The saddest part of this season is that it just doesn't seem like there is enough time to celebrate it! However, amidst all of the shopping, gift wrapping, parties, and holiday preparation, be sure you set aside some time for some real holiday magic.
Dave and I ran into some unplanned holiday magic the other night, when we went out to eat at the Riverwoods. On our way to the restaurant, we found this cute little shop, called Blickenstaff's. It was adorable - a real old-fashioned toy store!
I was like a kid in a candy store. That could be because they had a large candy section (see above). No, it really was just downright magical. They had good old-fashioned toys, books, puzzles, brainteasers, kids crafts . . . And most of the things you could try out - I loved it!
After dinner we stepped out to find this -
The trees were all aglow with lights, and there were bonfires to help keep you warm. At least one side of you at a time :) Plus, Santa came for a visit, and brought some friends:
They also had free hot chocolate and apple cider, and FREE carriage rides. Yes, carriage rides. Did I mention the live music?
I seriously felt like I was in a movie. Which reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite movies, "You've Got Mail" - "So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?" So good. It you don't like this movie, you should.
Okay, back to my point. There are just too many magical moments waiting to happen for you to miss out! I'm starting a brainstorming list that might help you out - please feel free to add! (For a fun idea on how to make sure some of these things actually get done, click here.)
Some things on this list will be specific to those of you who live in Utah - in other places they'll have similar things, and some are just plain universal.
Things to do during the Christmas Season:
- Make a snowman
- Go to Temple Square and see the lights (I like to stop at The Lion House Pantry afterward to warm up and eat dessert . . . I know you're not surprised!)
- Go see the lights at Thanksgiving Point - they have a trolley ride this year!
- Make holiday treats and take them to the neighbors
- Tell one holiday story each night
- Make a kiss chain to count down the days to Christmas
- Go sledding
- Have a snowball fight
- Have a Christmas karaoke night
- Watch a holiday favorite: White Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, It's a Wonderful Life, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reigndeer, Elf, etc.
- Make ornaments
- Make snowflakes
- Make (and eat, did I mention the eating part?) caramel corn
- Go see Santa
- Do the twelve days of Christmas for a neighbor
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
- Write a letter - the possibilities are endless - a faraway relative, a friend who has moved, someone in the armed forces, or click here to write a Christmas card to someone in Ecuador - I loved the idea!
- Head to the Riverwoods (in Provo) and take a free carriage ride, do a kids Christmas craft, or just enjoy the lights. Click here for more info.
- Go caroling
- Make gingerbread houses
- Donate some toys to a local charity (it helps to get rid of a few before the new ones arrive, plus your kids can help!)
- Go ice skating. Even pretty little ones can do this.
- String popcorn to hang on your Christmas tree
- Go see a Christmas play - you can usually find some version of "A Christmas Carol" in the community.
- Have a snowball fight
- Reenact the story of Christ's birth
- Tell stories of past Christmases
- Have a family slumber party out by the sparkly Christmas tree
- Leave little notes for each other in your stockings
- Make homemade gifts for grandma and grandpa
- Go to a Christmas concert at a local high school or college
- Go to the Festival of Trees (click here for more info) which supports Primary Children's Medical Center
- Go for a ride on the North Pole Express (click here). A little expensive, but I think it sounds so darn FUN!
- Shovel your neighbors driveway
- Leave a Christmas caroling message on someone's phone
- Write Santa a letter (it's still fun, even if you're an adult)
Do you have any other ideas? Please share (even if it's specific to your location)!