Animal Crossing New Horizons: December Overview

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about December in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Read all about all the events taking place in December, all the villager and other characters' birthdays, what bugs, fish and sea creatures you can catch, and more.

Animal Crossing New Horizons December Overview

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, December is probably the most jam-packed month of the year. There is so much going on, you won’t want to miss anything! There’s Toy Day and the big bonanza New Year’s Countdown. Plus, there’s plenty of seasonal stuff to buy at Nook Shopping, birthdays to celebrate, and creatures to catch. If you’re living in the northern hemisphere, December is when the snow arrives! This guide will make sure you don’t miss anything in December in New Horizons, so you can get the most out of the last month of the year.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

For more information on New Horizons, be sure to check out our other guides.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Exploring December - Nintendo Switch

Events in December

The first thing you should know about December in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it’s a busy month. It’s packed with lots of events and Nook Shopping items, as well as seasonal collectibles and DIY recipes. Let’s find out exactly what you can do!

Tree’s Bounty Series

Occurs: September 1st to December 10th

Hemisphere: North Only

Let’s kick off the events list with a departing fall-themed DIY series. This has been going on since September, a long time, and it’s finally coming to an end. 

You can cobble together a quaint collection of autumn-themed items using Pine Cones and Acorns. These can be found and gathered by shaking trees. More specifically, Acorns are found in hardwood trees (aka non-fruit bearing trees) and Pine Cones are shaken out of pine trees. You’ve got to give those trees a real shaking over if you want to get as much out of it. You’ll need plenty of Acorns and Pine Cones to create those items.

Don’t forget to look out for balloons to pop; this is the only place where you can get the DIY recipes from the Tree’s Bounty Series. As soon as you see a balloon, pop it! Make sure you have your slingshot ready.

Since this is a fall-themed DIY collection, you will no longer find the DIY recipes in balloons or be able to find Acorns and Pine Cones after December 10th.

The first third of December is your last chance to get those autumnal craftables and collectibles.

The first third of December is your last chance to get those autumnal craftables and collectibles.

Summer and Winter Clothing

Occurs: December 1st to February 24th (North) / December 1st to February 28th (South)

Hemisphere: North (Winter) and South (Summer)

Depending on which hemisphere you’re playing in, December brings about some new clothing options available at the Able Sisters and Kicks. If you’re in the north, you can buy wintry clothing such as woolly hats, jumpers, and boots, perfect for the cold snowy season. Meanwhile, for southern hemisphere players, since it’s hotting up, the shops will now stock clothes fit for the summer, such as summery hats, dresses, t-shirts, shorts, and sandals.

Winter clothing in the north and summer clothing in the south are available from the first day of December. These seasonal outfits are available until the winter/summer season ends in the respective hemispheres. Winter officially ends on February 24th in the north, while summer comes to an end on February 28th (or 29th if it’s a leap year).

For a complete run down on what clothing you can buy in the summer and winter, have a look at our summer and winter clothing guides.

Seasonal-appropriate clothing becomes available in the Able Sisters and Kicks.

Seasonal-appropriate clothing becomes available in the Able Sisters and Kicks.

Snow Arrives

Occurs: December 11th to February 24th

Hemisphere: North Only

If you’ve been looking forward to snow all year, the day has finally arrived. December 10th is the last day you will see grass. From December 11th, snow will carpet the ground, and anything else that is outside. Snow will stick around until February 24th, when it melts at last. Enjoy the snow while it lasts!

During this period, you’ll see Snowflakes outside. While there is snowy weather, these snowflakes you can catch with a net just as with bugs. Catch them when you see them and stock up for the winter DIY series.

Snow means you can build snowmen.

Snow means you can build snowmen.

Frozen Series

Occurs: December 11th to February 24th

Hemisphere: North Only

With snow comes 2 DIY series: Frozen and Snowflake. Let’s start with Frozen. You can craft lots of frozen-themed items if you have plenty of Snowflakes in your inventory. These items will be sure to add a wintry chill to your home!

Snowflake Series

Occurs: December 11th to February 24th

Hemisphere: North Only

There’s another DIY series for the winter: the Snowflake series. There are less items in this series than the Frozen series, and you need a LOT more Snowflakes to create them, but they are worth it.

Look out for snowflakes to catch during the winter season, needed in a lot of DIY recipes.

Look out for snowflakes to catch during the winter season, needed in a lot of DIY recipes.

Festive Series

Occurs: December 15th to January 5th

Hemisphere: Both

As it’s December, it’s the festive season, and with that, New Horizons helps you get into the spirit with the Festive DIY Series. There’s a lot of DIY recipes that comes with this collection, and you’ll definitely want to make them to get into the spirit of the holiday. Instead of Snowflakes though, you’ll need Ornaments.

