As an adult, the entire month of December is as special as Christmas Day itself, but the little girl inside of me still becomes giddy with excitement for Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. There is something about the mystery and anticipation. What would the church be like if we awaited Christ’s return with as much joy, anticipation, and glee as we await the celebration of His birth?
Perhaps the most precious part of Christmas for the elderly are the memories made and remembered. At this point in your life, it may seem like you have endless Christmases to spend with your family and sweetie, but life flies by quickly – far more quickly than anyone ever expects – which is why we need to celebrate every holiday season with intentionality.
Below are twenty-five ideas for how you and your new (or not so new) loved one can begin creating amazing Christmas memories. Which of these ideas strikes your fancy?
- Write a hand-written note to everyone with whom you share Christmas morning festivities. Tell them something you appreciate, respect, or adore about
- Early Christmas afternoon, go to a handful of your closest neighbors and offer them a Christmas treat from your table, a Christmas card, or a small gift for the household. Find a way to share some joy. We cannot assume everyone is having a fantastic Christmas. Your smile and humble token might mean more to them than you can imagine.
- Start a Christmas 2018 savings fund. Whether you use an adorable piggy bank or a cheap envelope, pitch the following idea to your Christmas morning compadres: Each month, place at least $10 into your Christmas 2018 fund. Next December, compile your monies and anonymously sponsor a family in need for Christmas.
- Write a Christmas letter. Whether you and your sweetie mail them to people, or keep them for yourselves, write a year in review letter about your relationship and what took place that year. Print them out each year and keep a Christmas Letter Book of Memories. You will love looking through the book each year.
- See an elementary school or church children’s Christmas play together. Remember when you dressed as an angel or shepherd? Did you get the part of a wise man when you desperately wanted to be Joseph? Did your halo fall off and crack up the entire audience? Go to a show, support a little person in your life, and enjoy a little nostalgia (and probably a few laughs.)
- Hide encouraging Christmas cards. Recently, I found some Christmas cards in the clearance bin at a dollar store for a quarter per box – slightly more than a penny per card. We already bought cards for the year, but I thought it never hurts to have a few extra. Find a cost-effective box of cards (or make your own) and hide them in special places your sweetie is sure to find them.
- Go caroling in some strange (but safe) places. Take some friends to the pet food aisle of Walmart, stand outside Starbucks, go from dorm room to dorm room – the sky’s the limit! Be prepared to leave if there are a few misguided souls who do not appreciate your dulcet tones. ~wink~
- Offer to do package pickup for busy families. This time last year, my neighbor had a package from her aunt filled with gift cards and presents stolen from her porch. One minute it was there, and the next minute it vanished. If you are home and can keep a lookout for your neighbors’ deliveries, offer to provide a safe-haven for their packages. If you have friends or family who need you to do some front porch drive by pickups, you could be a huge help by securing their valuable purchases for them.
- Put together a skit for your family. Or, write a play and invite family members to act in different roles. Video it and enjoy it each Christmas. If you have fun doing it, make it a tradition and compile all of your Christmas movies for years of laugh and nostalgia.
- Leave surprise gifts on random (or not so random) doorsteps! Do you swap cookies with your neighbors or have a secret Santa? This idea allows you to be secret Santa to as many folks as you would like and to give treats, flowers, gift cards, or any kind offering you want! If you know someone has a particular need, you can provide for that need. If you feel uncomfortable leaving packages unattended on front porches, but you wish to remain anonymous, enlist the help of an “elf” to drop the gifts off in your stead.
- Buy or borrow a large, tacky Christmas yard ornament and plant it in a friend’s yard with a note – Welcome to the family! You have been Grinched! (or Reindeer-ed, or Frosty-ed). Encourage that friend to place it in someone else’s yard and keep the laughter going. It is a small way to bring a smile and sense of community as the item gets dropped off in multiple places. You can even create a social media community for those who have found Frosty, Rudolph, or a giant squirrel wearing a Santa hat in their yards. Just add “directions” to the online community on the attached note.
- Make special, customized ornaments for everyone in your families. It is easy to find clear plastic ornament bulbs or plain, flat ornaments. If you have a personal joke with someone, write a few words alluding to it on an ornament so he or she will think of you and smile when passing by the tree. Does your aunt love books? Fill an ornament bulb with homemade mini-books. You and your sweetheart can have a lot of fun thinking of unique ornament ideas for each of your loved ones.
