Can you believe it’s December?! As the school year comes to a close and life starts to wind down for the holiday period, now is a great time to start getting into the Christmas spirit. Here are some things you can do to spark joy in your household…
Visit a Christmas market and support local makers
Christmas markets were first launched in Germany back in the Late Middle Ages and the oldest one dates back to 1434 in Dresden. European markets are like nothing else in the world, from medieval squares lit up in fairy lights and snow-capped cathedrals to the smell of roasted nuts in the air, it’s something to add to the buck list! While the majority of us won’t be enjoying a white Christmas this year, you can still experience it the Aussie way and pick up some local handmade gifts from your local markets or special organised events. Here are just a handful of recommendations:
- Melbourne | Queen Victoria Christmas Markets | Monday 6, 13 and 20 December
- Tasmania | Tassie Makers and Creators Christmas Festival | Saturday 4 December
- Brisbane | Fish Lane Christmas Markets | Sunday 19 December
- Perth | Christmas Festival | Sunday 5, 12 and 19 December
- Darwin | Christmas Craft Fair | Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November
Listen to Christmas music while putting up the tree
One of the best things to get the whole family into the spirit of Christmas is to set up the Christmas tree and pop on your favourite Christmas tunes!
Check out Spotify’s Christmas playlist:
Go to a Carols by Candlelight
While COVID-19 restrictions might affect some events from going ahead this year, research your local area or splurge on a ticket to an iconic Carols by Candlelight event such as Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight at Sidney Myer Music Bowl or Carols in the Domain in Sydney – both events will be streamed/televised so it can be enjoyed in the comforts of your own home too. Or a quick Google search will show you the ones happening in your area!
Search for the best Christmas lights
Did you know there’s a website where you can search for Christmas lights in your area? Visit Christmas Light Search website and give it a go. If you’re putting up lights at your place, you can also register in the database so the public can enjoy your spectacular light show.
Make your own gingerbread house
Get your friends and family together for a night of making gingerbread houses. You can buy kits with everything you need or you can follow a recipe and make it from scratch. Follow this Gingerbread House recipe and watch the tutorial to make your own.
Watch Christmas Movies
With so many streaming services available and new Christmas movies coming out every year, it can be hard to sort through which ones are worth watching. Some recommendations from our team:
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Home Alone
- The Polar Express
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- The Santa Clause
- Ernest Saves Christmas
Count down the days until Christmas
How good are advent calendars… especially the chocolate varieties! If chocolate isn’t your vice, there are some pretty cool advent calendars out there now for anything from beauty products to coffee pods. Another great option is to DIY one! While it does take some forward planning, you can reuse it for years to come. Here’s some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.
Send some joy to your friends and family
Take a family Christmas photo and create your own card in Canva to send to your friends and family. Print yourself or send them in a digital format.
Give to those in need
Whether you clean out your clothes or food cupboards or donate money to those in need, there are many people and animals that go without presents or struggle to find food during the holiday season. Consider giving back to one of these charities and make a life-changing difference this year:
- The Smith family is an independent children’s charity helping disadvantaged Australian children to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.
- Mission Australia provides nationwide services to disadvantaged children and families, helping them find affordable housing, assisting with illnesses and much more.
- The Salvation Army. Donate a life-changing gift to vulnerable people in the community. There is a range of Wishes gifts to choose from.
- Pets of the Homeless provides pet food and support to pet owners experiencing homelessness.
Host a Christmas dinner with friends and organise a Secret Santa
Get everyone to bring a dish (so you’re not super stressed on the day), enter everyone’s names into the Secret Santa generator and set a price limit for gifts. You could also see if a guest is willing to dress up as Santa and hand out the presents for a bit of fun on the night.
From all of us at WorldStrides, we hope you enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit!