Christmas Day Alternatives

Christmas Day Alternatives

How to Spend December 25 If You Aren’t Opening Presents & Drinking Eggnog

No matter what your reason – religious, occupational, personal, or just plain taking a break this year – not celebrating on Christmas Day doesn’t have to be a bummer. You can create your own traditions, make it a day of great productivity, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, save the day for rest and relaxation. Whatever you decide, you can still make the most of the day, either by yourself or in the company of those you love.

If you want to try something new and different on December 25 this year, aside from all the gifts and holiday cheer, consider these Christmas Day alternatives, with a selection of both small activities and grand plans.

Play in the Snow

If the weather permits, plan to spend some time outside enjoying the wintry wonderland. A snow-covered Lehigh Valley leaves us with options to go skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or even to get together with some friends for a game of snow football. Without the snow, you may still be able to go ice skating if you have your own skates and if the weather is cold enough. If you don’t have your own patch of ice nearby, you can search for local ponds and lakes – just be sure they are frozen and safe for skating – or even Allentown’s own synthetic ice rinks that are suitable no matter what the weather.

Get Your Sports Fix

The professional sports leagues certainly have their own traditions for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Take advantage of the televised sports on December 25 by tuning into the NBA’s Christmas Day scheduling. You can enjoy hours of basketball in a fun day of relaxation. If you start to feel the itch to play, try to get together with friends to throw together a backyard game of football, rugby, or another sport of your choice. You may also enjoy shooting some hoops or playing a little tennis at the local courts.

Catch up on Your To-Do List

As the end of the year approaches, most of us still feel as though we have things to do before the New Year arrives. If you aren’t celebrating in traditional style, you can use the day to get organized, plan for the future, evaluate your goals, or do any other number of productive activities. You might also find December 25 to be an excellent day to jump-start your New Year’s resolutions a little early. Who says you have to wait until January 1 to get cracking?

Spend Time with Loved Ones

Just because you aren’t celebrating the holiday doesn’t mean you can’t be with the ones you love. December 25 is a great day to spend time with people your care about, even without focusing on the holiday. Most people have off from work no matter what day of the week Christmas falls on, so it’s an ideal time to schedule a little family time, even if it’s only for an hour or so over dessert. Why not get together for a nice meal at one of the Lehigh Valley’s restaurants that are open on Christmas Day?

Travel and Explore

December travel plans can be worth their weight in gold, especially if you’re ditching the cold for a warmer climate. Plan a cruise for an all-inclusive excursion with little hassle or put together your own dream vacation just the way you like it. You can also stay relatively local, visiting a nearby monument or landmark, which will likely be accessible even on Christmas Day. Even if you don’t go very far, you can still pamper yourself by booking a hotel and treating yourself to some room service and movie marathons.

…consider these Christmas Day alternatives, with a selection of both small activities and grand plans

Try Your Luck at the Casinos

Whether you go to Atlantic City, Vegas, or at the Sands right here in our own backyard, a trip to the casino can be a fun way to pass the time while taking a chance on your luck. Some games, delicious food and drinks, and a lively nightlife will surely keep the time flying by, so be sure to rein it all in and enjoy.

Enjoy Chinese Food

Chinese restaurants are known to stay open on Christmas Day, making them a wonderful option for a hot and satisfying meal. Whether you choose takeout or prefer to dine in, the Lehigh Valley has many great Chinese food restaurants to consider. You can make this delicious cuisine a part of your own annual tradition when this time of year approaches.

Catch a Flick

Movie theaters often remain open on Christmas, giving friends and family another option for a fun and memorable activity. Even if you go solo, seeing a good movie can be the perfect relaxing activity during the coldest months of the year.

Take a Walk around Christmas City

You don’t have to celebrate Christmas with all the bows and presents in order to appreciate the beauty of lovely downtown Bethlehem and surrounding areas. Enjoy the lights, the decorations and the crowds of people all enjoying each other’s company in the spirit of the season. A simple walk through Bethlehem taking in the evening air can be the perfect way to wind down after a long and tiring year.


See if you can find a local soup kitchen or food bank in need of a little extra help Christmas Day. You can use the handy search feature at the website of Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania ( to find organizations located in or near your own zip code. You can also inquire with area animal shelters ahead of time to see if they will be open on Christmas or in need of someone to come and help with care and compassion for the animals.

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