Christmas is a wonderful time of year, unless you don’t celebrate it, then you feel stuck in a world that’s been mostly shut down with nothing to do. Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas, you can still make the holidays fun.
The obvious stuff
Jewish and Chinese restaurants usually stay open throughout the holidays, even on Christmas Day. Call ahead and make a reservation for you and your non-celebrating friends. Sweet and sour pork and fried rice is definitely not your traditional Christmas dinner, but just because it’s Christmas and you don’t celebrate, doesn’t mean you have to stay locked in the house.
The movies attract people who do and don’t celebrate holidays such as Christmas. You can buy tickets online to ensure you have a seat in advance.
- Be a tourist
Most people are home enjoying a family meal which means the streets are empty. Think of this as the perfect time to check out that monument without being shoved and stepped on by the hundreds of other people visiting that day.
- Visit a skating rink
Bring a few friends along and head over to the park for some fun.
Having nothing to do during the holidays is not a particularly insurmountable life problem. If you have nothing to do, use the time to volunteer and help people in need. Visit your local shelter or children’s home or simply find a homeless person and feed them.
- Use the day to catch up
Everyone is out of town and you have nowhere to go. Have you been neglecting your chores? Is that DIY project you’ve been working on for the past two months still unfinished? Spend the day knocking some things off your to do list.
- Spend time with family
Not commemorating a Christian holiday doesn’t mean you can’t be with your friends or family. Cook together, watch a movie, play a game and call it a family day.
- The ‘buy nothing’ Christmas
- This is easier said than done, especially when you have older children. If you do not wish to engage in the holiday shopping, get your kids to make gifts, crafts or even bake treats for others.
- The story of Santa Claus traces its roots back to Saint Nicholas. Protestants are the reason ‘St. Nicholas day’ turned into “Sinter Klass” which later turned into Santa Claus. Santa is an American influence and most countries don’t celebrate Santa at all so you aren’t alone.
- Tree or no tree?
- The Christmas tree was actually banned by Christians because of its pagan origins. Having a tree also means presents under it. If you don’t celebrate, chances are you won’t have a tree. Think of it as one less thing to have to clean up!
Whether or not you partake in the festivities and rituals associated with the holiday time, remember that this is a time to think of the less fortunate. Choose a local cause and involve your kids in giving to the needy. That’s something that everyone can get on board with during this time of year.
What do you do during the holidays? Share your stories with us!
First published at lifehacker.com