We’re at that time of the holiday season where lots of people are hating on the Christmas season with comments such as “It’s way too early for Christmas music” or “Thanksgiving just ended”, but the fact of the matter is, it’s already the beginning of December——Christmas will be here faster than any of us care to admit! As the weather starts to get much colder and snow starts to cover the ground, there will be numerous festivities you’ll want to partake in, especially traditions you and your family and friends have done for years. Sadly, as life gets more chaotic and priorities change, it’s easy to miss the fun. Here are some ideas you can squeeze into your hectic schedule + help get you in the mood for the holidays!
1.) Cocoa + Lights:
Going to La Crosse, you already know how big of a deal the Rotary Lights are, but that doesn’t make them any less fun. Find someone—-a friend, significant other, family member, whoever and walk the lights. If you’re not feeling up to the hike or the weather isn’t cooporating, driving can be just as special with the music that pairs up with the lights. All you have to do is tune into the radio station suggested at the entrance and enjoy the never-ending Transiberian Orchestra and Holiday Hits. If you’re ready for a new light scene, go find them! Drive around the city and try to discover the prettiest houses you can. This can be turned into a competition too——whoever can find the best houses win. Make this date even more perfect with a couple thermoses of hot cocoa and whip cream.
2.) Gingerbread + Egg Nog
Who doesn’t love a good gingerbread house during the holidays? While perfecting it can be frustrating, alcohol can help. Whether it’s egg nog, wine, spiked cider, or a holiday drink you found on pinterest, feeling a little good can make the challenges of building be even more fun. Go to the store and buy a cheap gingerbread house kit or if you’re feeling ambitious, go homemade! Blasting some Christmas tunes never hurt either.
3.) Christmas Classics + Forts
No matter what kids say, adult forts are the best forts! Find as many sheets, blankets, and pillows as you can, and go to work. Set the tv or laptop in the fort and add some christmas lights to add a little extra to the wow factor. You can never go wrong with Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, etc.
4.) Volunteer + Spread Christmas Cheer
I’ve found one of the best ways to make the holidays even more memorable is volunteering! You probably give gifts to your family and friends, but why not do even more than that? The Salvation Army is constantly looking for volunteers to help ring bells and there are usually an abundance of opportunities within community during the busy season—–all you have to do is dedicate a few hours and you’re sure to feel good long after that.
5.) Ice Activities + Outdoors
While the frigid temperatures can be a downer and sway your activities to be indoors, don’t forget to get your daily dose of fresh air. While most people think about ice skating (and I highly encourage that as well), snow shoeing is a no brainer! Find a local shop that rents out snow shoes for cheap—-use them for couple hours or if you’re feeling adventurous, a few days! Explore trails you have yet to check out or hit up lakes/river. Warm up at a coffee shop after!
5.) Cookies, Cookies, Cookies
Eating Christmas treats is always a good time, but making them? Yes please. No matter how skilled you are at baking, there’s bound to be something for you to do—-cutting out the sugar cookies, measuring the ingredients, frosting, whatever! Get a group of friends or the family and find as many yummy treat recipes as you can. You can spend weeks snacking on your delicious creations and giving them to others to enjoy.