15 Christmas Season Bucket List Items that Won't Break the Bank.

This is the first time in years that I will have a considerably long holiday with no school-related duties. I recently graduated from SFU, and landed a job at a great local company as a temp. This company is letting everyone off holidays early this year, which is amazing! Unfortunately, as a new grad working under a temp contract, I do not qualify for paid holiday vacations. So I have a lot of time on my hands, and a tight, low budget. 

I think that even if you are not a new grad, the appeal of a (almost) free ultimate Christmas bucket list in your city is quite high. These activities are a perfect way to make the most out of this season.

Gingerbread houses.

For the lazy at heart, Costco typically sells kits for $10 with the house already constructed and icing and candy included. You can also try this Kit Kat "log cabin" as featured here. I think this makes an adorable date as well. It also can become a competition (which I love).

Have a crazy snowflake making party.

Snowflake making is the pumpkin carving of December. It is a true art form. I think the nerdier the better personally. So I'm drawn to Tardis or Star Wars shaped snowflakes. Or traditional shapes like these look beautiful too.

Christmas baking!

This is the time of year to eat whatever, whenever. I think baked goods trump everything personally. Why not try gingerbread cheesecake bites? If you are like me and don't have much experience in the kitchen, these peanut butter cup Christmas trees are still super festive, and simple to make.

Christmas lights scavenger hunt.

Try to find the most festive local Christmas lights around town. In Vancouver there are some amazing light displays with a ticket price attached such as at Capilano Suspension bridge and Van Deusen festival of lights. St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver is free and amazing. But you can also check out in your neighbourhood for local house displays. If you know of an amazing light display, leave it in the comments below! Another way to bring the festive cheer is by starting a tiny investment each year in your own Christmas lights display. Often the reason you find pockets of amazing light displays in areas of a neighbourhood is because once a few homes are decorated, a contagious domino effect of Christmas cheer occurs.

Movie marathon!

My personal favourites are Elf, White Christmas, Meet Me in St. Louis (technically not a traditional Christmas movie per se), Christmas Vacation, Mr. Kruger's Christmas, the Grinch, etc. Find your favourites and cuddle up under something cozy and enjoy.

White Elephant Gift Exchanges.

If you put serious effort into finding the weirdest or most awesome gift under $5 this silly Christmas tradition amongst friends can be a riot.

Something snow related.

I say something, because in Vancouver, snow is not necessarily a guarantee. But if snow is an option for you, then sledding is a must. If you don't own a sled, put a sturdy piece of cardboard inside a garbage bag and ride that for an hour - works the same, but your bottom might be a bit sore). For the more extreme, snowboarding or skiing is a must. My personal favourite local mountain of the three (Seymour, Cypress and Grouse) is Cypress (Try the Humpty Dumpty run). Snowshoeing is also a relaxing treat (Seymour or Grouse is more suitable). Of course, don't forget building snowmen and snow-women too.

Mistletoe. Or something else romantic.

Christmas is all about love. Think about all of those tunes I'll be home for Christmas, All I want for Christmas is you, Last Christmas, etc. It is all about the one-on-one. If Mistletoe isn't your thing, then I am sure a long winter wonderland walk and some cozying and hot cocoa will do the trick too.

Christmas Carolling.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear (I told you Elf was my favourite movie didn't I?).

Ice skating.

In Vancouver you can ice-skate for free (if you bring your own skates, or for $4.50 for rentals) at Robson Square which also has the convenience of being outdoors (but still undercover).

Check out Christmas marketplaces.

They have great local artists, crafters, farmers and are always a great place to pick up unique gifts or to just get into the Christmas spirit.
In Vancouver there is one at Queen Elizabeth Plaza from 11am to 9pm daily up until Christmas Eve.

Something unconventional.

This year Krakit Escape room in Coquitlam has a holiday themed room. I have played there before and it is a treat. Especially since on Tuesdays it is half price, and it is family run. Or perhaps try geocaching, or attend a local concert.


Check out the top of Grouse mountain for sleigh-rides, outdoor frozen pond ice rinks, and much more.

Holiday rides!

The more expensive option is Fly-Over Canada Christmas edition which costs around $20. The less expensive option is the Stanley Park Christmas train at $11. Both are great. (Don't mind the horrible selfie, I just couldn't find the perfect picture for this one haha).

Family time!

I saved the very best for last. Family dinners and festivities are the way to go.
What are you going to do this holiday season? Comment and let me know. As, always,

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© Miss Lauren Kyle
Maira Gall