- Bake a birthday cake! Happy Birthday, Jesus! Though Jesus was likely not born during this season of the year (perhaps September), we still have the opportunity to celebrate His first coming and dream about His second coming (Revelation 19:11-16). And besides, who does not love a good birthday cake?!
- Buy each other a new Children’s book (and do so each Christmas from now on). Whether it is a book which fits your sweetheart’s personality, a story you loved as a child, or one that jumped off the shelf at you, start a fun children’s book tradition. You can take turns reading your stories to each other, and save up books for your future children’s collection! The first book I would buy would definitely be is Green Eggs and Ham followed by Horton Hatches the Egg. ~smile~
- Give a few hours of your time to one, two, or three ministries over the holiday season. Whether you ring the Salvation Army bell, provide food at a local kitchen, or distribute Christmas gifts at a nearby shelter, pour yourselves into a ministry which is close to both of your hearts. Is there a more precious way to spend time with your significant other?
- Join forces with your sweetie and help someone(s) decorate their home. Personally, I have never put up Christmas lights in my life and I am completely okay with that fact. I am not looking to change my light-hanging skills, but I can help decorate trees, put out lawn ornaments, or provide warm beverages to those who are hanging lights. Helping others with projects is a special way to bond with them.
- Invite friends over for a Christmas movie night! And, feel free to throw in some childhood classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty, and A Charlie Brown Christmas! Drop a few candy canes in some hot chocolate and you have a party!
- Decorate an ugly Christmas sweater for each other and then go out on a date. Be nice, or be brutal! The choice is yours. After all, you are the one who has to go out in public with him or her!
- Drink in some memories of yesteryear. Interview your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles about Christmases from their childhoods (and any other fun stories they want to share). It matters to them that you care about their stories and it is a special way for your special someone to get to know your family better!
- Plan a low-budget gift exchange. With a $10 spending limit, see what treasures you can find each other. You can make it your entire gift exchange or a fun side-tradition to add to your normal celebration.
- Offer Christmas shopping babysitting services! If a mom or family in the area needs some time to shop (or, just to breathe and complete a thought), offer yourselves as blessing babysitters. It is excellent parenting practice and a way to gague how you work together with children. If you are uncomfortable babysitting together in someone’s home, consider offering a church-wide babysitting night with several of your friends. Charge a small fee for snacks and create some fun activities for the little ladies and gentlemen to enjoy while their parents slip out to buy them some goodies (and maybe have a quiet dinner alone)!
- Bake Christmas treats together. Enjoy recipes which are special to your families, and begin a tradition between yourselves with some new recipes.
- Treat your family to some rest and relaxation! Does your mom spend hours upon hours in the kitchen each Christmas? As a couple, offer to do all of the dishes as a blessing to her. Does your dad spend a lot of time outside shoveling snow or engaging in some other exhausting task? Give him the gift of his recliner while you and your sweetie work together! Who else in your family can use some downtime?
- Have a silly Christmas couple photo shoot. Incorporate your combined sense of humor and plan some hysterical photos. Choose a few of your favorite shots to give family and friends – either framed, in a Christmas card, in a calendar, or digitally.
- Exchange a meaningful ornament with each other each year. The midnight ornament exchange is one of Eric’s and my favorite traditions. We are always with family on Christmas morning, but when the clock strikes midnight on Christmas morning we exchange our yearly ornaments with each other. It was an idea Eric had a few years ago, and it has turned into one of the sweetest parts of our Christmas celebration.
How will you spend this next week? How will you make it memorable? Even if time and money are in short supply, find at least one way to make this week stick out in your memory for the next fifty years. And write it down! Keep a Christmas journal and jot down your favorite memories in it each year. Or, start a holiday journal and compile the highlights of each celebration (Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.) you enjoy every year. This book will be a treasure to you and future generations.
Much love to you from us at PreEngaged this Christmas season! We hope many pleasant, peace-filled, warm, unforgettable surprises are in store for each of you!
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14, ESV)
What are three memorable activities you want to experience with your special someone this Christmas season?