Christmas is such a magical time of the year. People are happier, jollier, and merrier during this special season. If you’d like to spice up your holiday season with some new traditions for you and your children, keep reading this post and I’ll share 25 ways to do just that. It’s so good that you may want to check it twice.
Attend a tree lighting ceremony
I decided to place this activity first because it normally occurs at the very beginning of December as a way to kick off the Christmas season. You will have to do a little bit of research to find one in your area, but if you do, this can be an enjoyable thing to take the entire family too. Most children enjoy all of the lights that are involved in these ceremonies and can make for a great tradition that your family looks forward too every single year.
Decorate a gingerbread house
Gingerbread houses are a staple for Christmas time and there are a few ways to enjoy this activity. So, whether you decide to get one for the entire family to decorate together or indulge by getting one for each person so that you can have a decorating contest – this activity is sure to be a “treat” for all members involved.
Buy Christmas gifts for a child in need
Christmas time is about spreading love, joy, and good cheer. If you know someone in need, there are several ways to help out. You can have your children buy new toys for children, volunteer to give one of their Christmas gifts to someone in need, or have them package up their older, gently used toys to individuals less fortunate than themselves. By starting this tradition early with your children, you are teaching them valuable life lessons about how to not only be a great citizen, but how to be an excellent humanitarian as well. It feels great to give – help your children experience this feeling early on and you’ll be happy you did.
Music brings joy to the soul and just about EVERYONE sings (maybe not well, but we all know how to do it). So, whether you decide to partake in this activity by singing for your neighbors, going to a local nursing home, or just bellowing out some amazing notes for your family in the living room – make it a point to SING. YOUR. HEART. OUT. I can guarantee that you’ll make someone smile, even if it’s just yourself.
Go ice skating
Ice skating is a great activity that helps bring about the feeling of winter and Christmastime – especially for native Texans like myself where the cold weather is scarce and the snow scarcer. Have some fun gliding on the ice with your family and don’t be afraid to fall a few times. When things don’t go perfectly as you planned, it makes for better memories. So, enjoy yourself with this one.
Watch a Christmas movie
The great thing about watching movies is that they are usually FREE and it makes for an incredible tradition. There are several variations to this activity. You can choose to watch a different Christmas themed movie every night before bed to help bring some more Christmas cheer to your home. Or you can have a designated night where the family comes together to watch a specific movie – then you can add to your night by having a discussion with your children about the story line and what lessons they learned from the movie. There are several ways to find “teachable” moments in the midst of having a good time.
Wear matching Christmas pajamas
This one brings a smile to my face because I LOVE MATCHING, but my husband doesn’t lol (he prefers us coordinating with colors instead). So, this is the ONE TIME of year that I can get away with having our entire family in the same ensemble – he he he! Whether you decide to let your children choose the outfits or you pick them out yourself, be sure to have some fun!
Make hot chocolate from scratch
It is always nice to have a warm drink in hand during this season of the year because the weather is much colder. And what better way to get all warm and cozy than to drink some hot chocolate… FROM SCRATCH! While this activity may take a little longer than making an instant cup – the time you spend engaging in this activity will excite your taste buds and help build lasting memories or traditions. Go ahead and grab your cup, chocolate, sugar, milk, marshmallows, and enjoy!
Volunteer at your local food bank
Food can be so comforting, yet so many people in our society don’t always have this essential source readily available to them in their lives. If you can make some time for your family to head on over to your local food bank to volunteer, you’ll get a better picture of how blessed you truly are. Perspective has a way of changing things even when our circumstances stay the same.
Make your own advent calendar
There are several ways to create your own advent calendar. The key to making this one work for you and your family is to figure out how many days you want to engage in activities before Christmas day! You can choose to do something every day leading up to the special holiday, every other day, or just on the weekends but the key is doing SOMETHING and getting everyone involved.
Bake Christmas cookies
This one is near and dear to my heart as this is something that I remember doing EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. as a kid (and maybe as an adult with my mom). Something about the aroma of freshly baked cookies in the air just makes my heart happy! You can bake them from scratch or buy some that you throw in the oven and have fun decorating them. Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it. And remember – only you can be the judge on whether you are going to let your kid lick the cookie dough off of the spoon or not.
Drive around and look at Christmas lights
People tend to spend a lot of time decorating both the interior and exterior of their homes at this time of year. If you want some inspiration or just want to get into the Christmas spirit, load your kids up into the vehicle, pack some snacks and some of that homemade hot chocolate from activity 8 and take a drive.
