This time of year is all about togetherness, and what better way to get in the Christmas spirit than by planning meaningful and fun activities with your kids?
I’ve put together a bumper list of 60 awesome activities to do as a family this Christmas season. Take it up a notch and choose your favourite 25 to slip into an advent calendar, so they’re scheduled in – one per day until Christmas! (Find your FREE advent tags printable at the end of this post.)
60 CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
1. Put up the Christmas tree
2. Make a gingerbread house (or if that seems like too much effort, try these no-bake cookie cottages!)
3. Sing Christmas carols together
4. Visit an old age home. Play games or sing them some of the carols you’ve learned.
5. Purge toys and donate them to a thrift store. (A great way to make room for new Christmas toys, as well as encouraging a spirit of giving!)
6. Make and decorate Christmas cookies. Here’s 30 great ideas to get you started.
7. Put together a Christmas music playlist
8. Make home-made ornaments for the tree
9. Stamp or paint your own wrapping paper
10. Read the Christmas story in the Bible
11. Go on a Christmas lights tour
12. Watch a Christmas movie as a family with hot chocolate and popcorn (try these kid-friendly Christmas movies!)
13. Buy a present for an underprivileged child and donate it to the Wishing Tree
14. Do some Christmas baking – eg Christmas pudding truffles, White Christmas, rum balls, fruit mince tarts, Christmas brownies
15. Take boxes of your baked treats to the neighbours
16. Throw a Christmas party for friends and have a Secret Santa gift exchange. For lots of laughs, play with White Elephant rules: put the gifts in a pile in the middle. Go around the circle – each person can either choose to unwrap a new gift, or “steal” a gift someone else has already opened.
17. Browse on Pinterest for Christmas craft ideas and make one together (or try this fabulous list of kid-friendly Christmas crafts!)
18. Make your own Christmas crackers. Have fun filling them with home-made treats or novelty gifts.
19. Light candles and sing Silent Night
20. Do a Christmas family photo shoot
21. Make Christmas cards
22. Purge old or outgrown clothes and donate them to charity.
23. Go to a Christmas parade
24. Have a Christmas dance party to songs like Jingle Bell Rock
25. Make paper snowflakes (Here’s an easy tutorial to make them look amazing!)
26. Make a Christmas wreath
27. Make a life-sized cut-out of the kids on butcher’s paper, write messages on them and mail them in a tube to distant family who won’t be with you for Christmas
28. Write a letter to Santa
29. Make peg angels for the tree
30. Make a personalised bauble for each family member
31. Organise your children’s school artworks, report cards, awards and school photos from the year using a school memory box system
32. Order a photo book of your favourite photos from the year. (Now’s a great opportunity to order personalised photo gifts of the kids for the grandparents as well!)
33. Wrap presents together
34. Have your picture taken with Santa
35. Display the Christmas cards you receive
36. Do a Christmas scavenger hunt in the car
37. Go see a Christmas play or attend a carols service
38. Make a nativity scene. You could use peg people, modelling clay, toilet paper rolls, even Lego – here are 25 great DIY ideas.
39. Put up lights on the house
40. Have a candy-cane hunt
41. Make the Christmas pudding together
42. Plan your Christmas Day menu
43. Make snow globes
44. Read a traditional Christmas story such as “A Christmas Carol”
45. Decorate a Christmas shirt with fabric paints
46. Collect pine cones and spray paint them gold, silver or white, and use them to decorate the house
47. Reflect on the year: what did you do well? What would you change next year? Start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.
48. Make sugared almonds or spiced nuts
49. Make your own gift tags
50. Make a gorgeous, glittering fairy light canvas
51. Make home made gifts for each other
52. Take the kids shopping so they can use their pocket money to buy a small gift for their siblings
53. Make Christmassy hot chocolate – click through for a list of delicious ideas
54. Make “reindeer food” to sprinkle on the lawn. Rolled oats and red glitter is a good combination.
55. Write a list of everything you’re grateful for
56. Have a family memory show – set up a slideshow of photos from the past year and run it through the TV or a projector. Talk about your best memories of 2015 together.
57. Have each family member write down their best memory of the year, and put them in a box. Start a tradition where you take out the memory box on Christmas Eve each year and look over your past memories before adding new ones.
58. Make simple Christmas-scented candles: tie cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs and / or slices of dried orange around a plain white pillar candle with ribbon or twine
59. Turn off the lights, give the kids an electric candle or some glow sticks, sit on a picnic rug in the lounge and watch the Christmas Eve Carols by Candlelight on TV
60. Plan to attend a Christmas Day church service as a family
I’ve taken these ideas and made them into a cute Advent printable for you. Just print the tags on cardstock and cut them out with a paper trimmer, choose the ones you want to use to personalise your 25 days of Advent, then punch a hole and add some ribbon or twine.