An Exhaustive List Of 100 Festive Things To Do (Without Breaking The Rules)

The world's been, frankly, a big old mess this year. It's been a world overflowing with anxiety, isolation, fear and frustration, and a return to any semblance of normality before the year is through is out of the question.
So what can you do in times like these? As we enter the festive season, embracing every little joy and moment of celebration seems the only way forward. These holidays will be unlike anything we've ever experienced and so holding onto festive moments – no matter how silly or overblown or indulgent they may seem – should be a lifeline. May your days be merry and bright, friends!
Advertisement

Get into DIY

1. Make paper snowflakes to coat your windows with
2. Make these marble baubles
3. Make your pals (or yourself) all the presents from our DIY gift guide
4. Get zesty with your own citrus garland
5. Line your tree with handmade salt dough decorations 
6. Make use of your wine corks and fashion them into a wreath
7. Alternatively, you could make a pom pom wreath if you’re so inclined
8. Or even mistletoe!
9. You should add candles at every opportunity. We’re big fans of making our own twisted candles
10. Go a step further and make your own advent candle
11. Learn to fold napkins festively ahead of the big day
12. In fact, plan your whole festive tablescape
13. Get creative with your present wrapping – make a foray into reusable wrapping or make use of what you already have
14. On that note, get reusable Christmas crackers, or make your own!
15. Attempt to do the elaborate ribbon curls on your Christmas wrapping
16. Make your face mask festive

Songs, TV Shows and Movies – Oh My!

18. Watch every Home Alone movie and rate them from best to worst
19. Look up the one Christmas movie you’ve somehow never seen and finally watch it (mine is It’s A Wonderful Life!)
20. Put on the album for A Charlie Brown Christmas in the background as you work
Advertisement
21. Or as you read this deliciously wintry book
22. Or this festive read by the nation’s dad, Nigel Slater
23. Work out how you would dance to A Charlie Brown Christmas
24. Learn all the words to Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses
25. Watch the Christmas episodes of all your favourite series (Buffy and Bob’s Burgers are particularly good IMO)
26. Revisit all the best EastEnders Christmas specials
27. Count down the days until the release of Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special on Apple TV
28. Watch The Snowman and cry...as there haven’t been enough tears in 2020
29. Make a personalised Christmas Spotify playlist (are you Mariah on repeat or all about The Darkness and Mr Blobby?)
30. Tick off every movie on our list of worst Christmas films ever. Reflect on how we got here.
31. Follow along with Bob Ross and paint this snowy scene
32. Annoy your neighbours by learning to play Christmas songs on guitar
33. Listen to every Christmas No. 1 for the last 20 years and get nostalgic about Shayne Ward
34. Rewatch The Grinch, try and outdo these girls 
35. Never have to work again by doing a Clement C Y Moore and writing an epic Christmas poem
36. Give in. Just give in ffs

Embrace winter beauty

37. Perfect your festive nail art!
38. Accompany your Christmas viewing with a baby foot mask in front of the telly so you can emerge from your snakeskin into 2021
Advertisement
39. Dye your hair festive shades that low-key work the whole year round
40. Make a DIY holiday eggnog hair and face mask (2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil – hold the brandy! Mix together and leave on for 20 minutes, take care that the mixture doesn't drip on to your skin)
41. Make a festive cinnamon and brown sugar body scrub/lip scrub/lip balm
42. Practise a festive eyeshadow look for Christmas Day (makeup artist Nasia Belli is the best at them)
43. Or go bold with Christmas. Tree. Brows.

Look to the future

44. Plan a holiday for 2021 (fingers crossed!)
45. Buy a 2021 planner for next year
46. Fill it with inspirational messages to keep you going come January
47. Write down what enforced life changes from 2020 served you well and decide what to try and hold onto
48. Likewise, work out what you want to leave behind
49. If you have any outdoor space, plant tulip bulbs in a pot outside for spring joy
50. Be optimistic and sign up to a workshop/class for 2021

Get silly!

51. Dress up as a Christmas tree! Give me one good reason why not!
52. For a bit more subtlety, you could try wearing jingle bells around your ankles so you feel festive as you pad around your home
53. Spend a day trying to master this dance
Advertisement
55. Make your long distance sex festive (has your partner been on the naughty list?!)
56. If you’re not busy that day, make breakfast spaghetti à la Elf
57. Pose with your Christmas tree
58. Browse Awkward Family Photos - Holiday Edition. Give thanks for your own dysfunctional family
59. Recreate these TikTok time warps
60. Get really into Christmas flash games
61. Decorate your island on Animal Crossing from top to bottom with festive bits from Nook’s Cranny (and check Pinterest for the best festive inspiration)
62. Two words: kristmas karaoke

Give back

63. Volunteer at the local food bank
64. Sort out some clothes to donate to charity in the new year
65. Put your knitting/crocheting skills to good use
66. Sign up to donate blood
68. Buy Christmas dinner for a homeless young person
69. Likewise, donate to Crisis to help keep as many people fed and off the streets as possible

Eat, drink and be merry!

70. If you love mince pies (aka you have taste), why not make your own?
71. Replace coffee with mulled wine in your travel mug for your winter walks
72. Make a veggie wellington
73. ...or Christmas tree pizzas... 
74. ...and share it in a festive Come Dine With Me in your household
75. Learn what a snowball cocktail is, make one
76. Try your hand at making your own homemade vegan Baileys
Advertisement
77. Design a festive cocktail of your choosing (or using the dregs of what you find in your kitchen)
78. Recreate a Pret Christmas sandwich at home
79. Buy yourself a selection box so you can have all your favourites without the squabbles
80. Get into hot chocolate bombs 
81. Make gingerbread lattes at home
82. Master how to ignite the brandy on a Christmas pudding
83. See if it’s possible to get drunk on brandy butter. Regret it 

Connect however you can

84. Write festive cards to all your favourite family members/friends
85. If you can, call your nan
86. Have a Zoom Christmas call with mandatory Christmas party makeup
87. ...and on that call, play the Hallmark Christmas movie drinking game
88. Send a video message Christmas card to a family member or loved one you haven’t been able to see this year
89. Create an alarmingly specific festive quiz to play with your family over the holidays, on Zoom or IRL (in what year did Uncle Andy fall asleep in the Christmas pudding etc etc)
90. Learn how to say ‘happy holidays’ or ‘happy Christmas’ in every language you can think of. God jul!
91. Put together a grown-up stocking for your S.O./family member/housemate with their favourite things

Take care of yourself

92. Make a batch of fire cider to soothe your ills
93. Go for a lengthy walk in your cosiest jumper
94. Grab a tray and go sledding the moment there’s a hint of snow. Enjoy the outdoors
Advertisement
95. And on the way, find your local birdwatching spot and feel connected to the world around you
96. Get into Christmas ASMR
97. Get really into ~ambience~
98. Work out which festive Muji candle scent is your favourite for the ultimate cosy feel (green log fire gets my vote)
99. Pretend you have a log fire with Fireplace For Your Home and burning a scented candle (said Muji log fire as above is a good one) 
100. And finally, have a festive lie-in to congratulate yourself for getting through this list and, more importantly, this year. It’s been a hell of a ride.

More from Living

R29 Original Series

Advertisement