“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Right? Here are a few suggestions to ensure that this holiday / winter season is the best one yet.
- Buy yourself a present
To: Catherine, Love: Catherine. I know, I know it’s the season of giving. And I honestly do get more joy out of finding the perfect gift for those special people on my list than I do from opening presents. However, after seeing our wish lists yesterday, it’s pretty obvious that everyone has a few gifts they’d love to see under the tree. Despite Santa’s best work, there are usually one or two things he misses, so indulge in the spirit of the holidays and get yourself something you’ve been wanting for a long time.
- Smore date
For the long-term relationship, the newly together, or the first (or actually, maybe third) date, this one is sure to secure you a kiss underneath the mistle toe.
Plan an evening of Christmas movie favourites (you know how I feel) and cook up your favourite treat. No fireplace necessary, just buy the following supplies: marshmallows, milk chocolate, graham crackers, a candle and matches. Foray in the backyard for some sticks or add some kebab skewers to your shopping list and voila! A DIY winter desert that is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
- Plan a reunion
If you asked me what my favourite part of the holidays was, it would be (hands down) spending time with people I don’t get to see very often. My brothers from out of town, my godparents from France, my ex boyfriend’s parents, etc. Last night, I spent some time with some high school friends I don’t get to see nearly enough. So this Christmas take the lead on planning a reunion with that special group that deserves some serious catch-up time.
- Make something from scratch
Our resident Betty Crocker, Meghan, could tell you in great detail how satisfying this is. With Christmas comes baking (and gaining 10 pounds), so whether it’s cookies, apple pie, Nanaimo bars or tourtiere, make yourself useful in the kitchen and channel your inner Martha Stewart. The results will make you beam with pride, even if you regret eating the nine spoonfuls of batter you consumed in the process.
- Be a kid
If you are an avid reader of my seasonal bucket lists, you will notice that this item is a permanent fixture on them all. That is because with big girl jobs, bills and relationships (etc..) even at the young age of 23, sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m still at the young end of the life scale. Winter is a perfect time to have a snowball fight, build a fort, make a snowman (or angel), decorate a gingerbread house, sing a Christmas Carol at the top of your lungs (badly), sit on Santa’s lap with a group of pals, unwrap a gift in an outrageously animal-like fashion or simply, remind yourself why you had a 364 day countdown to your favourite day of the year in your grade two agenda.
- Take a chalet day
Our ski loving readers will groan at the thought of sitting idly beside a gorgeous mountain and I will admit, one of my fondest memories from last winter was hitting the slopes again (after 9 years) with Kate. But, if you’re not the downhill type, still venture away for a day in the mountains and out of the city. Curl up with your favourite book or magazine in a cozy spot by the fire and high five your snowboarding pals as they come in from the cold.
- Skate on the canal
On the note of winter sports, this may be more of a late January activity than something you can cross off during your Christmas vacation, but it is an important winter bucket list item all the same. Even if you’re not currently residing in Ottawa, I IMPLORE you to make the trip to skate on the Rideau Canal.
Sometimes, living in a city your whole life makes you take for granted what it has to offer but make no mistake, there’s nothing like skating (Bambi legs and all) outdoors with hundreds of other people, in Ottawa’s downtown. Throw a beavertail into the mix and you have yourself a perfect winter’s day. Just make sure you bring a mitted hand to hold as well.
- Random act of kindness
As much as the Christmas season is about spending your hard earned dollars on the ones you love, it is also about thinking of those who don’t have that privilege. Recently my job has allowed me to hear the most heart warming stories. This week I interviewed a nine-year-old who donated all of their birthday presents toToy Mountain. It’s inspiring and it’s the right thing to do. So whether you add some canned goods to your shopping list, spend an hour at a soup kitchen, pick up the tab of the person behind you in the Tim Horton’s drive-through or buy a coffee for the homeless person you pass on the street every day, do something for a good cause. It will warm your heart as much as the people you’ve helped.
- Write down your resolutions
Whether you admit it or not, EVERYONE has things they want to improve on for 2012. I think it’s a very healthy thing to do to not only make some New Year resolutions, but to write them down as well. Seeing a visceral list of changes you want to make will remind you to follow through. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying then being able to cross an item off. Literally, nothing.
- Take it all in
One of my favourite episodes, from one of my favourite shows, is when Pam and Jim (one of my favourite couples) from The Office are about to get married and Pam tells Jim to take mental pictures throughout, in an attempt to never forget their special day. Even though the holiday season is much anticipated, sometimes it can go by before you know it. So take that extra moment when your family is gathered around the tree, or when your bestie links your arm to keep warm, to remind yourself of the magic of Christmas and all the happiness that comes with it. In a nutshell.