When everything is shimmering and sparkling and Christmas music is playing everywhere you go, there’s no question that it’s the most wonderful and magical time of the year! The problem isn’t so much about needing to find things to do, because this season is full of holiday spirit and activities everywhere you turn. The fear of missing out on the fun can be very real, so to help you not miss a single important thing, here is your PEI Christmas checklist to ensure you’ll experience the most Christmas-y, fun-filled season yet.
1. Pile into the Car and See the Christmas Lights
Oh the joys of the shimmery, sparkly, glittery lights! Bundle up, get some hot chocolate, blast the Christmas music, and start the car. Going street by street ooh-ing and ahh-ing over everyone’s Christmas decorations is a must to get into the holiday spirit. Some displays have music, and others even invite onlookers to walk through their displays and take pictures. Speaking of which – a Christmas just isn’t a Christmas without a tour through North Rustico’s incredible light show! So as the sun sets, you, your friends and your family now have a go-to activity that will become your newest tradition.
2. Explore Christmas Craft Fairs and Pop-up Shops
Talk about bursting with Christmas spirit! All across PEI you are bound to find local markets and Craft Fairs featuring PEI and Atlantic Canada artisans selling their beautiful and even delicious works. The best part about these fairs isn’t just the shopping though, it’s the nostalgia and friends you see as you walk along through. Between the different holiday pop-ups almost every weekend, Farmer’s Markets, and the many Christmas Craft Fairs, there’s no way you will leave empty handed or without a smile! Go here for more locally inspired gift ideas.
3. Find Your Perfectly Imperfect Christmas Tree
Whether you need a tree that’s 12 feet tall and perfect in every way, or the “it’s so ugly it’s cute” Charlie Brown tree, there’s no greater feeling than walking row by row to find the best tree for your home! For many, gathering with your family to critique each tree based on how it will suit your space has become a tradition that marks the beginning of Christmas. There’s something so fun and refreshing about getting out in the fresh air and walking around your favourite Christmas tree farm… it just brings back the kid in you! 🎄
4. Experience a Christmas Show
What better way to get in the Christmas mood than joining in fun and song with dozens or even hundreds of others? All across PEI there are Christmas shows that will warm your heart from the inside out. Do you have tickets yet for the Trailside’s A Very Merry Villages Christmas at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on December 15th? What about the Ledwell & Haines Christmas Special at The College of Piping in Summerside on December 13th? Feel all the Christmas love and laughs at one of the many shows across the Island this year.
5. Go Carolling
Back in the day, it went without saying that the best way to spread Christmas cheer was to go door to door and sing your good tidings for everyone to hear. And while times have changed a little, that doesn’t negate the fact that singing Christmas carols doesn’t immediately bring nostalgic feelings of childhood school assemblies singing “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” as loud as possible, or the warmth and love you remember from “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Why not bring back the carols and cheer, and do a little carolling yourself this year? Whether it’s door to door, at home around a piano, or even with strangers at a big ol’ kitchen party, there’s some good fun to be had and memories to be made singing together.
6. Stay in for a Christmas Movie Marathon
The age old Christmas debate: what Christmas movie is best? Instead of going back and forth, why not have a full-on movie marathon? Pick out all your favourite flicks – funny, sappy, heartwarming, and even cheesy – and get cozy on the couch for a great night. And what makes every movie marathon better? That’s right… snacks! Load up on the popcorn, chocolate covered COWS chips, the most chocolatey mug of COWS hot chocolate, and of course, all the amazing baked goods from the season, and settle in for a cozy, Christmas-y night in.
7. Indulge in Christmas Baking
Cookies. Truffles. Meat pies. Fudge… The list goes on! If there was ever a time of year to spend time baking and cooking in the kitchen, this is it! One of the most universally prized gifts to receive is of the edible variety, so sharing your favourite savoury or sweet treats with loved ones is a sure fire way to make their day. For Island inspired recipes check out these recipes from Chef Michael Smith or this famous PEI potato pie.