12 Memorable Holiday Activities to do this Year

This post does not contain any affiliate links. Learn more under policies.

Even with all the pretty lights and holiday cheer in the air, most of us can’t help but feel the immense pressure that comes with the Christmas season. But who says you need to spend lots of money on gifts, a Christmas tree, ornaments, or home decor? The holidays are meant to make special memories with your loved ones and some where along the way, we’ve forgotten how to do just that.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

As a child, I remember laying underneath the Christmas tree with my little sister. The giggles we shared underneath those magical lights are my most cherished memories. I don’t think there were any presents underneath the tree at all and to be honest, it made no difference.

Here are some fun holiday activities to share with your loved ones this holiday season:

With so many easy and inspiring ideas on pinterest, there is no reason to spend more money on pricey Christmas ornaments. Gather your little ones, play some fun Christmas music and get crafty.

Get inspired:

Many of us love decorating our homes either for an upcoming holiday party or just to spruce it up for the holiday season. But this doesn’t mean you have to break your bank just to do so. In fact, your party guests will appreciate your unique Christmas decor pieces and your children will have so much fun making them.

Nothing is more touching than receiving a homemade Christmas card in the mail from your loved ones. It’s also a great way to get the family together and spend some quality time getting crafty. Supplies are very inexpensive and can even be purchased from your local dollar store.

Throw on your apron and let’s get baking! My family loves to get together to bake some delicious gingerbread man cookies! Other common holiday recipes include gingerbread houses, sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, and so much more.

What better way to add a bit of magic and wonder to your holiday season than to get the kids together to write a letter to Santa Clause himself! I’m in love with these templates on pinterest. Give these templates a try or make your own.

We love movie night at our family home. It’s just so nice to make some popcorn, dim the lights and cuddle up on our cozy couch to rewatch some old favourites this season. Our favourite holiday film is Elf staring Will Ferell.

Go one step further and pull out a classic holiday story book to read to your children. I understand nowadays, the kids are glued to their screens and devices but here are some tips to add a bit of fun to story time:

  • Turn on the Christmas tree lights and dim the lights in the room
  • Grab a plate of cookies and milk or hot chocolate
  • Get cozy (Throw blankets, pillows)
  • Make a little teepee tent for the kids to sit in
  • Let the kids take turns and read out loud

I don’t know about you but I love dusting off an old photo album and reliving some old memories with my family. This is a great time to teach your children about old traditions or just to remember loved ones that have passed.

Another fun holiday activity is to go out in the snow with your children and have some fun! This is such a simple activity yet often forgotten in the midst of all the stress and chaos that comes with the holiday season.

Bundle up and take a brisk walk around your neighbourhood to see the christmas lights. Some families go above and beyond when it comes to decorating the exterior of their homes and it would be a shame to miss out on them. You can also take the family out to see Christmas light shows or markets in your neighbourhood.

You can’t go wrong going door to door caroling with your family and friends and singing your heart out! Here are some tips if you plan to go caroling this season:

  • Plan ahead of time (pick out the songs you will sing, print out the lyrics beforehand, decide which route you plan to take)
  • Visit nursing homes (The seniors love this! If you can, give the nursing home staff a call ahead of time)
  • Avoid meal times or knocking on doors too late in the night (You might wake a sleeping baby!)
  • Be merry! (If you’re having fun, why not show it?)

Purge your closets and drawers and give away anything you don’t need to those who truly need it. Not only will you declutter your home for the holiday and new year but you’ll know your doing something good for the community. Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Diabetes Canada are some of many non-profit organizations who are happy to pick up items you don’t need. Check out their website to see when they stop by your town next.

You can also volunteer at nursing homes or homeless shelters to help out your community. However, there are a few things to consider when planning to volunteer at your local homeless shelter. Here’s the deal – these shelters get hundreds of phone calls every year from potential volunteers who just want to spend one day during the holidays to prepare meals for the homeless. But in fact, that’s not helpful to them at all. If preparing meals or wrapping presents all you really want to contribute this holiday season, then make sure to call months ahead of time. The shelters require extra time for proper training and background screenings, plus spots fill up fast. Aside from that, consider long term volunteering rather than just for the day because help is needed at all times of the year, not just during Christmas.

