Here’s the thing: we love lists. Lists keep us organized, they make sure we don’t forget milk at the grocery store, and they help us stay efficient at work. But the kinds of lists we love most are those that inspire us to live beautifully, to seek happiness, and to be joyfully present in the center of our lives. The holiday season has us looking forward, bursting with plans, hopes, and dreams for the coming year, and perhaps making a first draft of our New Year’s resolutions. But before you greet 2014, why not make a list of things you want to do before the year is out? Let’s call it an end of year bucket list, and cross off as many as we can before the ball drops!
To get you started on making your own list, here are 40 things we suggest doing before the year is over:
1. Enter into the spirit of the season by making a great holiday playlist.
2. Bundle up and head out for a wintry stroll - or a snowball fight!
3. Indulge in holiday nostalgia and decorate a gingerbread house with icing and gumdrops galore.
4. Tap into your crafty side and make a homemade holiday gift for a friend.
5. Cozy up with a soft blanket, a cup of tea, and the book you’ve been meaning to finish.
6. Break out your most glittery polish and give yourself a festive holiday manicure.
7. Don’t let the drizzle get you down: plan the perfect rainy day indoors!
8. Be bold with red lipstick.
9. Then warm up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate!
10. Light your favorite seasonally scented candles, like cedar, cinnamon, and balsam.
11. Bring the perfect hostess gift to your next holiday soiree.
12. Find the nearest ice skating rink and twirl away the afternoon.
13. Send thoughtful notes to your close friends on cute stationery, telling them how much they mean to you.
14. Enjoy the fun of a picnic – indoors!
15. Make a snowman, and don’t forget a carrot for his nose.
16. Shake things up and tie your scarf in a new way than you usually do.
17. Host a holiday cookie baking party in your kitchen - compost cookies are a must!
18. And while you’re baking, discover whether you prefer macaroons or macarons by baking both – who doesn’t love a cookie taste test?
19. Give back to your community by volunteering at a soup kitchen or buying gifts for a shelter.
20. Go for an evening drive to see all the bright Christmas lights and festive decorations.
21. Take a new approach to New Years Resolutions by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (that’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely … you can read more here).
22. And why not get started on that exercise goal now?! You don’t have to wait until January 1st to go for a run, take a yoga class, or spend some time with the stairmaster.
23. Invite your neighbors over for wine and cheese to catch up or get to know each other better.
24. Twist your hair into a vintage inspired ponytail for your next holiday party.
25. Get tickets to the Nutcracker ballet – ever the most classic of holiday activities.
26. Print your favorite photos from this past year and display in a fun way.
27. Pop some popcorn for a holiday movie marathon (The Santa Clause and Elf top our list).
28. Host a dinner party for your friends - or make it a cheesy holiday sweaters and fondue party!
29. Alongside your traditional holiday meal, try out a new holiday recipe – you might just find a new recipe that will come back out year after year.
30. Learn how to knit.
31. Plan a fun winter weekend at a ski lodge with friends, whether you plan on skiing or cozying up by the fire with some hot cocoa.
32. Bring the outdoors in by creating a winter floral arrangement.
33. Word-lovers everywhere rejoice – winter is the perfect time for a game of Scrabble. (And yes, qi is a word.)
34. Read more poetry!
35. Get creative with winter-inspired cocktails - or just spike the eggnog!
36. Go for a winter adventure to a cute small town and stay in a Victorian style bed and breakfast.
37. Treat yourself to a new cozy scarf.
38. Document all your favorite moments of the holiday season on Instagram.
39. Don’t let the Starbucks holiday season pass without at least one more Peppermint Mocha or Gingerbread Latte.
40. Last but not least, kiss someone special under the mistletoe.
Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons in which you have the chance to cross off at least a few (if not all!) of these fun activities. And speaking of 40 fun things, be sure to take a peek at our 40 new arrivals under $40 today!