It’s easy to succumb to the many gatherings, celebrations and opportunities to spend time with friends and loved ones over the holiday season. It can also add up quickly, forcing many people to spend January at home while they pay off their bills. But the new year doesn’t have to be spent indoors (unless that’s your thing, of course). Here are four fun things to do in January to beat those post-holiday blues.
For any social butterfly, January can feel like withdrawal after hosting and attending numerous events. However, being on a budget doesn’t mean that the social life has to take a back seat. January is the perfect time to host a gathering with the responsibilities split among the attendees.
Host a potluck, crowd-friendly pizza or taco party where everyone contributes to the menu or takes care of the details involved, such as the drinks, dishware or cutlery. Create a sign-up list and ask guests to select their responsibility. Pick up supplies and ingredients at your local Loblaw banner store to earn PC Optimum points on your purchases.
Set up a games night where everyone brings their favourite group-friendly board game, a snack that can be shared and their beverage of choice. Consider preparing in advance homemade treats like cookies, cake or popcorn, and a tea or coffee bar.
Instead of staying inside, there are plenty of activities that can be enjoyed outdoors. Look for free or lower-cost recreation options, such as skating on an outdoor ice rink or public skate park operated by your city. Other fine options include tobogganing in one of the city’s parks, fat-tire bike rentals, or attending a free event or winter festival hosted by a neighbourhood or the city. Look for outdoor ice sculptures or light displays. Build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Bring your own snacks and warm up with a thermos full of coffee, tea or hot cocoa (with marshmallows) and cups to share the goodies.
Why not take a day trip to go on a winter hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski along one of the trails in a nearby conservation area? Just make sure to take caution when exploring the great outdoors. Stay on marked trails, don’t litter or remove natural materials, and don’t feed or otherwise interfere with wildlife. Bring the supplies you’ll need, including snacks and water, and be sure to start early—with the shorter daylight hours, you should give yourself a buffer to get back home before it’s too dark.
Take the time to help those in need. Volunteer at a local charitable organization, food bank, animal shelter or seniors centre. Check your local community centre for any free or low-cost drop-in programs. Visit an art gallery or museum that might offer free admission during a special time slot for the general public (typically Wednesday nights).
Pamper yourself or host a mini-spa gathering with cheap and easy DIY treatments. Set the scene by putting on a chill playlist, dimming the lights and having fluffy towels, robes and slippers at the ready (or ask your guests to bring their own).
Give yourself a steam facial by bringing a small pot of water to a boil and pouring the hot water into a large bowl that is resting on a towel on a steady surface. Add some fresh or dried herbs, an herbal teabag or a couple of drops of essential oils to the water and then hold your cleansed face over the steam for about 10 minutes with a towel draped over your head.
Apply a homemade facial or a store-purchased mask to your face and leave for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing off. Place a slice of cucumber over each of your eyes while you relax (and cut fresh slices to make cucumber-infused water to enjoy on your DIY spa day).
Homemade sugar scrubs are simple to put together in addition to being budget-friendly. After a shower or soak in an Epsom salt bath, exfoliate your skin with a mix of two parts brown sugar to one part coconut oil or honey with a couple of drops of essential oil (or the juice and zest from half a lemon), then rinse thoroughly off. Moisturize with lotion.
Hair masks can be replicated with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil that is massaged into your hair and scalp from the roots to the ends. Leave in for 15 to 20 minutes before washing and letting air dry.
But if you would rather pick up skin care products from the store, use a credit card, such as the no annual fee President's Choice Financial Mastercard®, which lets you earn PC Optimum points with every dollar spent. Or just redeem the PC Optimum points you’ve already collected at participating stores where President’s Choice® products are sold.
With so many economical options available, you’ll wonder where the month went.
General information not about PC Financial products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. PC Financial does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.