mistletoe started in ancient Greece? Mistletoe was a symbol of male fertility and was often used during ceremonies such as weddings.
However, the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe most likely started among servants in England where it was acceptable for men to steal a kiss from any woman standing near the mistletoe!
Not sure if that would be allowed these days, however, it’s still a cool way to spark a little romance with your other half during the holidays! So, hang that mistletoe and be ready to pucker up!
8. Go to a Christmas Market
Go in the evening to see the lights, sip on hot chocolate and pick up a few unique gifts.
9. Decorate the Outside of Your Home
Twinkly lights, a wreath for the front door and a few decorations make your home so cozy. You can also purchase or make one new item every year to add to your decor.
I personally love hanging large, colourful Christmas bulbs from our tree in front of our house.
10. Write a Letter to Santa
This one is for the kids of course. In my printable Christmas Planner, I have a “Dear Santa” letter your kids can fill out and the best part is there’s a gratitude section of the letter.
An important reminder for kids to share with Santa what they are grateful for in addition to their gift wish list.
11. Go Ice Skating
Going for an ice skate in the evening outside in the winter is magical, especially if you can find a place that plays old Christmas music and has twinkly lights. Honestly, the perfect way to spend a chilly December night.
12. Take in the Neighbourhood Christmas Lights
Whether it’s your neighbourhood or another, get out and enjoy the beautiful lights. If you can walk, even better.
13. Make a Snowman
Whether you have kids or not building a snowman is fun for everyone. So add it to your Christmas bucket list so you can enjoy some outdoor time and get a little active too.
14. Go Tobogganing
Get out with your friends and family and speed down that hill. Where we live there is an outdoor skating rink next to a great tobogganing hill, so it’s the best of both worlds.
15. Host a Secret Santa party
This is the perfect way to get together for a friends/couples holiday party.
16. Give a Special Christmas Tree Ornament
Gift-giving can be expensive, so why not get into the habit of giving a small gift instead? It’s the thought that counts after all.
Last year I gave out a number of these Jim Shore Santa ornaments (which I fell in love with). You can get a Santa representing various countries around the world.
I personally purchased one for Canada, Greece, Portugal and Germany. The perfect gift that everyone loved!
17. Have a PJ Day
Yes, all-day wear nothing but your coziest winter pyjamas! Of course, this is paired perfectly with binge-watching Christmas movies and eating treats from your stocking
18. Donate to a Food Bank
This is a really easy one. During the holidays give to a food bank in your area, either by donating money or food to people need.
If donating to a food bank make sure to donate foods your food bank really needs. If in doubt call them up or check out their website to see what’s needed most.
19. Buy a Gift for a Child or Family in Need
Many companies and organizations set up toy drives over the holidays. You can then support a family with Christmas gifts and most often you’ll find out the age of the children you’re buying for, which is really helpful.
20. Make Christmas Crafts
This is one of my most memorable Christmas activities, from when I was young and with my stepsons when they were little. Cover your table and get ALL the craft supplies out. You can make:
- Paper snowflakes
- Ornaments for the tree
- Homemade cards
- Paper or popcorn garland for the tree
21. Drink Egg Nog
You might love it or hate it, but if you love it make sure you enjoy some eggnog over the holidays. I personally like mine with just a little fresh nutmeg sprinkled on top, but if you want to spike it with spiced rum, even better!
22. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon
Or watch a Christmas movie every night! Mix it up with some old classics like a Christmas Carol, some romantic ones for date night (Love Actually) and your all-time faves like Elf or Miracle on 34th Street. Watch them all!
23. Have a Christmas Themed Games Night
There are so many great Christmas board games out there, so treat yourself and your family to a new one this year.
Here are some fun ones:
- Christmas Carols & Songs Game: So much fun to get everyone singing with this one!
- Tis the Season Christmas Trivia: Trivia about Christmas movies, traditions, history and more.
- Christmas Charades: Perfect to get the whole family involved.
24. Make Your Own Gifts
Making gifts is a wonderful way to show you care and save some money at the same time. You can make:
- Treats (cookies, cranberry sauce, peppermint bark)
- Candles (All you need is beeswax, candle wicks and a mason jar)
- Essential oil gifts (Diffuser blend in a bottle, room spray, cologne or perfume, body lotion).
- Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box + DIY Recipes
- DIY Christmas Gifts Your Friends & Family with Love
25. Make Christmas Cookies
Make your favourites and also try a couple of new cookie recipes this year.
Here are some you can try: Quick & Easy Holiday Cookies
26. Do a Cookie Swap
Now that you’ve made cookies arrange a swap with friends or colleagues. This is a great way to get your hands on more baked goods!! Make sure to exchange the recipes too, so you can make your favourite in the future.
27. See a Christmas Play
I love to support smaller, local theatres which is also better for the pocketbook especially if taking your family. A Christmas Carol is a classic play you can see, but also see what else is available.
28. Have a Bonfire and Roast Marshmallows
During the pandemic we’ve all figured out more ways to socialize outside and having a bonfire is one of them. So, make this tradition festive, roast marshmallows.
You can make smores but instead of chocolate use peppermint bark. Yum!
29. Host a Christmas Party
You can have a dinner party, a family party, an open house where people can drop in any time throughout the day.
There is also nothing wrong with having a potluck party where everyone brings a dish (and takes it away to wash at home) making it easier for you.
Dedicate some time to give back to charities in need this holiday season. You can help pack boxes in a food bank, serve food and clean up in a homeless shelter, visit a nursing home and so much more.
31. Set up a White Elephant Gift Exchange (aka Steal the Gift!)
Everyone brings one wrapped gift (with no name on it). All gifts go under the tree and everyone selects a number (if there are 5 people you select a number between 1 and 5).
The first person opens a gift, then the next person can choose to open a new gift or steal the gift that the first person opened (and so on). This is a super funny game for all types of people.
I remember when my son opened up a bottle of whiskey and one of the adults opened an action figure. Clearing a trade needed to happen!
More details on the rules here.
32. Make Homemade Hot Chocolate with Candy Canes
Nothing tastes better than homemade hot chocolate and as a big Jamie Oliver fan, I highly recommend this recipe. To top it off you can break up some candy cane and sprinkle it on top.
P.S. This hot chocolate mix is also the perfect gift to give in a cute mason jar.
33. Listen to Christmas Music
Yes, I know that Christmas music plays EVERYWHERE during the holidays, but make sure to make the most of it by playing your favourites at home.
34. Go to a Santa Claus Parade
This is the perfect family Christmas activity to enjoy. The excitement of Santa coming really gets kids (and big kids) into the Christmas spirit.
35. Have a Gift Wrapping Evening
My absolute favourite way to spend alone time at Christmas is to have a gift wrapping evening. I blast Christmas music, have a glass of wine or eggnog on hand and get out all my wrapping supplies.
Tip: Use cards that were given to you from previous years and cut out the side that has no writing on the back. You can now use this as a gift tag. Simply punch a hole in the corner, add ribbon and attach it to your gift.
36. Set up a Nativity Scene at Home
This is one of those traditions that is a wonderful way to talk about the reason for the season with your kids. There are so many beautiful nativity scenes available, from the traditional wooden stable to more modern takes like these beautiful hand-sculpted figures.
Yes, even if you don’t have kids! This is so much fun with your partner or a friend.
38. Go on a Winter Hike
The perfect time to do this is between Christmas and New Year. After all of that eating, you’ll be looking for ways to get some exercise and a crisp, winter hike is the perfect option. You can even try snowshoeing if you have snow.
39. Set up a Hot Chocolate Station
Use a tiered tray and add your homemade hot chocolate mix, a jar of candy canes, mini marshmallows and festive mugs.
Christmas Bucket List Ideas: New Traditions to Start in 2021
40. Create a December Gratitude List
Refecting on the gifts we have in life during the holidays is so good for the heart and soul. Christmas can be a stressful and lonely time for many so focusing on gratitude for the month of December is a good self-care activity to focus on.
You can use the gratitude list in my printable Christmas Planner or use any notebook you enjoy writing in.
41. Have a Self Care Day
Finding time to slow down and look after yourself is always important but especially at Christmas time.
Find inspiration with these self care ideas you can try over the holidays, which includes a free printable you can use to stay focused.
42. Give Kindness Notes
Share kind words with as many people as you can over the holidays by writing little kindness notes. Jot down a few kind words and give them to people you wouldn’t typically thank or write to.
- People who make your day easier: The lady at the grocery store, the postal worker, the bus driver.
- People who need friendship and support: A homeless woman, a senior living alone, someone going through a hard time
43. Make a Christmas Playlist
Get onto Amazon Music and make a playlist of your all-time favourite Christmas tunes. Then you can play this on Christmas day!
44. Give Experiences Instead of Things
Most of us have a lot of things and we don’t need more to add to the pile so consider giving an experience as a gift. Some ideas:
- Tickets to a play or sporting event
- Wine club subscription
- Pottery Class
- National Park Pass
- Masterclass subscription
- Life Coaching package
45. Use a Christmas Colouring Book
Adult colouring books as such a good way to slow down and enjoy some self-care and relaxation. Johanna Basford is the creator of my favourite colouring books and she has a gorgeous Christmas colouring book for adults. This is a perfect affordable gift to give as well.
46. Start an Annual Holiday Dinner for Friends
We all have holiday dinners with our family, but consider having one with your friends. The vibe will be completely different and you can even combine everyone’s Christmas traditions into something completely different.
47. Buy a Special Ornament for Your Tree
Every year buy one special Christmas tree ornament. This will help you personalize your tree over the years and give you some fond memories too.
48. Read the Christmas Story from the Bible
A little reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. It is the reason for the season after all.
49. Take a Christmas Morning Photo
Yes, bed head and all! Whether it’s you and your dog, your partner, your family – capture the moment.
50. Go for Afternoon Tea
The holidays are the perfect time to have afternoon / high tea. Find a tea shop or hotel in your area that serves afternoon tea. Best enjoyed with some women in your life… Mom, friend, neighbour 🙂
So, What Should I Put on My Christmas Bucket List?
Okay – I do not expect you to do everything on this list! Simply select the Christmas activities you’d like to try and add them to your list.
To help you out you can download this FREE printable Christmas bucket list to get started!
Related Christmas Resources:
- Printable Christmas Planner for 2021
- 10 Self Date Ideas for the Holiday Season
- 40+ Thoughtful Stocking Stuffers for Everyone on Your List
- Unique Gift Ideas for Someone Who Has Everything