Attend a live showing of The Nutcracker
This activity has been on my bucket list during my “adulthood” years for a while now. I hope to make this one a reality this year with the entire family! If you can find a way to include your entire family for this classic – give it a try. If not, you can always create your own homemade rendition right in the center of your living room. Regardless of you what you decide, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Go on a Polar Express train ride
A magical thing about Christmas is the opportunity you have to dream big dreams again and use the imagination of a child to see the world in a better light. If there is a Polar Express train ride for you to experience near where you live, I definitely encourage you to do just that. However, if you don’t, feel free to get creative with your little ones and make your own. Grab some sidewalk chalk, cotton balls, a wagon, hot chocolate, a hat, and the book and enjoy your own adventure on a cold winter night. You’ll be happy you did.
Make a new Christmas decoration
From wreaths to ornaments, there are several crafts for the entire family to enjoy. Take some time and let your creative juices flow.
Lend a helping hand
Make a meal, watch someone’s children so they can shop, relax, etc… whatever it is, take some time to help someone else around you during this busy season.
Cut or pick a Christmas tree
This one makes for a great tradition for the entire family to enjoy. I recommend going to a tree farm at least one year to experience cutting down your own Christmas tree. It is really an exciting activity to take part in and has the potential to really bring you and your loved ones together. If you have limitations that hinder you from cutting down your own tree, come together as a family and pick out an artificial one that fits your needs. Don’t be afraid to get some input from your children too!
Visit a nativity scene
In the Martin household, we love visiting our local “drive thru” nativity scene that is brought to life in the annual presentation of “Bethlehem City” that West Conroe Baptist Church hosts.It is such a nice event to attend because we get to stay in the vehicle with our little ones, while sipping on hot chocolate and eating good candy canes that the church provides and drive through the “Bethlehem City” at night as the lights shine bright.
And although we aren’t members of this particular church, we love the presentation that they put on as a gift to the community. If you are near the Conroe area, I definitely recommend that you check this one out. If you aren’t close by, my recommendation is that you search for a good presentation near you to bring a different perspective of Christmas to mind.
Smile and tell someone you love them
The Christmas season is all about joy, peace, love, and hope for every man, woman, boy, and girl. Although the true meaning of Christmas can get lost in the hustle and bustle of what society has created, you can be the difference in your world that someone desperately needs by intentionally smiling at someone and genuinely telling them that you love them!
Roast chestnuts on an open fire
“The Christmas Song” that has graced the ears of millions in our society by bringing about the feeling of Christmas is what inspired me to include this activity on this list! There are several ways to roast chestnuts over an open fire. Feel free to get creative by creating a fire indoors or outdoors (always remember to use the proper safety precautions and be present as an adult to keep the fire under control). You can also choose to enhance the flavor of your chestnuts with different seasonings including, but not limited to cinnamon, rosemary, nutmeg, and sugar. You may have to try this activity a few times before you find what works for you. Just remember to enjoy the process and have fun!
Visit your local Christmas market
Christmas markets are filled with all things Christmas and will get all of your senses in full gear for the magical holiday. You can shop and support local small businesses and find some exceptional finds that you otherwise might not find in your local mall or big box stores. Don’t forget to grab a camera or your phone so that you can document your experience!
Have a family game night
Family game nights are a great way to bring some laughter, joy, and hearty fun into your home during the holiday season. Gathering together to play a game that everyone can agree on has a way of strengthening bonds, creating unison, and bringing some good ‘ole cheer into the hearts of you and your loved ones!
Make your own snow globe
Snowfall in any capacity has a magical effect whether it be the actual sight occurring outdoors or inside the classic snow globe. Engaging in this activity by creating one all on your own allows you to use your imagination and bring your own snow globe to life. This activity is nice because of its simplicity in the supplies that you need. To make your snow globe come to life, you can use just about any jar with a lid, water and/or glycerin, glitter, and whatever else your heart desires! Place everything together, shake it up, and viola! You just created your very own homemade snow globe for your family to enjoy!
Start a new tradition
Use this list as inspiration or just let your creative juices flow! Have fun with this one – just make sure that you determine to do it (or something like it) annually so that it’s actually a tradition!
Take family Christmas pictures
Have you ever heard the saying, “The days are long, but the years are short”? I’m not sure who to give credit to for this profound statement but as a mom of two little ones, I can say that this is so true in my life, so this activity helps solidify my memories of my family every year. I love being able to capture brief moments in time at each stage of my babies lives. You can choose to take professional pictures yearly at this time or just get some snapshots with your phone. Whatever you decide, make sure you take the time to create memories that you can hold onto! If you’d like some inspiration, you can take a look at ours from last year below!! We’ve got this year’s photo shoot already scheduled!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have any additional suggestions for wholesome activities that families can enjoy during this season, you can leave them in the comments section below! I truly hope that you have a very Merry Christmas during this special holiday season!