12 Memorable Holiday Activities to do this Year

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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.

5 Reasons Why You Need A Crib Mobile

Are crib mobiles really necessary? Or are they just a decorative piece to add to your nursery?

I always thought that new parents spent way too much money on baby items that they really don’t need, and this included the crib mobile.

But one night as I was putting my baby to bed, I noticed her toy bear sitting on the shelf. I held the toy bear in front of her face and instantly, her eyes lit up, she began to smile, and her arms and legs flailed and kicked like I had never seen before! And I thought, “oh my goodness, maybe crib mobiles really are necessary!…” So I decided to do my research and this is what I found.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you need a crib mobile!

1. Visual Stimulation and Eye/vision Development

Babies start to learn and take in information from their environment right from birth. Therefore visual stimulation is very important in the development of your baby’s eyes and vision. Your baby will track and follow the rotating toys on the mobile improving eye movement, vision, and strengthening eye muscles. From 0-3 months, your baby will see contrasts of black and white at first. As they grow, they will begin to see bold colors such as red, blue, yellow, and green. Colourful toys that rotate and encourage eye movement is definitely something to consider when purchasing or making a crib mobile. Even better, some crib mobiles come with lights that project stars and other images on the walls to help soothe your baby to sleep.

2. Sound Stimulation and Hearing Development

Some baby mobiles play soft lullabies to help soothe baby to sleep. These songs helps keep baby stimulated, contributing to their hearing development, and aids in preparing your baby for bedtime.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

3. Motor Skills Development

When your baby watches the mobile toys dancing above them, they get excited! They will kick and move, strengthening their neck, arms and leg muscles. Pretty soon, they will start to reach for the toys which contributes to hand-eye coordination and their comprehension of depth, distance, and spatial awareness.

Photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash

4. Bedtime Routine

Babies as well as their parents, love routine! And turning on the baby mobile as you settle your little one into their crib or bassinet for the night can help to soothe your little one and let them know that its time to sleep. Adding this step into our bedtime routine really helped. The key is to be consistent (easier said than done!) After a warm bath, I give my baby a calming lotion massage while the mobile plays its lullaby music. Then I put her into her crib, dim the lights, and let the mobile do its magic.

5. …Extra Sleep for Mommy and Daddy!

Last but arguably most important, the baby mobiles lets mom and dad sleep in for that extra half hour when your baby wakes up early. Your baby will keep themselves busy and entertained while you catch those last few precious z’s. Even if it’s 5 more minutes, I’ll take it!

Some things to Consider…

Crib mobiles can be very beneficial in your baby’s development but there are some things to consider when thinking about adding a mobile to your nursery.

It really depends on your baby! Sometimes, crib mobiles can be overstimulating which could hinder your baby’s sleeping habits. Also, some moms believe that toys in the crib will make the crib more of a playground rather than a place to sleep.

There are also hazards to consider as well. Make sure that your mobile is securely attached to the crib and that it is position far enough that baby cannot reach and grab it! Toys that can be detached from the mobile can possibly fall off causing a choking or suffocation hazard. Store bought mobiles are usually up to code but if you’re making your own, make sure the strings aren’t too long for baby to grab and pull.

As well, crib mobiles can be pricey! They can range from $30 to over $100 especially if the mobile has a music box, projects lights or is custom and handmade (like the ones you can find on Etsy). However they can be very inexpensive if you decide to make your own!

Check out my DIY Unicorn and Rainbows Crib Mobile coming soon!

All in all, I believe that the benefits of baby mobiles far outweigh the cons listed above. I believe that making your own gives the nursery a personal touch. It also makes a great keepsake or special gift! Our homemade mobile doesn’t play lullabies or project pretty lights on the walls at night, but our baby still gets excited whenever I put her in her crib for the night.

But my most valuable advice to my readers is to learn and understand your baby’s sleep behaviours and patterns. Understanding what helps your baby (and you!) go to sleep at night will assist in deciding whether a baby mobile is right for you and your family.

I hope this post helps. Thanks for reading everyone!