Read more about it on The Star: Want to volunteer at a shelter this Christmas? Think again – do something else

And we can’t forget about the hot cocoa!

In fact, a cup of hot cocoa will bring warmth to any of the holiday activities mentioned above.

Photo by Rinck Content Studio on Unsplash

My family and I are always trying to make the holiday season special without spending lots and lots of money on gifts. I hope that this post about memorable holiday activities to do this year will inspire you to engage your family in spending quality time together under the lit Christmas tree.

As always, thanks for reading and Happy holidays!

12 Fun & Easy DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas

Thinking of spending more money on Christmas ornaments for your tree this year? Why not make your own? Save some money, run the your local dollar store and let’s get crafty!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Christmas is a great time to get the family together to do some fun craft. Many families engage in this tradition of making their own tree ornaments every year. Each ornament represents and immortalizes the time your family spends together, and that is what Christmas is truly about.

Here are my top 12 fun and easy DIY Christmas ornament favourites from the amazing creators on pinterest:

1. Melted Beads Ornament

2. Mason Jar Lid Tree Ornaments

3. Snowflake Beaded Ornaments

4. Felt Christmas Cookie Ornaments

5. Frosty the Snowman Ornament

6. Candy Cane Ornaments

7. Glitter Ornaments

8. Photo Ornaments

9. Yarn Ornaments

10. Fabric Christmas Ornaments

11. Paper Honey Comb Ornaments

12. Polymer Clay Ornaments

Homemade ornaments specially made by your own family members makes decorating the Christmas tree so much more fun. We hope that these amazing pinterest ideas are just as inspiring to your family as they were to ours.

As always, thanks for reading and Happy Holidays.

Baking Series: Quick & Easy Apple Galette

Guess what time it is – it’s baking season! The holidays are just around the corner and what better way to spend quality time with your family than to bake a quick, easy, and most importantly delicious apple galette that everyone will enjoy.

Photo by Andy Chilton on Unsplash

This recipe includes a homemade caramel sauce that will be drizzled on top of the apple galette.

Serves: 8 people

Prep time: 40 minutes

Baking time: 25 minutes

Total time to make: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Let’s get started:

Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

To start, let’s make the pie dough:

1. In a bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup of flour, 1 table spoon brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Mix with a fork.

2. Add the cubed and chilled butter (8 tablespoons) and work it into the flour mixture with your fork until pea sized lumps remain. (You’ll get an arm work out with this step!)

3. Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and start to mix with your hands.

4. In increments, add 1/4 cup of ice cold water into the flour mixture. Mix with your hands until the dough comes together. If the dough is dry, add a bit more water.

Dough should not become sticky or tacky. If it does, this means you have added too much water. Remedy this by adding a bit more flour to the mixture.

Do not work the butter into the flour mixture until it melts. We want pea sized lumps of butter in your flour dough so when the dough is baking in the oven, the lumps of butter bursts and melts, giving the galette it’s flaking texture and butter flavor.

5. Once dough has come together, shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While we wait for the dough to chill, let’s make the apple filling:

6. In a large pan over medium heat, combine the 3 granny smith apples (peeled, cored, and sliced) with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Stir occasionally and cook until apples are soft.

Granny smith apples are the best apples to bake with because they are tart and firm. Fuji apples are also a great alternative.

7. Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to the soft apples. Stir, remove from heat, and let cool.

8. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

9. Pull out your chilled dough from the fridge and lightly flour your surface.

10. Roll out the dough into a round shape about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick.

11. Transfer the flattened dough to the lined baking sheet.

12. Spoon the apple filling into the center of the flattened dough about 5 cm away from the edges.

13. Fold the edges over the apple filling in the center.

14. Beat 1 egg and use a brush to wash the egg over the top edges of the dough.

15. Sprinkle with coarse sugar on top (optional).

16. Bake the apple galette for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

While the galette is baking, let’s make the caramel sauce:

17. In a small sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 table spoon of butter.

18. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and turns into the colour amber.

19. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the dissolved sugar mixture. Stir and remove from heat to cool slightly.

20. Pull out of the oven when done and let the apple galette cool for 10 minutes.

21. Drizzle with your homemade caramel sauce and serve.

Just like apple pie, this apple galette goes great with vanilla ice cream!

I hope your family enjoys this delicious apple galette as much as we did. Thanks so much for reading.