Holiday Bucket List

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I know I’m not the only one who loves the holiday season. The lights, the food, the decorations, the music, the giving, the cheer..how does anyone pick a favorite?! I feel like the holidays always go by so quickly (hence why my blog post is so late!!) and I’m always sad as Christmas gets closer and closer because it means that the season is ending. 

Everyone (both young and old) wants to celebrate this time and inject as much joy and cheer into it as they possibly can, especially in 2020. And that, I truly believe is my favorite part of the holidays. If you’re looking for a few ways to add a little extra holiday cheer in Christmas, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite things to do!

Host an ornament swap

Sometimes gift exchanges can be a little too much which is why I love an ornament swap (virtual or in person.) I’d recommend capping it at a certain price point, you can get a fun Christmas-y ornament for $10 that no one needs to go to Hallmark to buy the latest and greatest. It’s fun to open and see what you get and to add a new ornament to your tree. 

Make the perfect Christmas playlist

I love listening to Christmas music while baking Christmas cookies, building a gingerbread house, decorating the Christmas tree, or wrapping presents. It fills you with holiday cheer and let’s be honest if you don’t love Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, you might want to seek professional help which is why I recommend adding his whole album to your playlist, but here are some other additions that I love:

  • All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  • Last Christmas – Wham!
  • Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande
  • Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
  • Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year – Andy Williams
  • Let It, Snow, Let It, Snow, Let it Snow – Dean Martin
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Mariah Carey
  • Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
  • Feliz Navidad – José Feliciano
  • Mistletoe – Justin Bieber
  • Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
  • Do You Hear What I Hear? – Bing Crosby
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Dean Martin
  • Where Are You Christmas – Faith Hill
  • The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
  • Here Comes Santa Claus – Elvis Presley
  • This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
  • Christmas Lights – Coldplay
  • Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
  • Christmas Time Is Here – Brett Eldredge
  • Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Mel & Kim
  • Last Christmas – James TW
  • Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *NSYNC
  • Take Me Home For Christmas – Dan + Shay
  • Under The Mistletoe – Kelly Clarkson, Brett Eldredge, Atlantic Holiday
  • Bring Me Love – John Legend
  • Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding
  • Believe – Josh Groban
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
  • Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald
  • Mele Kalikimaka – She & Him
  • Last Christmas – Taylor Swift

I got a little carried away there…but this should be a good list to get you started! 

DIY your favorite holiday drinks

Yes, I’ve been to Starbucks for a peppermint mocha I won’t lie, but making them at home can be fun! Say hello to holiday-flavored Baileys and get creative with your drinks, also you can control how much sweetener/flavor you’re putting in. This doesn’t have to stop with coffees, add in hot chocolates (or make this hot chocolate charcuterie board) Sangria, hot toddies, or a Santa Claus-mopolitan. 

Have a Christmas cookie swap

Can you ever have enough Christmas cookies, asking for a friend over here. When having a Christmas cookie swap, you don’t have to spend countless days and hours plus frustration creating those Pinterest worthy recipes. Everyone can bake a batch of their favorite cookie or a new recipe they’re dying to try, and then everyone exchanges their cookies. Don’t forget to bring containers to take home the leftovers! If you want to make it extra special, make recipe cards for everyone to take home with the recipe. 

If you’re not feeling like getting together with your pod this year, you can also do this virtually if you have friends who live near each other! Or it’s a fun thing to do with your neighbors!

Watch all the Christmas movies

I’ve just been into the Christmas cheer and have also compiled my favorite binge-worthy Christmas movies here, but it’s always fun to watch the Christmas Classics, but also add in the new Christmas movies, like Netflix’s Holidate. Cozy up on the couch with some hot chocolate by the fire to watch a Christmas movie. 

Go last-minute shopping

No, I’m not saying to wait to do your Christmas/Santa shopping because that would give me alllll the stress and anxiety but if your parents, or BFF, need a little extra holiday cheer give them randomly (+ early!) a little stocking stuffer or a festive holiday treat! Plus you could also score an awesome deal. 

Find the perfect Christmas PJ’s

I love wearing Christmas PJ’s on Christmas Eve and wake up to feel just that much more festive to see what Santa left. Especially this year, when you might be wearing your PJ’s the whole day on Christmas (no judgment here!) I typically find cute ones at Target, Forever 21, or Amazon. 

Write a Couple Holiday Cards

I’m all for the easy Christmas cards that everyone gets and it really does make our lives easier, but writing a few heartfelt Christmas cards can really make someone’s day! Not to mention, 2020 has been one of the weirdest/difficult years for a lot of us. 

Shop Small

We all know that small businesses/locally-owned restaurants are really struggling this year. I mean a good holiday season can be a real make it or break it for some of them, and we don’t even know it. We all love Amazon for its ease and convenience but we have the potential to really make an impact on some small businesses this year. Even just buying gift cards to your friends/families favorite restaurant is a fun gift idea to keep our favorites open and let our loved ones enjoy a night out (when we can.) Check out my blog post on my favorite local San Diego businesses to support for some ideas! 

Go look at Christmas Lights

There are a lot of local online groups that will share specific neighborhoods and streets with festive home displays, which is the perfect way to bundle up and walk/drive around with candy canes and hot chocolate. 

Change Computer and Phone Backgrounds for the Holidays

This is such a simple swap, yet such a good reminder to bring out the Christmas cheer in us all! I love using photos of the previous Christmas seasons of my loved ones doing something or wearing something festive. 

A Gold Christmas ornament on a Christmas Tree

Tell me, what are you doing this holiday season?! Merry Christmas and a Happy Everything! 

~ XOXO, the girl who’s full of Christmas cheer, Amanda // Blonde out of Water

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Hey there!

I’m Amanda, the blonde behind the blog a twenty-something year old with a love of wine, weekends, and traveling. You’ll find bits of my life, travel guides, beauty, food & of course, my pup Gatsby. I’m so happy you’re here & I hope you enjoy the blog as much I as I enjoy creating it! Cheers!

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