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Celebrating the Bridge Generation

The hard-working, innovative, independent, and badass GenXWoman!

The holiday season is upon us, and if you are a Gen X-er, you probably find the virtual takeover of the world a bit overwhelming—if not downright disheartening. After all, our generation didn’t grow up in a world where connecting with friends and family was a primarily digital endeavor. If you are craving Christmas activities that hearken back to simpler times, you’ve come to the right place.  

Turn on one of these classic Christmas films and you can travel back in time to wintery (and often Technicolor) wonderlands of yesteryear. They practically beg you to put on that ugly Christmas sweater, grab some hot cocoa, and curl up in front of the fireplace. 

We’ve come up with some perfect Christmas activities that pair perfectly with that cinematic dose of yesteryear charm, too. 

Here’s our countdown of 5 Christmas activities that you should add to your to-do list this year, along with the Christmas movies that inspired them. 

5 Classic Christmas Activities to Add to Your Holiday Bucket List:

Movie: The Bishop’s Wife

Activity: Decorating the Christmas Tree

Why It Should Be on Your Holiday Bucket List 

Let’s face it, there probably isn’t anything better than having a mysterious angel visit you, particularly if that angel comes in the form of Cary Grant. But the next best thing might be draping your Christmas tree with tinsel and lights just like he does in the film. There’s just something about Christmas ornaments the scent of pine that oozes angelic warmth and serenity. 

Looking for a new twist on an old tradition? Get creative in the trimmings you choose. Maybe you read a children’s book together with your loved ones this season and theme the tree to match. Or, you could theme the tree to your favorite movie, TV show, or hobby. If you need inspiration, check out this round-up of themed Christmas trees. It includes everything from a ski-lodge tree to a beach tree. 

Bonus points: At one point in The Bishop’s Wife the characters talk about the simple joys of drinking a bowl of hot cider and “smashing their glasses into the fire.” That’s about as festive as it gets. You should do the same (but maybe consider skipping the smashed glasses part). 

Movie: Miracle on 34th Street

Activity: Writing Letters to Santa (or being Santa to a child in need)

Menu Pairing: Candy Canes, in Honor of Kris Kringle’s Iconic Prop

Why It Should Be on Your Holiday Bucket List: 

Kris Kringle is in court—is he a maniac Santa imposter or is he the real deal? Only the teeming masses of public opinion can decide. The classic courtroom scene where the letters to Santa pile up as evidence in the jolly fellow’s favor is no fiction. The New York post office alone processes 500,000 letters a year. 

Writing letters to Santa with your loved ones might be the most magical activity you can do this year. After all, who doesn’t need a bit of snail mail Christmas charm these days? 

And the Postal Service offers a way to fulfil one of those wishes through Operation Santa. Who doesn’t want to be Santa and gift a bit of wonder and magic to a child in need?

Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life

Activity: Singing Christmas Carols

Why It Should Be on Your Holiday Bucket List:

In the film, George and Mary Bailey sing to the moon. Is there anything more romantic (and simple) than singing to the moon? It’s even better if the person you are with promises to lasso that moon, just for you. 

But you can sing to just about anything else. Your kids, the Christmas tree, or even Fido. Better yet, plan a virtual Christmas caroling and share a bit of musical joy with your loved ones. 

Movie: Christmas in Connecticut

Activity: Flipping Pancakes

Why It Should Be on Your Holiday Bucket List: 

Barbara Stanwyck stars in Christmas in Connecticut as an expert on all things betters homes and garden. She was the ultimate social media influencer of her day. Only she’s hiding a terrible secret. She doesn’t know how to do any of the homemaking tasks she proclaims to be so proficient in. 

When she is asked to host a Christmas dinner at her home, she scrambles to keep her secret safe. Her crash course efforts to learn basic culinary arts such as flipping pancakes result in some of the funniest scenes in classic Christmas cinema. And it is sure to create a hilarious scene in your household too—we just hope your pancakes don’t end up on the ceiling. 

Bonus points: Up your holiday breakfast game by incorporating new ingredients into your pancake recipe such as gingerbread or even eggnog

Movie: A Christmas Carol 

Activity: Victorian-era Parlour Games such as “Animal, Vegetable or Mineral” or Blind Man’s Bluff

Why It Should Be on Your Holiday Bucket List: 

Join in the fun of a Victorian-era Christmas party by recreating the oft-depicted scene where Scrooge pays a visit to his pure-hearted nephew Fred and his wife. Scrooge finds them playing classic Victorian parlour games, and he quickly becomes enthralled by the simple joy of it all. In A Muppet’s Christmas Carol they play “Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral,” a kind of 20 questions game. In other versions they play “Blind Man’s Bluff” (there’s a card version and a hide-and-seek variety). 

Bonus points:  Drink a cup of Negus (a warm wine punch made with port, lemon, and sugar) while you play—it is a drink that comes up a lot in Dickens novels. 

Remembering how to engage in childlike play, in a digital realm, is something perhaps too many of us have forgotten to do. Remember what it’s like to be a child with these incredibly simple activities that somehow embody a yesteryear full of Christmas magic. 

You’ll begin to notice that this call to return to simpler times is a common theme throughout time. From flipping pancakes to believing in Santa, we’re all in pursuit of a bit of magic—now, more than ever. 

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Author Bio:

Stefanie Cosman is a writer living in Los Angeles. For fun, she blogs about the quirkier side of Classic Hollywood, re-creating Audrey Hepburn’s favorite spaghetti recipe, trying out Marilyn Monroe’s more unusual beauty tricks, and finding a bit of life wisdom along the way.