Start a fun, simple and heartwarming Christmas tradition with your kids or grandkids. Every year I organize a fun 12 days of Christmas List for my kids. It is an exciting way for our family to spend time together each day and to celebrate the Holiday without breaking the bank.
Each year I come up with a fun way to present the activity calendar. Here are a few ways I have used in the past.
- I made a garland of paper stockings and wrote each day’s fun activity on the back. Each Evening the kids would flip over the stocking and find out that night’s evening of fun.
- One year I made cards and placed them inside envelopes. Each envelope was labeled with a number on it. Each night the kids had an envelope to open that revealed the surprise activity.
- Another year I purchased tiny gift bags and placed a card inside each one. Each night the kids would take turns opening a bag to see what fun thing we were going to do.
- Once I made an advent calendar so each night they opened a small door that lead to the listed activities.
- One year that I had a little more time and was a little more organized, I purchased medium sized gift bags (or recycled ones I had saved from previous Christmas gift wrappings), and placed the items needed for that nights activity along with a letter stating the nights activity and a short description of it.
However you choose to make your tradition one to remember for years to come, whether you use one of my previous ideas or come up with your own, enjoy yourself and the special time with your family!
I have included a few free printable links throughout!
I print or cut them out using card stock for durability.
Here are 12 of my favorite fun activities we have done!
- Name Snowflakes– The kids were really excited to see their names in the snowflakes. We had to do this one twice as the first time it did not work out! (Folding error) Here is step by step instructions.
- Handmade Christmas Cards- Before sitting down with your store bought box of Christmas cards, have your kids/grandkids make a bunch of beautiful cards to send out. If you don’t send out cards, think about having them make them for the local nursing home, fire department or children’s hospital.
- Handmade gift tags– Make it a tradition, as we did, that your kids/grandkids hand make the gifts they hand out to friends and family. This gives them pride in their gift and it holds more meaning. What goes better with a handmade gift than a handmade gift tag! Free printable for the kids to start with.
- Handmade Christmas Tree Ornaments– We have done this one a few different ways. One year we purchased the plastic bulb ornaments from Walmart and decorated them. Another year they we given 10 mins to search the house for items that could be recycled. We used those items to make the ornaments.
- Indoor snowball fight– I made each one of my kids a “Santa Sack” filled with 12 snowballs each. Every year we spend one of our 12 fun activity nights throwing snowballs at each other. You don’t have to deal with the cold and slushy mess and the handmade balls are soft enough that they do not hurt or break things around the house. If you would like an Indoor snowball kit, you can let me know. I would be happy to have them at HandCrafted Prosperity again.
- Random acts of Kindness– Last year my family set out to make Christmas a little extra special for a deserving family with our 12 Days of Christmas Service Project. I was excited to share one of my cherished holiday traditions as a child with my children and make it part of our Christmas season. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, an overwhelming amount of catalogs and commercials promoting the latest and greatest toys it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas and the spirit of giving; which is why I love this service project night idea so much. It gives us the opportunity to talk to our children about service and helping others and actually put it into action. My kids loved this last year .There are so many different little kindness acts that kids can do. Simple ones like making cards for the elderly to volunteering at the local food pantry. One fun idea was a donation box, I gave each one of my kids a box to decorate and make look festive. They were then asked to go through their toy boxes and pull out all the toys they no longer play with. We explained to them that they were not throwing away these toys; they were giving them to other children who may not get presents this year.
- Game night- Pull out all your board games and get ready to have a fun filled evening of games. Turn off your phones and TV, put on your Christmas music and GAME ON! One of our favorites is Christmas Charades. See below for charade card ideas.
- Bake Christmas Cookies- We normally bake a ton of sugar cookies cut-out with our Christmas cookie cutters. The kids are then allowed to decorate them however they want. I make a small buffet of different colored icing and sprinkles for them to use. This year we are going to try these Stained Glass Cookies along with cactus shaped gingerbread cookies! (Because we will be in Arizona this year)
- Hot Cocoa around the Christmas Tree- I start by making a Hot Cocoa buffet with little things the kids can add to their cup of cocoa; mini chocolate chips, peppermint candies, marshmallows, whipped cream ect… They add the items they want to their cocoa and we turn off all the light except the tree light and we sit around the Christmas tree enjoying our custom Cocoa.
- Christmas Movie Night- This one has been played out a few ways at our house. We have done a Christmas movie marathon night (watched all the Christmas movies we own), we have done a GRINCH night where we watched the movie The Grinch while eating green chocolate chip cookies and drinking green milk, or you can start a tradition of watching the same movie every year.
- Holiday Lights Tour- This is another one that we add to our list every year. I make up little packages for the kids that include: one Berry Merry Express Ticket, a drink (In a cup with a lid), a small bag of popcorn or other treat and a new pair of pajamas. While the kids get into their jammies I wait for them at the car, they hand me their tickets and ALL ABOARD they go. We drive around for a few hours listening to Christmas music and checking out all the outside light displays around town.
- Christmas Story Night- We usually save this one for Christmas Eve. We get into our pajamas and we sit down to read all the Christmas books we have. We save The Night before Christmas for last and let the kids go to sleep with all the magical thoughts in their heads.