For about 2 or 3 weeks, the pine trees will be decked out in lights. If you shake these trees, they’ll drop Ornaments. Ornaments come in 3 colors: blue, red and yellow. These different colored Ornaments are used in Festive Series DIY recipes. Shake those trees and collect those Ornaments and you’ll soon have a ton of decorations and furniture to deck your house and your island with.

Get into the Christmas spirit with the Festive Series.

Get into the Christmas spirit with the Festive Series.

Bug Off

Occurs: Third Saturday

Hemisphere: South Only

It’s that time again if you’re in the southern hemisphere. The bug-off will descend on your island on the third Saturday of December. It’s also the last creature-catching event of the year.

Winter Solstice

Occurs: 15th to 22nd

Hemisphere: North Only

Winter may have just begun, but the winter solstice takes place this month, around two-thirds into December. You can celebrate the shortest day of the year in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, thanks to Nook Shopping. You can buy a Midwinter Sweater and an Aurora Wall for 1,200 Bells each. The jumper will sure keep you warm on those cold nights! Another winter solstice item you can buy is the Bathtub with Yuzu, available for 3,200 Bells. This is a Japanese tradition where you bathe in a tub on the shortest day of the year to stave off colds. It is filled with yuzu, a citrus fruit that is strong smelling but soothing.

Grab your winter solstice items to celebrate the shortest day of the year.

Grab your winter solstice items to celebrate the shortest day of the year.

Summer Solstice

Occurs: 15th to 22nd

Hemisphere: South Only

In the southern hemisphere, on the other hand, summer has begun. The sun is shining (hopefully), the weather is warm, and the longest day of the year takes place. Like the winter solstice, you can get some Nook Shopping items to celebrate the summer solstice. Get yourself some snazzy sunflower sunglasses, a rug, and a headdress. You’ll look picture perfect for those long hot summer days!

Celebrate summer and the longest day of the year with special items.

Celebrate summer and the longest day of the year with special items.

New Year’s Eve

Occurs: 22nd to 31st

Hemisphere: Both

As the year draws to a close, it’s a time of celebration. You can get some stuff to help you there from Nook Shopping: Olivier Salad and Sparkling Cider. You can eat and drink these. They cost 1,000 Bells each.

Nochevieja

Occurs: 22nd to 31st

Hemisphere: Both

This is a quirky but fun tradition celebrated by the Spanish. It is known as “las doce uvas de la suerte”, or in English, the twelve grapes of luck. The idea is to eat one grape at every stroke of twelve on New Year’s Eve. You can eat your very own “twelve grapes of luck” in New Horizons. You can buy a plate of these from Nook Shopping for 1,200 Bells.

There are traditional dishes from around the world you can eat for the New Year.

There are traditional dishes from around the world you can eat for the New Year.

Toy Day

Occurs: 24th

Hemisphere: Both

In Animal Crossing, Toy Day is the equivalent of Christmas, like Bunny Day is similar to Easter. This traditional event takes place in New Horizons. Although Christmas is on the 25th of December, Toy Day takes place the day before, on the 24th. This is a big event that you can get actively involved in, such as Halloween and Turkey Day. It goes on all day from 5am until 5am the next day, so there’s plenty of time to take part.

Speak to Jingle

Even though this event starts from 5am, you have to wait until 6am for Jingle to appear outside Resident Services. He is in charge of Toy Day and your go-to person if you’re stuck or want to proceed with the event. Spark the event off by speaking to Jingle as soon as you’re ready.

Jingle can be found outside Resident Services during Toy Day.

Jingle can be found outside Resident Services during Toy Day.

Create Festive Wrapping Paper

Jingle wants your help delivering presents to all the residents on your island. He starts you off by asking you to create some wrapping paper for the presents. You can buy wrapping paper from Nook’s Cranny, but this is special Festive Wrapping Paper that Jingle wants you to make (he gives you the DIY recipe for it). He wants not one, but three of these. This special paper isn’t too hard to make. You just need one of every colored Ornament (blue, red, yellow) to make one Festive Wrapping Paper. Jingle asked specifically for three, so gather three of every colored Ornament. Get shaking those lit-up pine trees! Or, there’s another place you can get Ornaments for this task, and it’s much easier and quicker. Just speak to Isabelle at Resident Services and she’ll give you exactly what you need.

Deliver Presents

Once you’ve crafted 3 Festive Wrapping Paper, report back to Jingle. It’s now time to deliver those presents! Jingle will give you two items: the Toy Day Stocking furniture item, and the Magic Bag. The latter is a tool, and you must have it equipped to deliver presents. Your character will carry this around with them over their shoulder when equipped.

