Christmas has finally arrived! Well, festivities started about a month ago with all those ads pressuring you to go Christmas shopping and buy that special someone a gift he or she doesn’t really need. However, the world-celebrated holiday season doesn’t always have to be about gifts; there’s a ton of awesome things you can do in Lebanon this Christmas that don’t involve shopping!

1. Go to Arnaoon Christmas Village

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This option would be a great festive activity for families. You can visit Santa’s Workshop, decorate cupcakes and gingerbread men, sing karaoke, and more from December 2 til January 8 from 11am - 6pm every day! Check out their website for more details on weekday vs. weekend programs.

2. Eat a Traditional Christmas Cake

Image via Biscuitlebanon Facebook Page

Trust me, this cake is sure to put you in the festive mood. There’s a particularly delicious traditional Christmas cake at Biscuit Patisserie in Mansourieh that you will find me (and the rest of their fans) bingeing on after the “justified” 5,000-calorie Christmas meal. It’s super dense and full of flavour – you can thank me later.

3. Christmas Shopping for Charity

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Okay, I know I said earlier that Christmas doesn’t mean shopping and gifts, but this is the only exception, I promise. Giving gifts to children who don’t have the luxuries that some of us have been blessed with (i.e. our family, our home, etc.) is one way to truly make your Christmas and theirs a memorable one. There are many charities and organizations in Lebanon who support this cause and would gladly accept donations. The non-governmental organization, The North Pole and The Dafa Campaign are some to consider to make a difference.

4. Eat. Then eat some more.

Image via @cen03fit on Instagram

If there’s one thing Lebanese are really good at, it’s eating. During the Christmas holidays, you have all the excuses you need to eat whatever you want and justify your 5,000 calorie Christmas Eve dinner – and then you can go on a diet and join a gym in January for your New Year’s resolutions (only to quit two weeks into the program).

5. Go to a Free Concert

Yep, you heard me right! The Beirut Chants Festival is back for the 9th season. Check out their website for the full concerts schedule happening this month in Lebanon!

6. Watch a Christmas Movie

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Whether it’s at the theatre or all warm and snuggled up on your couch at home sipping hot cocoa and scarfing down some homemade stove-top popcorn (which is the best way to spend Christmas in my opinion), this will definitely put you in the Christmas mood!

7. Gaze at the Christmas Decorations in Jbeil

Image via @joe_kosseify on Instagram

Every year, Jbeil displays the most extravagant out-of-the-box Christmas decorations luring in the whole country, as well as tourists visiting during the holidays.

8. Take a Selfie next to ABC Ashrafieh’s Christmas Tree

Image via @unpeudetout2016 on Instagram

Malls go out of their way decorating their premises from top to bottom in Christmas décor. Your ‘Things to do in Christmas’ list just won’t be complete without that selfie with that giant Christmas Tree “khalfi”.

9. There’s also the Stunning Christmas Decorations at Le Mall Dbayeh

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I would urge you to check those out, by the way! They truly are beautiful – I happened to see them last week when I was going to see a movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), which by the way was very disappointing! Never mind my letdown, the decorations were festive and awesome.

10. Spend Christmas by the Lake

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The Winter Festival at Bnachii is bound to catch your attention this Christmas. For the sixth year in a row, Bnashii Lake, one of the top touristic attractions in the north, is hosting the popular "Christmas by the Lake" winter festival. Take part in parades, games, Christmas carols, and more to make your Christmas an unforgettable one!

11. Visit a Museum at Night

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Who wouldn’t want to visit a museum at night? I’m not a fan of museums in general, but there’s something about visiting one after hours that is just very tempting. Be a rebel and visit Sursock Museum every Thursday evening from 12pm - 9pm until December 29, 2016. Did I mention free entrance?

12. Visit the many Christmas Markets in Lebanon

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There are several Christmas markets being held all over the country such as the Christmas Village at Beirut Souks and Badaro’s Magical Christmas. Check out the rest of the Christmas markets and events happening this month in our article 17 Jolly Christmas Events Happening Around Lebanon This Month.


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