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XMas Bucket List
A bucket list of holiday activities that we would try to punch out from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
1. Visit The Real Santa Claus In Lapland
This may seem like a very outthere idea but if you havent already arranged anything else this Christmas and you feel like a having very different albeit traditional Christmas holiday then why not head over to Lapland. Although fairly expensive for a short stay over in Lapland, it is absolutely picturesque and well worth the money if you can afford the trip, and you are not scared of flying. Lapland if you didnt already know, is in Finland and it really is a beautiful place to travel to and around. There is always snow at this festive time of year so you are sure to have a beautiful white Christmas, you will also find reindeers in their natural habitat which is great to see. On top of all this there is of course the big, fat, jolly man whose white beard and red (or more traditionally green) clothing is set to make any childs Christmas day a special one, I am of course talking about Santa Claus himself; you will be greeted in true Christmas spirit by jolly Saint Nick who is sure to make the rest of your short stay very memorable, just dont forget to pack your camera, this is one trip you will definitely want to keep fond memories of.
2. A Real Christmas Tree
Everyone has different family traditions, maybe you have a fake Christmas tree instead of a real one, maybe you go out every year and buy one together as a family, or maybe you just go out alone and grab one from your local supermarket (if they sell them). The point is that it is about time you had a Christmas tree up in your house, maybe you have a small home and need a tiny tree, or maybe you have an ongoing competition with a fellow neighbour to have the most ridiculously sized tree you can in your home. The Christmas tree is a traditional decoration for any family that celebrates Christmas and without one the house just doesnt feel like Christmas at all. If this is your first Christmas without your parents then this is a chance to start a new tradition altogether, why not take your partner (and your children if you have any) out to find the perfect tree and pick it together, you can really make it a fun outing which will become an annual event? Whatever you do this Christmas make sure you dont go too overboard, you want to actually see the rest of the room and not just a space full of tree.
3. Christmas Budget And Stick To It
This piece of advice is worth its weight in gold, regardless of how obvious it appears to be. The amount of people who go over their budget at Christmas is astonishing, it appears we are a society full of impulse buyers, which can lead to disaster if you are not careful. Think about your routine that you stick to the rest of the year, you pay your rent, your bills, your taxes (hopefully) but then you have what is left over for luxuries, this is your budget for the rest of the month (or week) and in order to keep having these luxuries you must keep to your budget or else you will have to go without for a period of time. Its exactly the same at Christmas only you have more things to buy for other people (obviously). If you havent saved up in advance for Christmas spending dont panic, just sort out a reasonable budget. Make a list of all the people you NEED to buy presents for and a list of those you would LIKE to buy presents for. then buy accordingly you dont need to spend hundreds per person, most people will be happy with something very small. Just remember the famous old phrase Its the thought that counts.
4. Go Christmas Carolling
If you are feeling very festive this year you could take your friends and family around your local area and do some carol singing; just make sure you know the words and can keep in tune at least a little. The days of Christmas Carolling are dying out year after year, but there is no reason why you cant still go out and do your own thing. Maybe you could do it in aid of a local or national charity, or maybe you just want to spread the Christmas cheer? Whatever your reasons are and no matter where you do it, this is still a time honored tradition and really gets everyone in a festive mood. If you would like to do some Christmas singing then make sure everyone knows the words you can more than likely find every single Christmas carol known to man here on the internet but there is nothing saying you cant do a modern variation and sing some more recent number one Christmas hits instead. Just have fun.
5. Give Unwanted Toys To A Childrens Hospital
Christmas is a time for giving, and if you find yourself overrun with old Christmas toys from years ago then maybe you are thinking of throwing some of them out; but wait, before you do that, consider the children who are unable to celebrate Christmas because they are in the hospital! Instead of throwing out all of those toys that probably cost a lot of money some time ago, you could make a childs day by taking them all to the local childrens hospital or ward and let them have toys instead. Youd be surprised at how little can mean so much to a child especially one who has to spend their Christmas day in hospital. So if you are feeling genuinely generous and you want to give to others in this festive holiday then why not pack all those toys up and donate them today. The staff will thank you for it and the children will be thrilled. If you were to do just one item on this list before Christmas I think this should be it.
