It's here! The most magical month of the year has arrived! I promise, it will fly by faster than any other month, so take charge of it and decide how you want to spend it. Of course, I have plenty of ideas.
1. Make a countdown to Christmas. There are so many cute ideas for this online. Why buy an advent calendar when you can make your own? I've seen them with 25 different candies, flavored beers, Christmas movies...they can be as extravagant or as simple as you want. Just make something that will make counting down to the 25th fun!
2. Decorate for Christmas! If you didn't do this the second after Thanksgiving, like I did, do it now!
3. Make some Christmas music stations. I would say "make a Christmas mixed CD," but we both know you're just going to make a pandora station.
4. Dress your dog up like Santa. Or a reindeer. Or an elf. The possibilities are endless.
5. Buy or make someone a gift in secret. Like I've said, being generous does not have to be expensive. $5 can make someone's whole week.
6. Decorate gingerbread houses.
7. Go on a Christmas light scavenger hunt. I'll post more about this soon!
8. Have a classic Christmas movie night. Whether you watch the old classics, like It's a Wonderful Life, or the newer classics, like Elf and Home Alone...pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate, and have a marathon.
9. Buy new pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve. I'm going to use being pregnant as my excuse to wear them all day on Christmas.
10. Play Dirty Santa. The best part of any Christmas party!
11. Kiss someone under mistletoe.
12. Make Christmas cookies.
13. Do a 12 days of Christmas for someone. Growing up, there would be a stocking hanging on my door with a cute little trinket in it every day in the 12 days leading up to Christmas. My mom got most of these things at the dollar store, but it added so much to Christmas and it was so fun to wake up to a little gift every day.
Note: You can also do a grown-up version of this. I am married and pregnant, yet still cannot bring myself to write about these things on the internet. But if you want to make your man's Christmas, google "12 lays of Christmas." (So sorry, Dad.)
14. Look into Christmas festivities in your town. Most towns offer fun things around Christmastime...parades, Christmas tree lightings, that sort of thing!
15. Send Christmas cards. I've never been one to want to take pictures and have professional Christmas cards to send out each year, but there's something fun about picking up a pack of cards from the dollar store and sending them to your loved ones.
16. Plan a Christmas dinner. It doesn't have to be on Christmas, but plan to cook something fun and festive!
17. Start a Christmas devotional. It's nice to remind yourself what it's all about.
18. Watch the Grinch. And The Holiday. And Elf. And...I will have a list for you soon.
19. Have a full on Christmas day. Maybe your schedule is hectic this year and won't allow for lots of days spent celebrating. If that's the case, dedicate one day to doing all your favorite holiday things. Bake cookies, watch movies, go shopping..whatever it is that you love doing around Christmastime.
20. Make cookies for Santa. I don't care that we're still kid-less, me and Chris make cookies for Santa. And we get to eat them without having to be sneaky about it. Sorry, Santa.
21. Take way too many no-pressure pictures. Snap up the memories, and don't worry too much about posing the perfect picture. Just capture life!
22. Go on a Christmas date.
23. Make the most of a festive month, whether you have money to spend or not. I'll let you in on a secret: We're having a baby next month. We've been flying all over for residency interviews. So to say that we aren't exactly in a situation to blow tons of money on every single day of celebrating Christmas would be accurate. But you don't have to spend money to celebrate.
Take advantage of a season where everything feels more festive. Listen to Christmas music while you cook dinner (free). Go for a walk and look at Christmas lights (free). Make shopping for gifts for your family into a date (free-you would have done the shopping anyway). Just make the most of celebrating the most magical time of the year, and don't get hung up on money.
24. Exchange a gift on Christmas Eve. I'm pretty sure that this tradition started when I was little because the temperature had dropped a lot on Christmas Eve, and my parents had bought me and my brother new coats for Christmas. Either way, growing up, we got to open one present on Christmas Eve. Obviously. I have made Christopher continue this tradition.
25. Soak up every bit of magic that Christmas Day has to offer. This day is scientifically proven to fly by faster than any other day of the whole year. Soak it all in.
26. Combat the Christmas hangover. Whether you do this by staying in bed and watching movies all day or going out on the town, do something fun! Me, I'll be freaking out over how it's almost time to have a baby. Don't mind me.
27. Go for a hot-cocoa walk and soak up the last bit of the town being covered in Christmas.
28. Return/exchange any gifts. Let's be honest: If you don't do this soon, you won't get around to it until it's too late.
29. Bundle up and have a late night picnic under the stars. With hot cocoa!
30. Write a letter to 2015.
31. Celebrate New Years!
How will you be spending the best month of the year?