10 Things To Do On Christmas If You Don't Celebrate, But You're Still Feeling Festive

Ad failed to load

It's Christmas day, and you're bored to tears, because you don't celebrate the holiday yourself, but it feels like literally everyone else does. Most stores are closed, and the channels are filled with re-runs of Christmas-themed episodes and movies, so what's a non-Christmas-celebrating gal to do? Not to fear — there are plenty of things to do on Christmas if you don't celebrate, regardless of just how festive you want to be.

Christmas is essentially one of the few days when people put down their phones and embrace a social media respite — which is great for them and all, but it can suddenly make your life feel incredibly silent when you're trying to go about (and enjoy) a normal day.

Not actively celebrating Christmas doesn't mean that you have to forgo all festive aspects of the holiday season, though. There are plenty of ways to embrace those blinking lights, that torrent of movies, and the endless hours that unfold one after another, waiting to be filled with things to do. And the best part is that some of them don't even require movement, so there's a full spectrum of activity available for your enjoyment needs.

Ad failed to load

Here are 10 things to do on Christmas if you don't celebrate, but still want to feel a little festive.

Ad failed to load

1Go Ice Skating


You technically need an ice rink for this one, but your city or town most likely has one nearby.

Going ice skating is a quintessential holiday activity regardless of your religious beliefs or holiday participation. Rent some skates, and do a few loops around the rink! The best part about ice skating on Christmas is how quiet that normally crowded rink will be.



If you're not spending Christmas opening presents, you might consider passing that experience along to someone who does celebrate the holiday. There are a whole host of ways to volunteer in the weeks leading up to, and even on the actual day of Christmas.

For example, you could collect donations from family and friends of lightly used toys to bring to shelters, or you could decide to actually sponsor a child for Christmas, for the little ones whose parents can't afford to buy them presents. The best way to enjoy Christmas, after all, is by spreading holiday cheer, and holiday cheer knows no religion.

3Collect Items For A Food Bank Or Shelter

A popular alternative to those lent calendars filled with wine, chocolate, or other goodies is to opt for a giving calendar instead.

For each day of December, drop a canned good or non-perishable item into a bin. On Christmas, you can take your 25 items to a shelter to deliver to people who need them.

Ad failed to load

4Eat Chinese Food


It's a popular tradition among those of the Jewish faith in America to go eat Chinese food on Christmas Day. You can partake in this ritual (frankly, I can always go for a little lo mein), or you could create a new ritual of your own.

For example, every Christmas, maybe you'll decide to go to a movie, or perhaps you'll make homemade buffalo chicken wings. Who cares what the tradition is? The sky is the limit.

5Go Somewhere Cold


For most people, the holidays are synonymous with cold weather. If you're looking for a little of that chilly Christmas cheer sans the Christmas part, consider planning a day or weekend trip to a destination with cold temps. You can soak in that crisp, fresh air, go skiing, or even just light a fire and sit by the flames with a good book.

6Host A Holiday Dinner With Friends


Just because you're not celebrating Christmas doesn't mean you can't have a party.

Invite all of your fellow non-Christmas friends to your place, and have a potluck dinner, because this is your life, and you make the rules.

Ad failed to load

7Host A Movie Marathon


Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, that doesn't mean you're totally immune to the complete and utter magic that is Love Actually.

Christmas day is the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card for a movie marathon. No one will ask questions, and you basically have 12 hours to do whatever the hell you want. You could even watch Love Actually six times in a row if you feel like it, because it's Christmas, and the societal rules of human interaction do not apply.

8Read A Classic By The Fire

If you're lucky enough to have a working fireplace, light that baby up and get a fire going with your favorite Dickens novel in hand (and maybe invite me over, because I really like fireplaces).

9Write "Thankful" Cards


A big part of the Christmas holiday is founded on the idea of being thankful for the people in your life, and recognizing them for what they mean to you. But you don't actually need a full-fledged Christmas celebration to show your family and friends how much you love them.

On Christmas day, consider writing "thankful" cards to all of the people in your life that you're thankful for. The letters don't have to be long, or even that poetic; just keep it short and sweet, and express how you feel.

Ad failed to load

10Go Caroling With Friends

There are plenty of Christmas carols that don't focus on religion, and you probably know a lot of them by heart already.