6. Put Christmas Lights On The Outside Of Your House
Every year it seems there are more and more people in the local neighbourhood who are competing for the most lights on a house ever competition of course this is a completely fictional competition although for some reason the Christmas lights do get bigger although not better in some cases. If you want to put some lights on your house then please do so, it really does help carry the festive mood, just make sure you dont over do it too much. Nowadays there are hundreds of places that you can buy lighting from, your local DIY store, supermarkets, even the thrush and pound stores are selling them now and they can be very cheap. Just make sure that you use a ladder and get someone to help you when you are attaching them to your roofs; its very cold and slippery this time of year so make sure you wrap up warm and stay safe.
7. A Wonderful Life
In fact any old or indeed new Christmas film is fine really but this is one that really stands out to me, I remember watching this film every year with my family, Im sure many of you have other movies that you watch every Christmas with your family but instead of waiting for the TV companies to start showing them on Christmas Day itself, why not go out and buy that favourite festive movie of yours so you can watch it any time you like! There a lots of choices too, some a lot more dated and some with gerat CGI for the kids, this is great because it means everyone can enjoy watching a Christmas movie. Think about the family time it will create too, its an excuse to get everyone to sit down together and enjoy something as a whole family. Whatever your traditional movie of this season is, and whenever you watch it, I hope you have a great time.
8. Take Your Kids To See Santa
Remember when you were a child and you were taken to see Father Christmas? Remember how it felt? The excitement, then panic of thinking about which toy to ask for and the fear of wondering whether or not you had been good enough throughout the year? Well if youre now all grown up with your own children it means you can become a little nostalgic by taking your own kids to see Santa Claus. Its brilliant watching the faces of your little ones whilst there waiting in line to see Santa, and its one of the only queues you can stand in where the children will actually behave (sometimes). Not only is this a great thing to do for your children it also helps to reinforce the whole Santa Claus is real debacle which keeps their imagination running wild. Its important for children to be able to have a childhood and by taking them to see Santa you are actually feeding their imagination.Christmas really is a time for the children so why not take them down to the local Santas Grotto and meet the man himself.
9. Cook An Entire Christmas Dinner From Scratch
Okay so every Sunday for around 16 years or more your dear old Mother slaved over hot stoves and cooking utensils in a bid to make the perfect roast dinner right? Well now its time to return the favour and the least you can do is cook her (and the rest of the family of course) a lovely Christmas dinner. The only problem with this is that if it is your first time you have no idea of what to do, get it wrong and your roast potatoes could be ready before the turkey is even thawed out, so you need to take a little time to get acquainted with the rules of cooking a Christmas dinner. Okay so it isnt rocket science but the chances are that you will want to get it right first time so you can be thanked instead of receiving phonecalls the next day about why your turkey gave your entire family food poisoning not a good idea. Help is at hand though, because if you think back a little, back to the days of school, you should remember these little rectangle objects called books! Amazingly some of them actually have writing within them, some even on the topic of cooking and recipes! Joking aside, if you are nervous, worried, or sheer terrified that you have picked the short straw this Christmas, then head over to your local bookstore and pick up a cook book. It may actually save your life (and those who are going to eat it with you).
10. Go And See The Nutcracker Theatre Show
If you enjoy live theatre productions and you havent been to any recently (or even if you have) then why not travel to London or Broadway if you are over in the US and see one of the biggest and best productions of this festive season; The Nutcracker. This would really make a great family day out and if you are lucky the traditional German market may be around as a sort of after show wound down. The great thing about The Nutcracker is that its aimed at children and adults alike, it also offers something other than a night sat in front of the TV watching a televised version which, lets face it, is not the same thing as the real deal. Try to get tickets well in advanced though because they are usually sell out shows with obvious reasons, also make sure if you are taking your kids that you do so when they have finished school for the semester, that way you wont have to make them skip classes. Add a bit of culture to your lives, go and see The Nutcracker, you might even enjoy it.
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