I absolutely LOVE the Christmas season. To me, Christmas is more about spending time with family than it is about presents. I love traditions that create lasting memories and bring us all together.
- Activity Advent Calendar: The most important thing about the holidays, and the thing our children want most from us is our time. With an activity advent calendar you are giving the gift of spending time together. Keep the activities simple–like a picnic under the Christmas tree, a walk around the neighborhood to look at lights, or you can find more ideas + a printable here.
- Go on Candy Cane Hunt: Hide candy canes around your house (or outside) and have your children go on a hunt for them. We like to do this one when my sister and her kids are visiting because the kids have extra fun when they get to candy cane hunt with cousins.
- Santa’s Christmas Eve Pajama Drop Off: We got this Santa bag and fill it with pajamas for everyone. On Christmas Eve when it’s time for the kids to go to bed, they hear the jingle of bells, and on the front porch they find the bag filled with pj’s. Then we all put on our new pj’s and head to bed.
- DIY Polar Express Drive to See Christmas Lights: Create your own Polar Express experience with these free printable tickets. Get your kids in their pajamas, give them the tickets, and tell them they’re going in the Polar Express. Punch their tickets as they load in the car, and have hot chocolate, cookies, and/or popcorn waiting for them to snack on as your drive around town to look at Christmas lights.
- Christmas Tree Campout: Put some blankets and pillows on the floor and go to sleep under the Christmas tree lights.
- Picnic under the Christmas Tree: This is another one of my girl’s favorites. One special night leading up to Christmas, we skip the dining table and eat our dinner under the Christmas tree. Thank goodness for Gathre mats for keep the mess to a minimum! Ha!
- 12 Days of Kindness: Spread kindness this season with 12 Days of Kindness where you do small acts of kindness for friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. You can DIY this yourselves, or I found these adorable kindness elves with the kind acts already planned out. In my opinion, these elves are so much better than Elf on a Shelf.
- Grow Candy Canes: This is such a fun thing to do with your kids who still believe in the magic of Christmas. Have your children “plant” the round, flat peppermint candies. After your children go to bed, switch the mints for candy canes, and when your kids wake up in the morning, they will see that they grew candy canes!!!
- Make reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve: I found this cute poem on Pinterest to go with this: “Sprinkle on your lawn at night. The moon will make it sparkle bright. As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam. This will guide them to your home.” To make the reindeer food, mix oatmeal with glitter or sprinkles if you have little ones who will try to eat it.
- Indoor Snowball Fight: This is fun for both kids and adults, especially if you live somewhere where it doesn’t snow. Buy these soft “snowballs”, place them in the room and yell “snowball fight!” Everyone will be playing and laughing and having the best time!
- Set up a kids Christmas tree: Let your kids set up and decorate their very own Christmas tree.
- Start an Ornament Collection: We chose an ornament theme for each of our girls (Hazel’s is birds and Iris’s in woodland animals), and each year they get a new ornament. By the time they are grown, they will have a beautiful ornament collection.
- Sibling Christmas Shopping Trip: Take your kids on a shopping trip for each other. Help them brainstorm what the other might like, but let them take the lead with this. On Christmas morning, they will get to experience the joy of giving when they see their siblings open the present they bought for them.
- Make Homemade Christmas Presents: Their are so many homemade Christmas gift ideas on Pinterest. Let your child help you choose one to make together.
- Christmas Music Dance Party: Turn on some Christmas music and dance! This is one of my favorite childhood traditions that we have never stopped doing. It’s not Christmas until I’ve danced in the living room to Alan Jackson’s Christmas CD with my dad.
- Winter Walk Around the Neighborhood: Turn some Christmas music on on your phone, and take a festive stroll around your neighbor to look at lights. This is a new tradition we’re starting this year, and in addition to playing Christmas music, we plan to deck our wagon out in twinkle lights, and pass out hot chocolate to a few of our closest neighbors.