The Ultimate Holiday Bucket List

I know, I know, it’s only November 2nd. But, as soon as Halloween is done, I start looking forward to Thanksgiving and then obviously Christmas. Now, I  counted all weekend days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), and Christmas Eve. There are 25 days in which you can plan to do something extra-special to celebrate this holiday season.

I’m going to try to make this list all-inclusive, because I know not everyone celebrates Christmas. However, this list will probably end up being slightly skewed towards that specific holiday. It is by far, one of my favorite days of the year. I mean, I would decorate our apartment now if I thought it was socially acceptable. Ha!

So, before we look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, tell me how you celebrated Halloween! I wore a Dalmatian costume to work, surrounded by other Dalmatians and a coworker who went all out as Cruella de Ville. We also left a bowl of candy out for the trick-or-treaters, but did not have many. Not exactly sure what we are going to do with the 100+ pieces we have left!

Anyways, let’s get to the actual post today. I know that if you clicked on this, you are probably bursting with holiday cheer and excitement for the upcoming weeks. My hope is that you find a new tradition to start, remember a movie you had forgotten, or bake a special holiday treat! Enjoy!

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Holiday Season Bucket List

November 2: Make Spiced Apple Cider

Try this recipe and let me know what you think!

November 3: Practice Baking Thanksgiving Pie

Check out this pumpkin pie, or this apple pie. Maybe a chocolate pie? Or, if you’re not a pie person, bake up my apple crisp.

I also have a whole list of Thanksgiving recipes if you want to plan your menu!

November 4: Have a Harry Potter Marathon!

These movies are not necessarily Christmas. But, a lot of them feature Christmas scenes and the decorations are so beautiful! For some reason, this season always makes me want to watch Harry Potter.

November 9: Participate in a Thanksgiving Box Donation

We are packing up Thanksgiving boxes at work, to donate to those less fortunate. Gather up non-perishable canned goods, fresh pies, and a turkey, and make your way to a local food bank. It will make you feel fantastic to help those in need!

November 10: Find a Turkey Trot

Or a Christmas-themed 5k! Check out this website to find a race in your area!

November 11: Host a Friendgiving

Jarrett and I have hosted a Friendsgiving a couple times and it is so much fun! Invite your friends to bring a side dish or dessert, and you can whip up the perfect turkey.

Check out these festive decorations!

Thanksgiving Fabric Banner


Multi Leaf Tablecloth


Ceramic Thankful Service Platter

November 16: Get your Christmas Playlist Ready

Scour Spotify for the best pre-made holiday playlists or pull together a mix of your own favorite jingles. It will make sitting in that holiday mall traffic much more enjoyable.

November 17: Watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Only the best Thanksgiving movie to exist! They play it on TV every year, but you can purchase it here.

November 18: Make Hot Cocoa

Hot chocolate, with tons of marshmallows, in a seasonal mug? The perfect drink to cozy up with on the couch! These recipes all sound delicious: The World’s Best Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Hot Chocolateand Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

You could even try making your own marshmallows!

Plus, you need a cute seasonal mug to put that cocoa in. Look at these great options!

Lenox Home for the Holidays Mr. and Mrs. Set $15
Crate and Barrel $9
Santa’s Reindeer Mugs, Set of 4 $37

November 23: Black Friday Shop

Everyone should, once in their life, brave the craziness that is Black Friday. Even if it’s just to be secure in your decision to never engage in that madness again. Check back on the blog in the upcoming weeks for Black Friday deals!

November 24: Make Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwiches

Leftover sandwiches are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving! I’m sure you’ll find the perfect sandwich in this article of 15 top recipes.

November 25: Participate in a Glove Tree

The holiday season is the season of giving! There are many ways in which you can help your local community during these special months. Many businesses support a Glove Tree during the holidays, and then donate them to the less fortunate to use during the coldest months.

November 30: Go Ice Skating

I have never done this! Which is just insane considering that I grew up in New Hampshire. For some reason, it is on my bucket list every year, and never actually gets ticked off. I really hope we can fit it into our holiday season this year!

December 1: Attend a Tree Lighting Ceremony

The majority of towns and cities host a tree lighting ceremony and I always think they are beautiful! I particularly love white lights on a giant tree and think it makes the surrounding area so peaceful. A lot of ceremonies have seasonal music, food trucks, and other activities that would make it fun for the whole family.

December 2: Donate a Toy

Again, another great way to give back! There are so many children who may wake up on Christmas morning without a gift. Think of the wonder that Christmas brought to you when you were a child. You will feel so good knowing that you made a child’s day, thinking Santa paid them a visit!

December 7: Gingerbread House

Now, I do build a gingerbread house every year. Jarrett doesn’t love it, but I think it’s so fun to decorate! I have never attempted to make my own gingerbread, and prefer to stick to the kits to play it safe. It doesn’t hurt that you can snack on your decorations as you build! Ha!

This kit works well or you can try to make your own gingerbread from scratch!

December 8: Get a Christmas Tree

I never had a real Christmas tree until Jarrett and I moved into our first apartment, 3 years ago. Growing up, we always had an artificial tree, which certainly makes things easier. However, I love the smell of a real tree and the actual act of finding one at a tree farm. Unfortunately, in Virginia, we don’t have the option of cutting one ourselves. But, I still find it just as difficult picking from the pre-cut trees! I swear it takes me 30 minutes to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Jarrett would probably argue that it takes double that.

December 9: Have a Hallmark Original Christmas Movie Marathon

Admit it. You have watched a Hallmark Christmas movie and loved it, despite how cheesy and predictable they can be. Hallmark produces the cutest, sappiest movies that are perfect for this time of year. Plus, they air around the clock. Settle in on the couch with some hot cocoa and a blanket, and start your marathon!

December 14: Bake Christmas Cut-Out Cookies

One of my favorite memories from childhood is baking holiday sugar cookies! I loved, and still love, picking out the seasonal cookie cutters and getting to work on that sugary goodness. Whip them up from scratch with this recipe!

December 15: Have a Gift Wrapping Party

Get creative with your friends, turn to the Hallmark Channel, and wrap a few gifts! Maybe one of them is a master at wrapping oddly shaped gifts? Is one friend amazing at bows? Even if you all struggle to wrap, at least the tedious task is more fun surrounded by friends and family.

December 16: Make Paper Snowflakes

I loved doing this as a kid and this season tends to bring out the kid in everyone! Stick to the basics or elevate your game with these fancy snowflakes!

December 21: Celebrate a Gift Swap with Friends

Whether you call it a Yankee Swap, White Elephant, or Secret Santa, spread the holiday cheer between your friend group with silly little gifts.

December 22: Wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater

Oh, the ugly Christmas sweater. Jarrett and I shopped at a thrift store for ours and they are hideous. A lot of stores, like Target, make “cute” ugly sweaters, so there are plenty of options for you to celebrate in fashion.

These are some of my favorite from this year!

$13 on Amazon
$20 on Amazon
$35 at Forever 21

December 23: Drive Around Looking at Christmas Lights

Another one of my favorite things to do is drive around and look at how people decorated their houses for the holidays. You know there is always one house, or neighborhood, that gets so into it! Those are always the best finds.

December 24: Celebrate Christmas Eve!

The last day before Christmas! However you celebrate, I hope you celebrate with friends and family. I also hope that you enjoyed the months leading up to this special day and that you found a new tradition from this list.


Here’s to a very special holiday season!


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