Go caroling with your friends, or even just in your living room. Holiday-themed karaoke sounds like a complete and total win of an idea.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

Here's Everything That's Leaving Netflix In June

Summer is here, and with it comes plenty of opportunity to binge watch more movies and TV shows that we never knew we needed in our lives. May has passed by in a blink of an eye, so I definitely need to catch up on what Netflix is getting rid of afte…
By Kristen Perrone

Cherry Print Is One Of Summer's Biggest Fashion Trends & It's So Much Sweeter Than Florals

If there's one thing that I've had my eye on this summer it's a cool, flirty cherry-print dress. Along with versatile black tops and blue denim, the color red has become a staple in my wardrobe this year and anytime I can infuse it into my daily look…
By Ariana Marsh

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Your World Is About To Be Filled With Sunshine

If you've had enough of the sleepy and heavy feeling associated with Taurus season, prepare yourself for a replenishing rush of fresh energy. As of May 20, the sun has officially moved into Gemini, and the weight on your shoulders will finally start …
By Roya Backlund

13 Must-Have Experiences You Should Buy In Your 20s, Instead Of A New Couch

Life is one big experience. When you hit your 20s, though, you start getting pulled in the direction of your responsibilities. It isn't totally a bad thing, but you don't want to get so wrapped into adulting that you forget life's zest. Amazing exper…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

I Tried Kim Kardashian's Weird Beauty Obsession & I Can't Stop Taking Selfies

You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but …
By Stephanie Montes

Where You Should Vacation This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Summer is so much more than just sweating in 90 degree weather and enjoying a long, lazy break from school (if you're lucky enough to still be in school). It's a time for making exciting new plans, falling madly and hopelessly in love, opening your m…
By Roya Backlund

Wander or Bust: The Amalfi Coast May Just Be The Most Beautiful Thing You'll Ever See

Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown. They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, a…
By Kaylin Pound

6 Brutally Honest Phases Of Life After A Breakup, Because You Will Survive 

If you've ever been through a bad breakup, you know that the struggle is real. For the weeks (or possibly months, if it was a really bad one) that follow, life can be rough, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Don't believe me? Just l…
By Rachel Shatto

Here's How You Can Find Out What Your Aura Color Is

Do you remember that movie Almost Famous? More specifically, the scene where William is trying to have a phone call with his mom, but a clairvoyant Band-Aid keeps shouting "Your aura is purple!" in his face? Well, that was the first time I had ever h…
By Roya Backlund

9 Women In Their 20s Reflect On The Advice They Wish They Had At Graduation

Graduating college can feel seriously scary. You've spent your entire life in school, working and preparing for the moment you enter the real world, but what happens when you get there? What if things don't go totally according to plan? You may have …
By Brittney Morgan

3 Early Signs You Are Going To Have Undeniable Chemistry With Your Crush

I don't know if there's anything better than the excitement of having a new crush — especially when that feeling's reciprocated. The butterflies that rush through your stomach as soon as they enter a room. The electricity that zips through your veins…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Emoji Pool Floats Are Here To Match Every Mood You’re In This Summer

Searching for the perfect poolside accessory to lounge around in this summer? This year’s hottest warm weather water trend isn’t a big floppy hat or designer sunglasses — it’s an emoji pool float. That’s right: Your favorite little digital expression…
By Rachel Murphy

Here's How Your Mood & Your Favorite Music Are Secretly Connected, According To Science

If you're someone who's likely to be found with ear buds in her ears at all times, you might not realize just how often you listen to music, or the ways in which it's really affecting you. From your morning commute to the tunes you blast while you co…
By Caroline Burke

This Is How Long It Takes For A Partner To Really Trust You, According To Experts

Trust is easily one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship, but typically, it's not something that's fully there from the start because it takes some time to build. How long it takes for a partner to trust you is a question that doesn'…
By Tayi Sanusi

7 Things You Forgot To Thank Your High School Friends For & Should ASAP

Friends are a dime a dozen, but a solid, genuine group of girlfriends can be difficult to come by. When you find your tribe, you need to stick with them until the end. For some lucky people, your high school friends have been your besties since day o…
By Rachel Chapman

These 3 Zodiac Signs Will Have The Best Week, So Bask In The Glory

It's officially the second week of May, and the warmth of spring has finally arrived. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the bright weather is allowing everyone to finally break out their favorite pair of shorts. If you think the gorgeou…
By Roya Backlund

7 Men Reveal What Attracted Them To Their Last Crush & They'll Make You Swoon

He reminded me of Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl. That's legitimately what I found appealing about my most recent crush. Sorry, but it doesn't get any deeper than that. In other instances though, when I'm not trying to live out my lustful, adolescen…
By Sydnee Lyons

A Relationship Expert Reveals His Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide

"Long-distance relationships are extremely relaxing and easy to navigate," said no one in a long-distance relationship ever. Whether you are bicoastal babes or a quick two-hour train ride apart, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes…
By Kimmy Foskett

7 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Life By The Time You Hit 30

Nobody has all of the answers in life, but you're probably pretty proud of yourself for how far you've come. Somewhere along the way, some of us got the hang of adulting and began to appreciate the unexpected things that come with being 20-something.…
By Marisa Casciano