Not much about Christmas has changed since I was a child. I feel shy around Santa Claus, I watch the same ol’ Christmas movies when I decorate the house (I heart Rankin/Bass), and I am an early-early riser on Christmas morning. My husband has been open minded about my Christmas traditions and together we started a few new ones (Elf on the Shelf, family cookie bake off). With our son about to celebrate his first Christmas, traditions both new and old, are important to us.
A fun family activity suggested by numerous moms and mommy blogs, is counting down to Christmas with a special family activity each night. To keep things age appropriate for our young son, I chose to highlight activities that accommodate him as well as entertain my husband and I.
* Make a family ornament: Find an ornament appropriate object, add a little ribbon or a hook, and hang on the tree!
* Check out Christmas lights: Pajamas or not, just put on your coat, hope in the car, and go for a slow drive to admire the Christmas lights and decorations near your home.
* Watch a family friendly Christmas movie: Animated or live action, Christmas movies have a great message to share.
* Take a Christmas photo: Posed or candid, take a shot to capture the holiday spirit.
* Make Christmas decorations: As simple as a little construction paper and glitter, or as complicated as a wood-working project, let the whole family contribute with their efforts and creativity.
* Make Christmas treats: Ah! Candies, cookies, or other tasty holiday snacks.
* Make a gingerbread house: Store bought kits make this an excellent and delicious activity for the whole family.
* Write a letter for Santa: Help your kids with a wish list or perhaps draft a thank you note to leave with the cookies, milk, and carrots on Christmas Eve.
* Read holiday stories together: The Nutcracker, Polar Express, Twas the Night Before Christmas, or even write your own!
* Listen to Christmas music: In the car or at home, enjoy an evening of Christmas tunes.
* Collect unwanted toys and books to donate: Christmas is the season for giving. Gather up any outgrown or unwanted toys and donate them to a family in need, church, or other organization who will find new families for your child’s used toys.
* Make snowflakes: Coffee filters and scissors are all it takes to snip out a few one-of-a-kind snowflakes. Make your home a winter-wonderland.