Christmas 2022 is here, and things are certainly joyful! The lights are twinkling, families are enjoying their favorite Christmas traditions, and all the best parts of the season are on display. From tree decorating to holiday ballets and shows, there are fun Christmas activities out there for every couple and family to enjoy this season. The Christmas mood is back with a vengeance, and everyone wants to celebrate!
Of course, you want your Christmas celebration to be joyful – not frustrating or infuriating. As you prepare to start checking things off your Christmas bucket list this year, keep an eye out for trouble. Christmas scams are always around, and you certainly don’t want to make those part of your holiday traditions. Ready to have some fun? Here are some great ideas for Christmas activities this year.
More than 90 percent of Americans enjoy a traditional Christmas celebration, according to Pew Research. Having Christmas during a pandemic doesn’t have to be overwhelming or anxiety-producing. We’ve come a long way and learned a great deal, so prepare to enjoy a stress-free Christmas this year.
Celebrating Christmas at Home
If there was ever a year for fireplaces and Christmas movies, this is it. This is a year to deck your home in Christmas colors and stay in. To have a happy Christmas, consider new traditions for your family.
- Shop Online.
57% of holiday shopping is happening online, and there are plenty of good deals to be had! Thankfully shipping times for many companies have increased, but you want to plan ahead so that you’re not scrambling trying to find stores open on Christmas Day. Retailers know that shoppers are moving online, so keep an eye out for some truly excellent Christmas sales.
Of course, when you’re shopping online, always be on the lookout for potential safety concerns. In her review (#4192533), one grandmother wound up with the wrong pair of shoes for her grandson’s Christmas gift. When she went online to ask for customer support, she “thought I was talking to your chat help and it was somebody else that now has my information and used my charger card.”
Be scam savvy and if you have concerns about customer service and the customer experience, you can always check website reviews before ordering.
- Make Shopping a Big Deal.
If you normally make a big deal out of shopping trips on a crowded Black Friday, you can still enjoy the spirit of the hunt using online shopping. Settle down by your fireplace with Christmas movies on in the background. Take notes and use apps to help to compare prices and find the best Christmas sales. Then load up your cart and buy away!
- Bake Christmas Goods.
This is a year to enjoy some of the simpler holiday joys like baking Christmas candy and cookies with your family. Turn on the Christmas carols, line up the ingredients, and then spend a morning or afternoon in the kitchen making treats. The best part of making a batch of fudgy Christmas candy or a new batch of cookies is you can enjoy eating them as well!
- Plan a Christmas Feast.
You may not be having a large number of family members over for the holidays, but you can still plan for a beautiful Christmas feast! Try out new recipes and create dishes to follow a new theme for the holidays or celebrate the Christmas traditions from older family members.
Celebrating Christmas for Less
According to research by LendingTree.com, more than a third of Americans will take on debt this holiday season. You don’t have to be part of the statistic. This year, enjoy the Christmas season without destroying your budget. Celebrate the holiday by spending less when you can and splurging when the right opportunity presents itself.
- Play Christmas Games Outside.
There is no rule saying you should never leave your home. In fact, getting outside and getting fresh air is among the healthiest Christmas tips! You should take your Christmas games outside. If you live in an area with snow, grab your sled and take it down the hill a few times.
Try your hands – or your feet – with snowshoes. Walk around the neighborhood and look at the holiday lights. What could possibly be better socially distanced Christmas games than snowball fights and battles? Frosty would definitely agree.
- Enjoy the Christmas Lights.
Many businesses and families are going big with their light displays this year. They know that many families aren’t comfortable celebrating inside with large groups of people, so they are bringing the lights and festivities outside. Pull on your coat and favorite Christmas hat. Grab a mug of hot chocolate. Then stroll the neighborhoods or drive to new ones to see how everyone has decorated.
- Go Ice Skating.
Unless the rink is very crowded, ice skating has all the perks of happy Christmas wishes while providing activity and being socially distanced. Pull on that favorite Christmas hat again, lace up your skates and take a few dozen turns around the outdoor skating rink. Just be sure to keep your distance from others and skip the crowded benches or hot chocolate stands.
- Create Fun Christmas Trees.
There is no rule saying you can only have a single Christmas tree. Set up small trees in every room and let the kids have a great time cutting out Christmas drawings as decorations. Worried about the cost of Christmas trees?
Check out discount stores for inexpensive small trees or shop at second-hand stores. Many households are upgrading their trees this year if they can afford it, which means plenty of heavily discounted second-hand trees are hitting thrift stores and resale shops.
- Enjoy a Holiday Photoshoot.
This is a great year to capture holiday memories. A holiday photoshoot doesn’t have to be expensive. With online printing, you can easily buy a large collection of holiday cards to send to friends and family or make larger prints of your family and children to give to grandparents and other relatives. Photographers often set up mini shoot locations you can enjoy if you’d like professional pictures or create a photo shoot of your own using a beautiful outdoor location near your home.
