We’ll readily admit Christmas is one of our favorite times of year—the music! the desserts! the candlelit Christmas services!—but it’s harder to admit how distracted we often feel during the holidays. There are presents to buy, boxes to wrap, cookies to bake, relatives to visit, parties to attend, and there’s less time to slow down and enjoy the season with the ones closest to us. We wanted to come up with a list of fun things to do with our families in order to be present this season. We asked our team for fun ideas for kids of all ages (even the grown up ones).
So if you want to spend some quality time with your family this Christmas season, here are some ideas to help you make the most of it:
- Settle in for a holiday classic movie night, complete with popcorn and hot chocolate.
- Announce a gingerbread house competition, and allow the older kids to take the final creations to social media to determine the winner via outside votes.
- Pick up holiday goodies, and spend time passing them out at a nursing home or retirement community.
- Host a bake off with other families to see who can whip up the most scrumptious cookies. (Just don’t forget the milk.)
- Scout your community for a live nativity event. Children of all ages will love the addition of real animals to the story of Jesus’ birth.
- Pass out new pajamas on Christmas Eve, and include all the pillars of the best pajama parties: dance music, board games, movies, and snacks.
- Gather friends and surprise your neighbors with Christmas carols and candy canes.
- Leave perfection behind and get your kids involved in the present wrapping by laying out lots of different wrapping paper, bows, and tags.
- Host a food-themed gift exchange with nothing over $5. You’ll end up with tasty and not-so-tasty treats like chocolate, Starbucks gift cards, sardines, and weird candy no one actually likes.
- Don your fleeciest pajamas and boots, and pile into the car for some Christmas light spotting.
- Pick out a child from an Angel Tree or a local ministry to buy presents for and spend an evening picking out gifts.
- Have your kids write letters to family, friends, or troops serving overseas during the holidays.
- Craft paper crowns out of leftover wrapping supplies, and talk about the wise men who visited baby Jesus.
- Shake up homemade snow globes using canning jars from your own shelves.
- Hand out coffee gift cards to librarians, mail carriers, church staff, and the men and women who pick up your trash and recycling.
- Smear peanut butter onto pinecones and sprinkle with birdseed for birds that have trouble finding food in the winter.
- Cut snowflakes out of white paper or coffee filters.
- String popcorn and cranberries into garland for the tree or mantle, and encourage the popcorn snacking.
- Take treats to a local animal shelter, and spend some time walking the furry creatures without homes. (Just prepare to be hit up for a puppy for Christmas!)
- Before the chaos of Christmas morning, take time to read the Christmas story and thank God for His countless blessings throughout the year. (May this be a tradition that sticks!)
What are your family’s favorite Christmas activities?