Making the most of the holiday season at home

Holiday decor. Photo via Unsplash

The winter holidays are a great time to reconnect with friends and family, or even with yourself.  This past year has been filled with some major events that have impacted us all, so it’s important to take some time for yourself to relax and have fun. 

While this year’s holiday season may differ from previous years, there are ways to make the most of your holidays right from the comfort of your own home. 

Hey, at least your toes won’t be freezing off in the Christmas market line up, right? 

Everyone deserves some time to slow down and do something enjoyable. Here are some indoor crafts and activities that you can do to make your winter holidays a little bit brighter.

Paper snowflakes 

We all know a true Canadian winter is incomplete without snow. A great way to bring the snow indoors is by creating your own paper snowflakes. It adds that nostalgia that goes hand-in-hand with holidays at home, bringing back the joy of kindergarten crafts you used to make when you were younger. Trust me, it can still be just as fun now. 

All you need is a piece of paper and a pair of scissors. Martha Stewart gives a step-by-step tutorial on creating paper snowflakes. You can punch a hole through the top of each snowflake and thread a string through them to attach them to one another. Voila, the perfect holiday decor! Hang it anywhere in your home and add that wintry touch of this classic kindergarten decor. It’s sure to make your living space more festive. 

Homemade candles 

Lit candles and wooden decorations. Photo via Unsplash

Candles make everything a bit cozier, especially during the colder months. You can put your own spin on it by deciding what you want your candles to look and smell like. Although you may have to purchase a couple of extra items to make them, the end result is well worth it. 

Food52 gives step by step instructions on how to make your own glass jar candles. Their instructions are meant for beginners, so don’t worry if it is your first time making them. Remember to follow the instructions thoroughly and stay safe while making them. Curl up next to a lit candle with your favourite book and a cozy blanket to relax and reconnect with yourself. 

Letters to loved ones

Mailing letters are typically thought of as a thing of the past, but bringing it back this holiday season might give some joy to your loved ones. 

Write and send your friends or family personalized letters. Writing about what you’ve been up to in quarantine these last few months and asking how they’ve been is sure to make them happy. You can create your own cards and envelopes from scratch too. There are many tutorials on Pinterest on how to make your own DIY envelopes in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Pinterest has some simple but effective guides on making envelopes. All you need to add is a little love and a postage stamp and it’s ready to be delivered. 

Holiday ornaments 

Holiday ornaments on a tree. Photo via Unsplash 

Homemade ornaments are a great way to bring out your creativity during the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or just love the holiday season, it’s a great creative outlet. 

Wholefully gives a full recipe on salt dough ornaments. The recipe is simple and it only takes three ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen: all-purpose flour, table salt and warm water. Once the dough is ready, you can shape and decorate the ornaments with cookie cutters or with your hands. 

You will have to bake the ornaments, but don’t worry – they’re not meant to be eaten. Once they’re ready, you can paint them however you like – let your creativity run free! Hang them on your Christmas tree or just around your space to give it some holiday cheer. 

Journaling 

For those who have never journaled before and don’t know where to start, the holidays are a great time to begin. 

Since a new year is fast approaching (and it can’t get here fast enough), you can start outlining some personal goals and resolutions. 

A touch of optimism can be a great way to start the new year. Toronto-based YouTuber Amanda Rach Lee gives some ideas on how to create a pretty and aesthetic New Year’s bullet journal. There are plenty of journaling inspirations out there, so grab your journal, highlighters and pens – it’s time to start planning! 

Learn how to knit

Knitting yarn. Photo via Unsplash

If you’ve always wanted to knit but have never had the time to learn, the winter break is a great time for you to pick up a new hobby. 

The best thing for beginners to knit is a scarf. Not only do you learn a new skill, but you get a cute accessory out of it. Sheep & Stitch includes a step-by-step YouTube tutorial on their website. 

Your handmade scarf will keep you warm and cozy if you do end up going out in the cold. If you already have enough scarves or want to knit something different, Diy Joy includes 38 easy knitting ideas on their website. 

Wrapping paper wreath 

Give your space another festive touch by adding a wreath on your front door. If you normally hang a wreath during the holiday season, you might want to change it up this year and create your own. 

If you’ve got leftover wrapping paper, Centsational Style’s DIY wreath would be a perfect craft for you to take on. They give a full tutorial on making your own wrapping paper wreath. 

Tip: Use patterned wrapping paper. It will make your space more bright by adding a pop of colour. 

Stream a holiday movie with your friends 

Holiday movie. Photo via Unsplash

A great way to get into the holiday spirit is by watching holiday movies. We all know that watching a movie is so much more fun with friends, so plan a Zoom movie night with them. 

If Zoom’s not your style, then streaming services like Netflix also have the option of syncing up your screens. So grab your snacks, call your friends, and start watching!