Delivering presents couldn’t be easier. This isn’t like past Animal Crossing games, where you had to guess or find out what the correct gifts were to give to your fellow villagers. There’s none of that in New Horizons. You just speak to the villager and the right present will automatically be handed to them. The only thing you have to worry about is making sure you deliver all the presents by speaking to every villager who lives on your island. If you lose track of who you haven’t delivered presents to, you can open the inventory and click on the Magic Bag to see who hasn’t received their present yet. 

You can dress up as Santa if you want to look the part, but it's not mandatory.

You can dress up as Santa if you want to look the part, but it’s not mandatory.

There’s another thing to note. You can, if you wish, dress up as Santa if you really want to look the part – but you don’t have to. This may have been a requirement in previous Animal Crossing games, but New Horizons is different. You can wear whatever you like! If you do want to dress up as Santa though, you can buy the full outfit (hat, beard, coat and pants) from December 1st to the 24th. On the last day, the 24th (Toy Day), the whole set is available. It’s a pricey clothing set, but worth it. The hat is 2,000 Bells, the beard 1,480 Bells, the coat 2,600 Bells, and the pants 2,150 Bells.

Rewards

Once you’ve delivered all the presents, return to Jingle for your much-deserved rewards. You can receive 3 rewards. You get the Gift Pile DIY recipe for delivering half the gifts. You get the Toy Day Sleigh for successfully delivering all the presents. There’s a bonus reward as well, the third. If you hang up the Toy Day Stocking that Jingle gave you in your house, look inside it the next day (25th). Jingle has slipped an extra present in for you: a photo of Jingle!

Other Toy Day Activities

During Toy Day, the main event involves you delivering gifts to villagers for Jingle. You can also hand out your own presents to villagers and exchange gifts. You should wrap them up with wrapping paper, so make sure to stock up at Nook’s Cranny. If you haven’t got any, the villagers will give you some.

You can also buy unique Toy Day items at Nook’s Cranny from December 1st to the 25th.

Omisoka

Occurs: 26th to 31st

Hemisphere: Both

Omisoka is a Japanese tradition that takes place over New Year’s. They celebrate the occasion with toshikoshi-soba, or year-passing soba. The long noodles represent a long life, and easily cutting them symbolises ridding of misfortune. You can get your own New Year’s Noodles from Nook Shopping for 1,300 Bells.

There's lots of New Year's stuff to get in Animal Crossing.

There’s lots of New Year’s stuff to get in Animal Crossing.

Silvester

Occurs: 26th to 31st

Hemisphere: Both

Berliner is a traditional German New Year‘s treat, and you too can enjoy it in New Horizons from Nook Shopping for 1,200 Bells. A Berliner Pfannkuchen is a pastry with jam and topped with sugar, a bit like a jammy donut.

Shōgatsu

Occurs: December 26th to January 5th

Hemisphere: Both

This is a collection of Japanese New Year‘s items brought to you in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There are 5 items altogether that you can get from Nook Shopping. The Kadomatsu (2,580 Bells), Kagamimochi (1,800 Bells), New Year’s Shimekazari (2,000 Bells), Osechi (1,700 Bells), and Otoshidama (500 Bells).

Celebrate the New Year, in Japanese style.

Celebrate the New Year, in Japanese style.

New Year’s Day

Occurs: December 26th to January 5th

Hemisphere: Both

This section isn’t referring to the big event. That’s the next section below, New Year’s Countdown. This is for the official New Year’s items. The items vary from year-to-year, but they are similar. You’ll get a Zodiac Figurine and a balloon archway with the New Year’s number on it. Another item available is the Yut Nori, an edible item available for 1,300 Bells. All these items can be bought at Nook Shopping.

The 2022 balloon banner and tiger zodiac figurine are part of the New Year's objects available, but changes by year.

The 2022 balloon banner and tiger zodiac figurine are part of the New Year’s objects available, but changes by year.

New Year’s Countdown

Occurs: 31st

Hemisphere: Both

The New Year’s Countdown is the last major event of the year. It is sure to provide a big bang to end the old year and welcome the new one. This event is like a big party, and you really don’t want to miss it.

Important Note: Resident Services will be closed all day on December 31st, so make sure you do everything you want there before this day.

All day on December the 31st, from 5am, the big countdown timer will be on display outside Resident Services. The actual event won’t start until 11pm though, so you don’t have to tune into the game until this time if you want to take part. 

The countdown clock is a big part of the New Year's Countdown.

The countdown clock is a big part of the New Year’s Countdown.

Countdown Build-Up

From 11pm, the villagers will gather at Resident Services to join the celebrations. You can talk to them to discuss the New Year. You can get some items from Tom Nook and Isabelle to help you get into the event. Isabelle will give you some Light Sticks, while Tom Nook gives you some Party Poppers (5, to be exact). The Party Poppers cost 300 Bells.

