Hi, my name's Louise and I am a self-confessed Christmas enthusiast. It has been no minutes since my last Christmas fix, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
In the run up to Christmas, I love to embrace the season, and try to make each day as festive as possible by filling my time with festive activities, entertainment, and Christmas cheer. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
It takes a lot of careful planning to get the most out of the busiest month of the year, and with just 29 days to go 'til Advent and 54 days until Christmas Day, it's not too early to start thinking ahead. My head is already filled with ideas on how to make Christmas 2014 the best one yet, so today I thought I'd share some of them with you!
I give you my 101 Things To Do This Christmas list....
1. Go Christmas tree shopping or bring the tree out of storage.
2. Buy at least one new Christmas decoration.
3. Get a new decoration to symbolise something good that happened this year.
4. Go foraging for foliage to use for natural decorations. (Pine cones, holly, ivy etc.)
5. Buy or make a wreath for the door.
6. Decorate the Christmas tree while listening to festive music.
7. Decorate the house while listening to festive music.
8. Light an advent candle, tea lights, or festive scented candles every day over the festive season.
9. Treat yourself to some festive Yankee candles. (Christmas Cupcake is my favourite festive scent).
... no Christmas would be complete without watching Santa Claus the Movie, Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Christmas With the Kranks, and The Family Stone at least once each.
11. Make play lists of Christmas songs to soundtrack the festive season. (Or buy a couple of festive CDs.
12. Watch a new-to-you Christmas movie.
13. Watch a Christmas film at the cinema.
14. Go see a musical at the theatre.
15. Go to a pantomime.
16. Go to a concert.
17. Read a Christmas book. (You can't beat A Christmas Carol by Dickens!)
18. Snuggle up under duvets, blankets, or sleeping bags in the living room, pop a couple of Christmas movies on, and have a 'sleep over' around the Christmas Tree.
19. Have a board game night by the Christmas tree. Alcoholic beverages optional!
...you can cheat by buying a kit from a craft store like Hobbycraft. (I do!)
21. Go carolling, if it's a popular custom in your country / home town. (It's not in Oxfordshire, where I'm from).
22. Complete a Christmas cross stitch picture.
23. Make Christmas cards.
24. Make Christmas cross stitch cards.
25. Make Christmas ornaments for the tree. (I'll be making a little cross stitch ornament this year).
26. Knit or crochet something festive.
27. Make Christmas place-settings for the Christmas dinner table.
28. Make popcorn and cranberry garlands to string up on the tree or around the house.
29. Sit down and write Christmas cards while listening to festive music.
31. Put together a Christmas Eve box of festive things to enjoy on Christmas Eve. (New PJs, hot chocolates, candles, a new Christmas film, a festive book etc).
32. Hang Christmas paper chains.
33. Make paper snowflakes. Who cares if you're a grown adult with no kids to use as an excuse?
34. Relax with an adult Christmas colouring book. You'll be surprised by how therapeutic colouring in can be after a long hectic day.
35. Or why not give some Christmas-themed creative writing a go?
36. Spray paint pine cones silver or gold to use for decorations. (I use pine cones to decorate the mantle and fire place with fir and holly branches).
37. Buy or make an advent calendar.
38. Bake and ice Christmas cookies.
39. Make and decorate Christmas cupcakes.
41. Make a Yule log.
42. Make Peppermint creams.
43. Make an apple pie.
44. Make and decorate a ginger bread house. (I've always wanted to do this).
45. Eat hot roasted chestnuts (make sure to remove the shells first- I’m looking at you, Steve!).
46. Drink mulled wine, eggnog, and other festive tipples.
47. Make a Christmas pudding.
48. Make marshmallows for all of those hot chocolates.
49. Make condiments for your turkey sandwiches!
51. Go out for a turkey dinner / carvery at a country pub.
52. Eat and / or decorate the house with candy canes.
53. Go out for hot chocolates.
54. Master the perfect Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
55. Make a special Christmas family breakfast. (I'm think eggs Benedict would go down perfectly this year).
56. Go to a garden centre or department store to browse and enjoy the Christmas departments and food halls.
57. Attend a festive church service.
58. Attend your town’s Christmas lights event / parade / street fair.
59. Go for a drive to see Christmas lights.
61. Visit a European Christmas market. (The German ones are usually the best!)
62. Go late night Christmas shopping.
63. Go ice skating.
64. Throw a party, or invite friends around for dinner.
65. Attend at least one Christmas party or gathering.
66. Volunteer your time.
67. Spend a day doing random acts of kindness.
68. Do a good deed for a stranger; bonus points if you do a good deed for someone in need!
69. Put together a Christmas shoebox full of gifts for somebody in need in a third world country.
71. Buy a hot meal / drink for a homeless person.
72 Buy a Big Issue. Better still, don't take the magazine- let them sell it to another person so they can gain a second donation!
73. Spend some time with lonely or elderly neighbours. Offer to do their shopping or drive them to the supermarket if they struggle to get about during the Winter.
74. Give extra generous tips to people in service. (Waiters / waitresses, barmen, postmen, delivery men, shop assistants that carry goods to your car etc).
75. Donate to your local food bank.
76. Donate toys to children's hospitals or other children in need.
77. Give away a Christmas jar filled with the small change you've saved over the last year..
78. Bake cookies or other sweet treats for friends and neighbours.
79. Donate pet food to an animal shelter.
An inconceivable amount of animals get abandoned over the holidays, so your help is sure to be appreciated.
81. Put food out for the birds / visiting animals. (Especially important if you have snow on the ground).
82. Try some Christmas nail art, or cheat and use festive nail transfers.
83. Put together a new Christmas eye make up look. (I love a gold or glittery eyeliner during December).
84. Wear glitter nail polishes.
85. Get a hair cut, right in time for all those Christmas photo opportunities!
86. Buy a new Christmas dress or outfit.
87. Buy and wear a Christmas jumper.
88. Take a well-earned, relaxing, candle-lit bubble bath. (No bath during the holidays is complete without a festive Lush bath bomb)!
89. Have a girl's night in with Christmas movies. (Love Actually, The Holiday, Santa Claus the Movie, The Family Stone). Give each other festive manicures / pedicures, drink hot chocolates, eat festive treats, have one too many drinks, and have a good catch up!
91. Have a lazy PJ day at home to give yourself a break from your hectic schedule.
92. Revisit your old family traditions.
93. Organise a Secret Santa.
94. Wear the paper crown from the Christmas cracker, no matter how silly you feel!
95. Hang stockings on the fireplace. Don't have one? Buy or make one!
96. If you get snow... go for a walk, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, and go sledding.
97. Go for a Christmas Day walk.
98. Take at least one photo a day.
99. Start a new tradition.
101. Spend time with family and friends, whether they drive you mad, or not!
I could have continued listing, but I think 101 goals are more than enough to keep you all busy this Christmas! Feel free to use any of the ideas on the list, work your way through them all, or come up with your own 101 Things To Do This Christmas.
Will you be giving any of these 101 things a go? Have I missed anything out that you think should be on the list? Tell me in the comments below!