- Take Free Pictures With Santa.
Check out your local papers for outdoor festivals and bazaars that might include a visit from Santa Claus. Festivals, special neighborhood events and more might provide an opportunity for a good photoshoot with Santa without spending any extra funds on expensive mall Santa pictures this year.
- Enjoy Family Christmas Movie Nights.
We are all taking advantage of streaming services, and companies are releasing shows as quickly as possible. To help celebrate the holidays for almost nothing out of pocket, make a standing date with your family or with a friend to watch Christmas movies. You don’t even have to be in the same place – just start streaming at the same time and share commentary via text.
- Gift Memories or Service.
You don’t have to buy an expensive present for everyone this Christmas. The gift of time and your service is also tremendously appreciated by those who are alone or feeling stretched thin. Consider bringing a small baked good gift with you when you shovel a friend’s driveway.
Then visit on the porch for a bit before heading home. Or create a photobook of all the memories from a special trip or with a special friend. Look on sites like Groupon to find ultra-cheap photo book offers where you can have the book made delivered for less than $10.
Tips for Stress-Free Christmas
The American Psychological Association admits that stress and holidays go hand-in-hand. Your busy schedule becomes even busier with celebrations. Preparing for Christmas looks like tasks at work: you need to keep in mind lots of things. So, there are some tips to have stress free Christmas:
Christmas Gift and Gift Wrapping Ideas
You can create beautiful holiday memories with your Christmas gifts and your packages without spending outrageous amounts of money.
- Establish a definite dollar limit for the individual gifts.
- Choose a gift card that allows the receiver to pick his or her perfect gift.
- Shop online as it is faster, sometimes cheaper, and more convenient. But pay attention to scammers. Christmas is a high season for holiday scams.
- Use price-comparison apps like ShopSavvy, ScanLife, Price.com, etc. which help scout out deals on the holiday shopping season.
- Download a map of your local mall’s stores from their website. Think of the paths and make a list of potential presents.
- Use free gift wrapping with each purchase which many retailers offer as an in-house service.
- Check reviews before buying gifts for friends and family.
If you’re ordering from a vendor you haven’t worked with before, it’s always worth your time to check the reviews before buying. One show-goer discovered this the bad way when he purchased tickets advertised for $39 and wound up paying $128.
In his Tickets Center review (#4188228), the customer explained that “I messaged them for a refund they told me that the price they charged was fair market value. This was a blatant lie. I never got a refund from them.” He ended his online complaint by letting others know that he “will be filing suit against them as soon as possible.” At least his review will help others avoid a similar situation.
- Send a personal note and a signature on a unique card or a letter chronicling family/personal events of the previous year mailed to family and friends.
- Write a free letter to Santa. And Santa will write back. Santa's Address:
325 S. Santa Claus Lane North Pole,
Be Flexible and Generous With Your Holiday Plans
If you’re ready to enjoy Christmas activities, but don’t have a large amount of time to bake elaborate meals or shop in multiple stores, you can find ways to make the most of your holiday time and energy. Consider instead being generous and flexible with your holiday funds.
- Shop locally
Poke around in the stores you pass on your way to work every day. Or shop from small businesses online. Let others do the Christmas handicrafts, and you can simply buy them to enjoy. Your purchase helps a small business during the pandemic, and you get to enjoy some handmade items this holiday.
- Enjoy your holiday meals via takeout
If cooking a big meal is stressful for your family this year, why bother? There are many restaurants that specialize in preparing holiday meals the day or the day before that you can easily reheat at home.
Sometimes we just want to eat good food with friends or family members during the holidays, and spending hours of stressful preparation in the kitchen diminish the fun. Make ordering food for the holidays part of the tradition of Christmas day. You can find traditional holiday fare or make it a holiday tradition to celebrate different cuisines and order a bit from a variety of spots to make the holidays multi-cultural and extra special.
Decorations and Meal Planning
- Hire a cleaning service.
It can be expensive but may give you extra time for holiday preparation in a beautifully clean home. Who wouldn’t feel more cheerful in a home that doesn’t have to be cleaned with your own hands?
- Spread your food preparation over several weekends before the holiday season.
You can make, place in pans and freeze rolls, cakes, muffins, etc., sometime before serving. Jamie Oliver, the culinary superstar, shares his secret,
“I like to get enough work done ahead so that on the day itself, it’s just a matter of throwing it in the oven, some basic timing and letting people help themselves. The week before Christmas Day, I get all my bits and pieces ready and get all my timings down on a piece of A4 paper. We do all the home delivery heavy stuff then too”.
- Share duties between family members.
Make a chart with duties, tasks, and responsibilities of your family members for Christmas, for example, the mother is responsible for cooking, the children – for decorating, the father – for shopping.
The holiday season is always special, and this year will certainly not be the exception! There are so many wonderful things to do on Christmas day or any time during the season. Gather your loved ones, look for special activities in your area or make some of your own. But most importantly – safely enjoy the best parts of the season with the people you care about!
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