Holiday Bucket List: Getting The Most From The Season

The nice thing about a holiday bucket list is that you can be celebrating one or all of the holidays, including; Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Boxing Day!

The holiday season can be very busy and stressful, so make sure to take the time to do the things that matter most to you. Spend time with your loved ones and make lasting memories. Whatever you decide to add to your bucket list, just have fun with it.

So what will you add to your holiday bucket list?

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holiday bucket list

Top things to add to your holiday bucket list

1. Make a gift special for someone

Gifts do not have to be purchased or expensive to be special and meaningful. If you are tight on budget, don’t be afraid to make something. It is the thought that counts. And remember, no one is worth going into debt for.

holiday gift

2. Bake cookies

No matter what you celebrate, your holiday bucket list should have cookies of some sort. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like homemade delicious sweets. Eve better if you host a holiday cookie bake off at your home and decorate together.

You can do cookie exchanges at work or with family and friends.

holiday bucket list

3. Spend time having meals with family and friends

The holiday season is a great time to spend with loved ones and the perfect time to remind us of everything we have and to be grateful. Don’t miss an opportunity to hang with gran this season. If your holiday bucket list doesn’t include breaking bread with the family, add it now!

holiday bucket list

4. Purchase a gift for a teacher

Do you have kids in school or maybe you know a teacher? These angels are hard at work educating todays youth. A small gift goes a long way and lets them know you appreciate them.

5. Make delicious hot cocoa

The best way to warm up is with your winter bucket list and a piping hot glass of chocolate. There are so many ways to make an insanely scrumptious hot cocoa!

The real question is, do you want to spike it with liquor? Or better yet, toast your own marshmallows for the top!

hot cocoa

6. Sit by a fire and read a book

One of life’s simple pleasures is getting cozy by the fire and snuggling up to a good book. Grab a tea or a whiskey and spend some time alone getting lost between the pages.

If you are on a tight budget, check out the library and see if they have your requested titles. If not, you can see if Amazon Kindle has free downloads available or browse the new fee downloads, you might find something there. You do not need a Kindle – you can get the app and read on your phone.

7. Volunteer to help those in need

Every city has people who need our help. Consider donating time and/or money to help those less fortunate during the holiday. The generosity can really go a long way and you never know whose life you are changing.

8. Adopt a family for the holiday

Know someone who has fallen on hard times? Adopt a family this holiday season and get them some meals and things they need. Trust us when we say, it is far better to give than to receive.

You will also be helping a family out who truly needs it. Tis the season of giving.

holiday bucket list

9. Buy someone’s coffee behind you

Random acts of kindness. Your holiday bucket list should include doing this at least once and it doesn’t have to be anything crazy if you don’t have a lot of money. If you find yourself in a drive-thru or getting coffee, just let the cashier know you would like to buy the coffee for the person behind you. Then hand them a few dollars.

10. Watch all your favorite holiday movies

There are so many great holiday movies to enjoy no matter what you celebrate. Break out all the classics and watch them throughout the season for a little holiday spirit.

Alternatively, you could follow the new movie schedules put out by Hallmark, Netflix and the other channels that offer movies new for the season.

holiday bucket list

11. Ride a sled down a snow covered hill

Put on your snow suit or warm clothes and grab the sled, it is time to be eight again! Bonus points if you can get friends to join in and race down the hills.

Last one to the bottom is a rotten egg!

holiday bucket list

12. Go shopping for gifts

Do you love the thrill of Black Friday? Maybe you are more of a Cyber Monday shopper? Or like us, maybe you do your holiday shopping before Thanksgiving just to get it out of the way?

Want to up the ante in shopping and decor? Head to Galeries Lafayette and check that off your Paris bucket list.

No matter how you shop for gifts, make sure you find the perfect item for whomever you are buying for.

holiday bucket list

13. Get to know someone who celebrates differently than you do

Differences between us are what make us all so special and interesting. This holiday season, get to know someone who celebrates differently than you do. You never know what you will learn and see how different or similar you are to someone else.

This could also be the beginning of a great new friendship!

14. Spend a day baking delicious food

The holiday season lends itself to indulgence. So bake to your hearts content! And don’t forget to share with your loved ones, they will appreciate it more than you know.

holiday bucket list

15. Do a white elephant gift exchange

Since everyone celebrates the holidays so differently, doing a white elephant gift exchange allows you to have a fun time that is inclusive and respectful to all parties involved. Plus, the white elephant gift exchange is intended to be light hearted and fun, so you won’t have to deeply think for the perfect gift for anyone.

16. Make a snow angel

Your holiday bucket list should include the joys of laying in the snow like a child and making a snow angel. Get the whole family or group of friends together and make a family of angels together. It will be fun to see them all.

holiday bucket list

17. Rent a cozy cabin in the woods

Renting a cozy cabin and snuggling by the fire is a great way to also check an item off your couples bucket list. Pick somewhere awesome where the snow is falling and the town looks like something right out of a Hallmark movie.

Make sure to pack extra wine and hot cocoa, just in case you get snowed in.

holiday bucket list

18. Go camping

Outdoor enthusiasts, pack up your tents and warm gear and find a cool place to hike to and enjoy a winter camping session. Not feeling the cold? Head out west where the temperatures are milder and explore some of the National Parks and stargazing.