New Year’s Hats

You can also buy some New Year’s party hats from Tom Nook, for 500 Bells each. There are 2 types of hats in different colors. There are 2 types of hats to choose from, New Year’s Hat and New Year’s Silk Hat. Each hat comes in 8 different colors, and you can choose one that you like. 

Note: You can only buy one type of hat in one color from Tom Nook. If you want to get the others, you’ll have to wait until the next New Year’s Countdown. With this in mind, make your choice wisely!

The Final Countdown

As the time ticks closer to midnight, be ready! The final countdown will commence one minute before midnight. The villagers will gather around the countdown timer and watch the time go down to the New Year. The timer will beep at every second. When it gets to those exciting final ten seconds, the villagers will wave their light sticks at every second. And then… BAM! At exactly midnight, the clock will strike twelve, and fireworks will light up the sky. Also, don’t miss the fireworks that spell out the numbers of the new year!

Once midnight arrives, there’s a big fireworks show that lasts until 2am. It’s a real celebration! 

Tip: If you want to experience the countdown in Animal Crossing: New Horizons but are unable to, consider altering the time on your Nintendo Switch device so you can watch the New Horizons countdown at a time when you can.

The start of the new year begins with a two-hour fireworks show.

The start of the new year begins with a two-hour fireworks show.

Post-Countdown

On the 1st of January, to make up for the closure of Resident Services, you’ll get 500 miles for interacting with the machine. On the 2nd, you’ll get the bonus you would normally receive for logging in for seven days straight. Also, on the 1st of January, make sure to get up early to see the sun when it rises, a rare once-a-year sighting in New Horizons. It’s a real treat!

Birthdays in December

With a new month comes plenty of birthdays in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Here’s a complete list of all birthdays in December, both villagers and special NPCs. Are any of your villagers on this list?

Date Villager/Character
1st Rooney, Sprocket
2nd Annalise
3rd Claude
4th Robin
5th Carrie, Hans
6th Kyle
7th Buzz, Monty
8th Eloise
9th Becky
10th Tom
11th Sterling
12th Lucha
13th Bianca
14th Freya
15th Chadder
16th Gabi
17th Cousteau
18th Fang
19th Chief
20th Rudy, Digby, Isabelle
21st Blanche
22nd Quillson
23rd Ken
24th Quinn, Jingle
25th Étoile, Ruby
26th Pashmina
27th Goldie
28th Bella
29th Murphy, Vic
30th Hugh
31st Marcel

Bugs, Fish and Sea Creatures in December

It’s getting cold in the north, especially with the snow arriving this month. On the other hand, the south is warming up. This creates some contrasting creatures available to catch in both hemispheres. We’ve already got a guide to bugs, fish and sea creatures in December in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Make sure to check that out if you want to catch every creature to fill up the museum, or if you want to find the most valuable catches to make good money.

Bugs

It’s a quiet month for bugs in the north. There are 3 new bugs to find: the dung beetle, emperor butterfly, and Rajah Brooke’s birdwing. On the other hand, no bugs are leaving the north at all in December.

There’s a lot more bug activity going on in the south in New Horizons. New bugs include the goliath beetle and rainbow stag. The firefly is new too, but will only stick around for December, so catch it while you can! As many bugs are leaving as well as arriving, such as the ladybug, peacock butterfly, and centipede.

The common butterfly won't be so common after December.

The common butterfly won’t be so common after December.

Fish

In the north, fish activity is pretty low-key, same as with the bugs. You can find 5 new fish in the waters, including those huge oarfish and those tiny sea butterflies. Just one fish will be gone after December: the pike.

The southern waters are getting a LOT of new fish. Look out for exotic fish such as the arowana, dorado, and tilapia. Also, the biggest most valuable fish are arriving this month: the sharks! Just the char and cherry salmon will be gone after December.

Sea Creatures

What about those creatures found only in the deep depths in the sea? In the north, there’s just one creepy crawly sea creature arriving: the lobster. Meanwhile, 3 creatures will be going away at the end of the month: the mussel, turban shell, and spiny lobster.

The south, meanwhile, will be getting new creatures in the water, such as the gazami crab and tiger prawn. The chambered nautilus, firefly squid and lobster will no longer be available once December is up.

Say goodbye to the turban shell in the north, as it'll go away after December.

Say goodbye to the turban shell in the north, as it’ll go away after December.

That rounds up everything you need to know about Animal Crossing: New Horizons in December! This final month of the year is packed with activity to keep you busy. What’s your favorite thing about December in New Horizons? Let us know in the comments.