Don’t you sit back around this time of year and wonder to yourself, “How did the summer fly by so quickly?” I ask myself that question every fall, as I get back into the routine of school. With the sweater weather kicking in, and classes back in full swing, 2019 is creeping in fast. You may be wondering how to make the most of life before 2018 ends.
Well, fear not… Here’s a jam-packed list of 18 things to do before the end of 2018!
1. Go to daily Mass
The greatest gift God has ever given us is the Mass. What’s better than going to daily Mass by yourself? Going to Mass with friends! Get a group of friends together and go to Mass in the morning. Plan to get breakfast together right after, and talk about the gospel reading for that day; maybe even invite your parish priest along!
2. Enjoy a movie at a drive-in theater
If your local movie theater doesn’t seem like anything special, try to find the nearest drive-in theater, and plan a movie outing. Bring some snacks and homemade popcorn with you to change the typical movie-going experience up a little bit. Kick back, relax, and enjoy a new blockbuster movie with your friends and family.
3. Family Dinner… without the TV
The next time family dinner rolls around, have the TV turned off, and use the opportunity to catch up on each other’s day!
4. Phone your best friend
Technology today has its perks of being able to let us keep up with each other’s lives. But, how often do we miss the opportunity to have a conversation with each other without sending a text?
Instead of sending your best friend a text, give him or her a call! Allow this to be an opportunity to reflect on how you interact with the relationships God’s given you.
5. Go hiking
Who doesn’t love a good hike? Look up some local trails and plan a day to be able to go, whether it be with your friends or family. Put on the Chacos, and plan as a group to pack lunches. Find a good spot on the pathway or near to eat together, and take in the sights.
6. Throw a Christmas tree decorating war
With December just a little ways away, who wouldn’t be up for a little friendly Christmas competition? Get together and bring decorations and supplies to throw a tree decorating war! Pick a theme to decorate the Christmas trees by and split into groups of two to compete. Have someone be the judge to pick the winning tree!
7. Have a night of worship
Missing worship from Steubenville, summer camp, or a retreat that you went on this past summer? Gather your friends from youth group and pick a central location to meet, whether it be the parish hall or a house. Put together a setlist of worship music (Life Teen’s got some good playlists on Spotify!) Have someone who plays an instrument help lead, and spend the time together in worship, using your voices to glorify God!
8. Throw a board game night
I think I’m not the only one who would enjoy getting dubs when it comes to playing Fortnite: Battle Royale.
But honestly, there are so many times when playing a board game is enjoyable too. Grab the Monopoly and Apples to Apples boxes, and throw a board game night with your friends! For a twist, make some creative snacks as well to enjoy!
9. Consecrate yourself to Mary
Looking for a good way to challenge yourself to grow in prayer?
A Marian Consecration is one of the most beautiful acts of prayer I’ve ever come across. If you’re looking for a way to grow in your faith, I highly encourage to do one of the forms of consecration to our Blessed Mother! If you want to challenge your prayer life, check out St. Louis de Montfort’s 33 Day preparation for Total Consecration to Mary. With the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on January 1st, start the consecration prayers on November 29th to ring in the new year fully consecrated to our mother!
If you’re looking for a jump start to your prayer life in a shorter time frame, St. Maximilian Kolbe’s 9-day consecration is a beautiful consecration prayer as well!
10. Throw a holiday-themed bake-off!
Ever wanted to taste test all of the different sweets in a bakery? This gets that job done in a festive way! Look up different recipes for some holiday desserts online, and print them out. Find a day to run to the store and get the ingredients needed. Whether it be pies, cookies, or cakes, throw a bake-off! Spend the time baking all the different recipes you chose, and try them out once you’re done. Gift the extra sweets left over to loved ones, members of the community, or the local homeless shelter!
11. Bonfire night!
Bring the sweater’s, and hot dogs to grill up to throw a bonfire night! Arrive right before dusk and watch the sun go down, and then get the fire going! To throw a twist into the night, make a s’mores bar with different candy fix-ins to include on top of the marshmallows and chocolate!
12. Attend one of your school’s sporting events
Friday night lights is the one weekly event you can count on in the fall! Find out when the next home football game is and get your class to rally up and come to join you in the stands! Deck out wearing your school’s colors and some face paint to cheer your football team on!
13. Binge – listen to music
We all got a favorite music artist right? Well picture something like this: Instead of binge-watching all the episodes of your favorite TV series, grab the snacks and grab a speaker! Find a time to listen to all of the songs by your favorite artist. Who knows? Chances are you’ll find a song you haven’t heard before that might become your next favorite!
14. Spend some time in silence
Sometimes our schedules can quickly get filled up to the point of feeling overwhelmed by the end of the day. It’s good to take a moment to step back and look at how our daily life is going. Psalm 46:10 discusses this saying, “Be still, and know that I am God,”
There was a time placed out during my session as a summer missionary to pray in silence, without talking whatsoever. That time spent listening to God became a powerful prayer for me. You don’t have to start big, but find some time in the day to stop and remain silent for 5 minutes. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you from there.
15. Attend a holy hour
The biggest desire written our hearts is to be with our Lord. A beautiful way to do so is through adoration.
Look up to see where the nearest adoration chapel is, as well as the times your parish offers Holy Hour and clear some time on your schedule to attend. During your time there, ask Jesus to continue to soften your heart, and ask for the grace to allow him to speak to you in a new way!
16. Go to a corn maaze!
This is a must as the weather continues to cool down! Talk to your Youth Minister to see if your youth group will add this as an upcoming activity to do, or get a group of your friends together to go to a corn maze nearby.
17. Take a stroll Downtown
If going for a hike doesn’t sound as great, why not gather some friends and walk around downtown for the day! Typically when going downtown, you’ll tend to find some hole-in-the-wall places to look at, and some unique eateries as well!
18. Start a Bible study
One of the greatest ways to grow in your faith is by rooting yourself in Scripture. Talk to your youth minister or the Catholic club adviser in your school to see if they offer a bible study or a discipleship group. If not, then gather some of your friends and start one up! Scripture’s always a great way to strengthen yourself spiritually and grow in discipleship with others!