Alternative Activities During December
Written by Ronda Payne
December is a month that many people love, but some people dread. The holidays (Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Omisoka and others – the holiday season even stretches into January for a number of cultures) can bring up unwanted feelings when this isn’t a time of year you enjoy.
Don’t be hard on yourself! And don’t listen to the people who tell you to “just embrace the season” because they don’t know your experiences or your feelings. You need to find activities to help you feel good, not feel forced into things you’d rather not do. There have been more than enough events to create sadness and difficult feelings in 2021, so if December makes it worse for you, look to activities that aren’t focused on the holiday season.
In Vancouver, it can be a challenge to escape all the holiday talk, but with a little creative searching you can find a number of things to do that aren’t centred in the season:
Vancouver Police Museum
If learning about the seedy side of our city and some of the people who worked to make it safer sounds interesting, a trip to this gem is a welcome change of pace. The museum features a number of special events including “movies in the morgue” and walking tours (in warmer months) and is a year-round source of entertainment.
Exploring the museum itself and all the displays can be fascinating and includes a taste of historical weapons, true crime stories and the former City of Vancouver morgue. Check out the wide range of options at https://www.vancouverpolicemuseum.ca/exhibits
Sign up for a class
Learning can be one of the best ways to create positive new emotions. Anything from a virtual art class or a culturally specific cooking class to a cybersecurity course or learning about mindfulness could be something to look forward to without all the pressure that comes along with December. Plus, classes that focus on mental health like stress reduction or cognitive behaviour therapy can assist with how you look at the world and make this time of year slightly less disruptive.
Explore art in a new way
Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre is hosting the Da Vinci Experience. It’s a 360° look at the creator’s works from replicas to artwork in virtual reality. In a similar display of art using technology, the Imagine Picasso exhibition is being hosted at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Make a friend and move your body
Consider volunteering for an organization like ElderDog Canada. This compassionate non-profit allows seniors to stay with their much-loved dogs longer by providing help with exercise needs, grooming, hygiene and other parts of having a pet. So, if you love dogs, but don’t want to take one on, and could use a little extra exercise while assisting others, this is a great option that you can do year-round, but why not start in December when dog walkers can be hard to find?
Learn about commercial fishing’s history
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site in Richmond, BC brings understanding of commercial fishing in BC to everyone through tools, information and interactive displays. If you’ve ever wondered about BC’s fishing industry, this is sure to answer plenty of questions.
Get a taste of colour
Fun Alley in North Vancouver will chase away the dreary weather that sometimes comes with December. This colourfully painted and playful space is an art installation by Lukas Kasper that has been photographed and posted on Instagram multiple times. Grab a hot beverage and walk through some exciting colour near Lonsdale Quay with this vibrant walking space.
Not everyone wants to take in a holiday activity during December. Maybe you’ve already done all the Christmassy things you want to do, or perhaps this simply isn’t your season. Take a moment to explore the things still happening in Vancouver that don’t focus on the holidays yet can lift your spirits.
While you are doing research online to learn about more non-festive activities or if you are partaking in online shopping during the holiday season, please be aware of online scams as the amount and aggressiveness of these scams increases during the holiday season. If you have taken any cybersecurity or IT training, please try to follow the best online practices you have learned and share your knowledge with others. Or this may be the perfect time to gift yourself an educational and fun non-Christmassy thing to do; an A+ certification course or Network+ certification course is a great place to start.
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