12 Days of Winter: Favorite Things to Do in the Winter

12:00:00 PM

12 Days of Winter is a feature that my dear friend Jess decided to do this holiday season in the 12 days leading up to Christmas, where she rounded up 12 YA book bloggers to write guest posts on their favorite wintry topics. The topic I was given was Favorite Things to Do in the Winter!

While autumn is my favorite season, I love winter just as much because it means those of us here in Florida will finally begin to get a respite from the near-constant summer weather we have. In fact, although it is the middle of December, we still have been experiencing some 85-degree days in between our 70-degree ones. This, sadly, is normal. You see, I absolutely love the cold weather, and will relish it as much as I possibly can while it lasts! So without further ado, here's a list of my favorite things to do during the wintry/holiday season, whether you live in a city where it snows in the wintertime or one that doesn't.

  1. Go to a bonfire – An annual tradition of mine and one of my favorite things to do when it finally gets cold here is to host a bonfire. Nothing quite brings out the fun in teenagers like burning things, am I right? Besides, I’d like to think I make some pretty bomb bonfire playlists. I always make it a point to get some wooden dowels, make the ends a little pointy, and buy ingredients to make s’mores. Roasting marshmallows while sitting around a fire pit is one of my favorite things to do with my friends because it just brings us that much closer and gives us a sense of community.
  2. See the neighborhood Christmas lights – I’ve been doing this one ever since I was a little kid. My parents and I would get in the car, set the radio to the 24 hour Christmas music station, and drive around my neighborhood just ogling at the different decorations from house to house. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, seeing the lights and decorations can always instill a sense of magic and wintry wonder in your heart.
  3. Snowball fight – Even though I can say I’ve only done this once in my life, with my dad, on top of the Blue Ridge Mountains one year on a road trip, it’s still a classic winter activity. And if you live in a place like I do, some towns nearby will host winter festivals and let the snoap fly – you heard me, snoap. Soap-snow. There’s a town right by mine that annually blocks off its main street and sets up big machines that create snow-like soap bubbles that kids of all ages will dive right into. Just remember to bring a change of clothes for afterward. (Or do what I did one year when I was seven, and jump into the community pool down the street…!)
  4. Ice skating – Whether it’s an outdoor rink, indoors, or even a frozen-over lake, ice skating is always a favorite winter activity of mine. (Notice I didn’t say I was good at it.) I’m fortunate enough to have an ice skating rink nearby, and every so often I’ll round up a couple of friends and we’ll spend the day skating!
  5. Baking – The holidays are always the perfect opportunity to bake for days. Personally, I love baking because not only is it delicious and somewhat easy, but it also makes a fantastic gift to give friends and loved ones because it was hand-made and thoughtful. Nothing says “Merry Christmas!” like a homemade batch of cookies or other sweet treats. Another fun thing to do would be to invite a friend over for the day, pick out two or three cookie recipes, and bake to your hearts’ content!
  6. Holiday parties – Another fun get-together idea to do with your friends is to host a holiday party. Encourage everyone to wear their best ugly Christmas sweater, gather all your favorite Christmas movies (my favorites are Elf, Love Actually, and The Polar Express) and bring on the gingerbread house making kits!
  7. Holiday movie marathon – My mom and I will watch Elf and Love Actually back-to-back together every year, Some other favorites of mine include The Nightmare Before Christmas (yes, it is in fact a Christmas movie, not Halloween…) The Polar Express, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (always makes me feel all Chrsitmas-y!), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version, of course), and my favorite classic, White Christmas. Plus, ABC Family always runs their Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas, and then 25 Days of Christmas, so basically you get 50 Christmas-y movie days in a row from November to December.
  8. Secret Santa/White Elephant Present Exchange – I always thought that these were a great way to give gifts without breaking the bank, and for the past few years my friends and I have always at least done a Secret Santa exchange. I always try to get everybody something, still, usually by baking treats for them individually to take home and snack on throughout the holidays.

So there you have it! A list of a few of my favorite things to do during the wintertime/holidays! No matter what you celebrate this season, the winter holidays have always been a season to spend time with friends and family and enjoy one another’s presence above all presents – no pun intended, I promise.

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