It’s that time of year again! I did almost everything on this list last year, and this year I’m pushing for 100%!
This is my Winter Bucket List:
Make Christmas cookies
You know how much I love Food Network and their ’50’ booklets. Well they have a Christmas cookie booklet, and I plan on tackling a handful of the recipes this year. Every year I think about making cookies and giving them out in those cute little tins, and every year I run out of time. This year, the goal is just to make them, but if I get to the point where I am packing and gifting them, I am crowning myself Cookie Queen!
Watch a ton of Christmas movies
So far we’ve watched The Legend of Frosty the Snowman, Home Alone, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas, I have to say it is really getting me into the Christmas spirit. And I love watching these movies with the kids. I watched a lot of movies with my brothers when I was a kid and a lot of really great memories were created during that time.
Have fun with the Elf on the Shelf
We just started the Elf on the Shelf last year, and my son gets such a kick out of it. He wakes up every morning and asks me about it. “Where do you think he is today?” and “do you think he moved?” It’s the cutest thing. I know a lot of people get into this tradition and create elaborate schemes, but in our house, moving him from one place to another before my husband and I fall asleep is challenging enough.
Put up Christmas lights
This is another one of those activities that I want to do every year, but I never actually get to it. It’s on the bucket list this year and I’m not going miss to out!
Go Christmas light peeping
OK, I don’t think Christmas light peeping is actually a thing, but hey if we can go leaf peeping, we can go Christmas light peeping. There is a house in the Bronx that goes bananas with lights and decorations, and we used to visit it every year when I was a kid. I’m going to take the kids there this year.
Drink hot cocoa by the fire
Last year we built a fire almost every day in the Winter. It felt so indulgent to have a fire blazing in my living room, and I can’t wait to do it again and again this season! We have to get our chimney inspected and cleaned before we light one in our new house. I can’t wait to see how great it’s going to be to drink fireside cocoa in our new house!
We already went sledding this year. It snows a lot more in Connecticut than it did in New Jersey. We have a really nice driveway for sledding too, which is awesome because we literally just have to walk outside! Now we just have to get better gear for the kids, to help them stay dry and warm.
Build a snowman
Do you want to build a snowman? We’ve heard that song about six million times over the years, so when that first snow falls, we are cranking that tune and building a whole family of snowfolk.
Make an ornament with each of the kids
Growing up, we did this every year. As I got older I really appreciated the glimpse they provided into our childhood. It was so nice actually touching the ornaments me and my brothers made when we were kids.
Attend a tree lighting ceremony
Eric and I lived in New Milford, CT for years and we missed the tree lighting ceremony every year. Every. Year! This year, we were able to attend our town tree lighting, and it was just as beautiful as I hoped it would be. It was also a lot colder than I anticipated!
Read Christmas stories to the kids, including The Night Before Christmas and The Nutcracker
Build a gingerbread house
We built a gingerbread house last year, which way harder than I expected btw, and the kids were eating the candy for a month after Christmas. It was cute, but also kind of crazy. Just a candy house ready for the picking at any time, is a little too enticing for my littles. This year, we will take it down after Christmas.
Make paper snowflakes
The trick to making perfect snowflakes is to fold the paper in a very specific way, or you will end up with weird square-looking flakes. Also, my kids love any excuse to use scissors, that’s a bonus.
Kiss under the mistletoe
Believe it or not, I have never kissed anyone under the mistletoe. I don’t know how I’ve made it this far into my 30’s without a holiday mistletoe smooch, but that ends this year. I am going to hang them in the doorways, for maximum kissing probability!
Leave cookies for Santa and carrots for Rudolph
Since I’ll be a cookie making machine ;), this should be an easy one. there should be plenty of cookies to go around by the time good old Saint Nick rolls around.
Take a picture with Santa
We’ve done this every year, since Jack was born. And two years ago, Lorelai lost her mind. No kidding, she hated mall Santa, and it’s perfectly captured in our holiday photo.
We’ve improved a bit over the years, and this year I’m pushing for two smiles! Fingers crossed.
Mail a letter to Santa
So, my son is only six and my daughter is three, but I am starting to feel really guilty about lying to them with this whole Santa thing. I know, I know. They are only young for this small amount of time, and it’s wonderful to believe in magic for as long as you can. But they just believe it so hard, it makes me feel horrible. We’ll keep it going this year, but I don’t know how long I can keep it up!
If you have kids, how did you/do you handle this?
Go ice skating
Growing up, I had an ice skating rink attached to my middle school and I literally went every weekend in the Winter. It was where I learned to skate, and when I got older, the teen center on the side of the rink was the place to hang with friends. Jack went ice skating for the first time this year, and he was not a fan, but hey fear helps us learn right? Right?!
Mail Christmas cards to friends and family
I never get Christmas cards any more. Was it something I said? Who knows. I find that when you don’t send them out, you don’t get them back. So this year, we are getting back into the rotation and sending out cards. And yes, one of the reasons I am doing this is to get Christmas cards in return. I admit it, no shame.
Participate in charitable events and give gifts to children in need
One of the most important things this year, is to give back. My family is so darn fortunate. We have a beautiful place to live, I have a well paying job, our kids are both happy and healthy, and we have so much. It is often humbling and it breaks my heart that folks struggle for the things that we have an abundance of. We donate throughout the year, but this year I want to do more during the season.
//So that’s our Winter Bucket list! And we’re starting nnnnnnnnnnnnnow!