Holiday parties and Christmas gifts are wonderful, but that’s only part of the season’s joy. In fact, I’ve found that our family enjoys the good cheer of the season even more when we focus on being together throughout the month. Who says decorations and dessert tables are only for the 25th? Not our family!
Hope you’ll find some new ideas here for your family, too. We don’t do everything on this list every year—no sense going into holiday over-drive!—but here are some of the traditions that help make Christmas meaningful for us.
- Keep track of all your Christmas adventures and plans with these Christmas Planner Pages.
- Kids will love creating these 12 Christmas Ornaments made with Lego.
1. Go to a small-town Christmas parade.
2. Take in a seasonal music program. Usually the local high school has one.
3. Visit a live nativity scene.
4. Make paper snowflakes to put in the windows.
5. Bake cookies. Share them with neighbors and take some to the retirement center and VA Hospital. A fruit basket is usually welcomed there too because not everyone can eat the sugar cookies.
6. Go caroling.
7. Choose someone/s who needs an extra dose of cheer and play Secret Santa.
8. Play in the snow! Building a snowman or fort are easiest but sledding, skating, and skiing are fun too.
9. Make play snow if the real deal doesn’t show.
10. Fill a Christmas shoebox to share with less fortunate kids.
11. Watch a performance of the classic Nutcracker Ballet.
12. Craft day. Sometimes this can go on for days. Make a holiday wreath too. Kids can make a version for their bedroom doors.
13. Read the real Christmas story.
14. Make special name tags for Christmas gifts. Tiny pinecones, jingle bells, and stamps are easy for kids to manage as embellishments. Sometimes we work on wrapping paper too. Potato stamping with paint is kind of messy but fun.
15. Do an advent calendar.
16. Tree day is always special. Some years it has been cut-your-own, but now we have an artificial tree. Decorating is fun and we always share a special treat when we’re finished.
17. Family sleep over on the floor in the room where the tree is. Play games and Christmas music. Leave the tree lights on all night.
18. Construct a gingerbread house—graham crackers and canned frosting make it easy.
19. The second Saturday of December means Holiday Brunch. Decorate the table in holiday finery, only invite favorite guests, wear silly Christmas sweaters and linger over special dishes.
20. Evening read-alouds include classic holiday stories. Do it with character voices.
21. Go to a Festival of Lights. Our local zoo even has one and it’s a real treat to walk through.
22. View Christmas decorations via car tour. We’ve done this one forever. It always includes a thermos of cocoa, cookies and Christmas CDs.
23. Christmas scavenger hunt. This takes some planning but it’s always exciting for kids.
24. Make Christmas cards to send to those serving in the military. Send them along with cookies and other small personal gift items.
25. Dream day. That means give your child a toy catalog and let him mark all the gifts he’d like.
26. Watch old Christmas movies.
27. Attend the Christmas Eve service at church.
Keep kids busy making the perfect holiday craft with these great sources gathered by the crew at Spaceships and Laser Beams.
- 12 Beaded Holiday Charm Bracelet Craft Kits
- Snowman Photo Frame Magnet Craft Kit (12 Count) – Christmas/Crafts for Kids & Photo Crafts
- Kid Friendly Decorate Your Own Holiday Ornament Crafting Kit Makes 30 Ornaments
- Magic Color Scratch Christmas Tree Ornaments (24 Count) – Crafts for Kids & Ornament Crafts
- Button Wreath Ornament Craft Kit – Crafts for Kids & Ornament Crafts, Makes 12
- Legend Of The Gingerbread Man Ornament Craft Kit – Crafts for Kids & Ornament Crafts
- CHRISTMAS CHARACTER PHOTO ORNAMENT CRAFT KIT/1 DOZEN/6 1/2 INCHES TALL
- Beaded Candy Cane Ornament Craft Kit – Crafts for Kids & Ornament Crafts
- 72 Christmas Holiday Glitter Temporary Tattoos
- Kinzd® 27PCs Party Supplies Props Christmas Favors Tree Gift Star Heart Die Cut with Sticks and Glue
- Inflatable Reindeer Antler Ring Toss Game-Holiday Party
- CHRISTMAS Toys and Novelty assortment (50 pc)
Check out more fun ideas kids will love.
- 11 Cute Christmas Crafts for Kids
- 18 Christmas Handprint and Footprint Crafts
- 28 Christmas Crafts made from Toilet Paper Rolls