19. Make your own snow cones out of fresh snow

As soon as you see the fresh snow fall, grab a bowl and get a bunch of snow, but be prepared for it to melt right away. Have your flavored syrup or toppings on hand so you can enjoy right away.

20. See the Nutcracker Ballet

While this ballet has more ties to a Christmas bucket list, the show is still fantastic and a must see. The ballet is absolutely brilliant and you will be blown away by it.

You can either get dressed up fancy and see it in a theater or if you are looking for a budget friendly option, usually a local theater or school is putting on a production.

holiday bucket list

21. Go ice skating

The holiday season is a great time to bundle up with your favorite warm clothes, hat, scarf, and mittens and hit the rink. If you do not know how to ice skate or are not great at it, get some friends to help you out. Once you get the hang of it, it will be like riding a bike.

22. Visit a holiday market or craft show

Typically you can find local craft shows through churches, high schools or independently done ones. Same with holiday markets.

Feeling super festive and want to visit Christmas markets in Europe? Your Europe bucket list could use a visit to the best market, located in Tallinn, Estonia!

holiday bucket list

23. Visit New York City to see the light displays

New York City usually offers over the top holiday decorating and the Rockefeller Tree! You can stop by SAKS Fifth Avenue for their outstanding light display.

If you are already in the city, might as well take in a show in Times Square or even see the Rockettes. Make sure to get a street pretzel and pizza while you are there. No one does it better.

holiday bucket list

24. Spend the holiday in a Hallmark like town

Obsessed with Hallmark movies? Consider taking your holiday on the road and staying a Hallmark like town. Whitefish, Montana is a great pick.

Find a home rental and plan to get whatever you need for your holiday celebration in town. Make this trip more special by inviting friends or family and getting matching pajamas.

holiday bucket list

25. Visit family

Whether you live near or far, your holiday bucket list should include seeing your family. People will not live forever, so if the holiday season is the only time you can visit, make it a priority and make it special.

We get so busy building our own lives that we forget to see our families more. Make sure to check in with them and spend some time.

holiday bucket list

26. Call an old friend

Remember when you were in high school or college and you said “friends forever?” Maybe life got busy. Now is a great time to catch up and see what those people who helped you survive your youth are doing.

27. Take a vacation somewhere warm

Ready to skip the frigid temperatures and get back on the beach? Now is a great time to visit Caribbean and Central American destinations.

If you want to get a real bang for your buck, consider staying at an all-inclusive resort where meals and drinks are covered or consider a cruise. Cruises stop in multiple ports while allowing you the freedom of staying in the same room for 5-14 nights.


28. Have a game night with the family

Every family has their own set of house rules they play by with certain games. Break them all out and see who comes out on top.

Friendly reminder, don’t forget the alcohol.

holiday bucket list

29. Host a brunch

Ready to show of your charcuterie skills or maybe you found a bunch of new recipes on Pinterest? Invite the friends and family over for a brunch and mingle. Don’t forget the mimosa bar with plenty of options to keep everyone happy.

30. Read a holiday themed book

Even if you do not celebrate a certain holiday, it can still be fun to read books that have overarching themes with them. For example, there are a lot of books that are similar to Hallmark movies. Typically a love story in a town that is super festive and celebrating Christmas. These can be fun to read.

Or try reading something completely new to you! Reading is one of the best educations.

holiday bucket list

31. Drive through a neighborhood of lights

You don’t even have to be celebrating the holidays to enjoy the magic of the lights. Some neighborhoods go all out and you wonder how they even stay lit. Take advantage of the free art these great people are offering for the holiday season.

holiday bucket list

32. Learn about other holidays and traditions

Even if you have always celebrated one way, it is never too late to learn about the traditions and celebrations of another holidays happening around the same time. Just think, by next year you could be adding new things to your holiday bucket list!

We say “Happy Holidays” because we want everyone to enjoy the holiday, whatever they celebrate.

It is a good time for all celebrations and knowledge is power.

holiday bucket list

33. Go Skiing or snowboarding

You could cross off some of your USA bucket list experiences at the same time by hitting the slopes at one of the famous Colorado resorts. Aspen and Breckenridge are two of the best in the state and don’t disappoint.

34. Go to the office holiday party

If you know, you know! This is usually the one time of year everyone lets loose on the companies dime with never ending booze and maybe even some bonuses. Just remember, you have to go back to work here, so try and be on your best behavior.

If you are fortunate enough to have tolerable co-workers who like to get down, make this a top holiday bucket list priority.

holiday bucket list

35. Get a photoshoot done and make your own holiday cards

The nice thing about making your own cards is that you have full control on design and wording. You could go sentimental or even humor. You know you. Make it personal.

Want to up the ante? Get your dogs photos done too and cross it off his doggy bucket list.

36. Attend an Ugly Christmas sweater party

You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to go to one of these epic parties. The only requirement is that you have an ugly sweater! You can buy a new one, find a vintage one at a Goodwill or try your hand at making your own. Just make them hilarious so you can check it off your funny bucket list too!

No holiday bucket list would be complete without an ugly sweater!

holiday bucket list

Editorial credit: Sergei Bachlakov /


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