The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to make (and start checking off) a Christmas bucket list! As I’m sure it is for most people, this is my favorite time of the year. Even the Christmas commercials on TV put joy in my heart.
This year I put our tree up earlier than I ever have in the past. My justification for this is that we were in Atlanta one weekend this month, we had a full schedule this past weekend, and we will be at Disney World the entire week after Thanksgiving. And I know I won’t have the energy to be decorating when we get home!
Thankfully, David didn’t mind it all going up early, because I have been enjoying the Christmas vibes the past few weeks without shame! #sorrynotsorry
So what’s on our Christmas bucket list this year? It basically stays the same each year, but every one of these items put me in the jolliest of moods year after year.
Christmas Bucket List
1. Santa’s Village
One of our favorite holiday traditions! In the past it has been held at Constitution Village in downtown Huntsville, but this year they’ve moved it to the Historic Huntsville Depot. It sounds like there will be more space there, so I’m excited to see what’s changed this year. This is our favorite place to visit Santa because he’s a good one and the photographer does a great job capturing the moment.
2. Drink hot cocoa
Because what drink says Christmas more than hot cocoa? With marshmallow creme, of course!
3. Drive around and look at Christmas lights in our jammies
Or what Shay from Mix & Match Mama calls Jammy Cocoa Christmas. I’m excited to embark on this adventure this year! If you’re in the Madison/Huntsville area – I’d like to know what areas have the most impressive Christmas lights!?
4. Build a gingerbread house
Last year we bought a pre-built house and this is totally the way to go if you have impatient little ones who don’t want to wait for the house to dry!
5. December 1st boxes
This is a tradition we’ve enjoyed for several years now where the girls get to open a gift on December 1. It’s always a new set of Christmas PJs, a Christmas book, and a Christmas movie to enjoy for the entire month.
6. Watch lots of Christmas movies in the glow of the Christmas tree
This is just the best!
7. Go Black Friday shopping
I actually thoroughly enjoy Black Friday shopping. I get up and go about 7 in the morning. Typically the early morning crowds are mostly cleared out and the later shoppers haven’t shown up yet. It’s actually really therapeutic for me, for some reason. I grab a Starbucks coffee and my list and get to shopping!
8. See the Nutcracker
We’ve already checked this one off! Raley and I went to see The Dance Company’s production of the Nutcracker this past weekend. I enjoy going to the ballet very much, and I love that Raley enjoys it too. She kept asking me when it would be her turn to dance on stage (soon enough sweetheart)! One of her student helpers from last year was the Snow Queen and a girl from church was the Sugar Plum Fairy. She kept saying “There’s Miss Taylor! There’s Kaylee!” She was excited to get to take a picture with them after the show. It was like meeting a princess to her.
9. Go ice skating
We checked this one off as well! Well, sort of. This past weekend was Christmas Open House in downtown Athens, where they had a makeshift ice rink. I’m not sure what the skating surface was made out of, but it wasn’t real ice. The kids were still able to wear ice skates and skate around as if it were real ice. I took Raley with me and she had a great time. She actually caught on to how to keep her balance very quickly. We would like to make it to the actual ice skating rink at some point this winter, if we get a chance!
10. Shop for a holiday gift drive
I think this is a great opportunity to take your kids with you to shop for a person in need.
11. Drink egg nog with chocolate chip cookies
The perfect combination! I don’t feel right having one without the other.
12. Read about Jesus
It’s important to keep our mind centered on the reason we celebrate this holiday and what Christ has done for us. All of us, but kids especially, get caught up in gifts and things that they want for Christmas, so we try to remind them frequently during this time what the season is all about.
13. Listen to lots of Christmas music
14. Do a toy clean out and donate to local charity
This is a great learning opportunity as well. There are so many toys laying around our house that never get played with. Last year I had Raley pick out 3 of her toys to donate, and I helped Audrey pick out 3 of hers (she was too young to understand last year). Raley went with me to drop everything off. At the last minute she started regretting one particular toy that she had picked out to donate, and cried about it for a bit after we dropped it off. I kept reminding her that another little girl who doesn’t have many toys may really enjoy playing with that toy. Once we were home she never asked about it again.
15. Galaxy of Lights
This one is checked off as well! We prefer to walk through the Galaxy of Lights rather than drive through. We went this past Saturday and it was the perfectly cool night for it! The girls think the lights are so neat. I love seeing the fascination in their eyes.
16. Bake cookies for Santa
17. Go to a tacky sweater party
18. Ornament swap with friends
19. Mail a letter to Santa
It’s so much fun to sit down with the girls and write out a letter to Santa!
20. Visit Santa
What is on your Christmas bucket list? If you live in Madison/Huntsville, do you know of the best place to drive around and look at Christmas lights?
If you enjoyed this list, you may also enjoy: