Family Matters: 50 fun things to do this Christmas
About this time every year, our family prints out a lengthy list of fun traditions we enjoy doing during the holiday season.
We don’t view this list as a hard-and-fast inventory of “must-do” chores. It simply reminds us of all our options.
If something on the list sounds fun at the moment and we have time to fit it in, we will. If not, we won’t sweat the fact that some of our boxes remain unchecked when Christmas winds to a close.
Since Thanksgiving came early this year, we effectively have an extra week to fit in more fun. And since I’m posting this now, now you will, too!
50 Fun Things to Do this Christmas:
- Take a family photo
- Go Christmas shopping
- Deck the halls – Studies show that people who decorate for Christmas early are happier. I just love it when science validates my personal preferences!
- String popcorn & cranberries for the birds
- Send Christmas cards – Include a newsy letter and let your kids help stamp, sticker, and stuff the envelopes.
- Read A Christmas Carol aloud
- Bake cookies for the neighbors
- Drive around to look at Christmas lights
- Put lights up at your own house – This is on my family’s to-do list today, provided the weather accommodates us!
- Do a random act of kindness
- Make an advent calendar
- Sing “12 Days of Christmas” in rounds – Host a party and assign one verse to each guest!
- Memorize Luke 2:1-20 – My father always read this passage aloud on Christmas morning, and now my husband does the same. After so many hearings, most of the family can quote it from memory.
- Go to a Christmas tree farm – Although we normally put up an artificial tree, we still like to visit tree farms on occasion to get clippings for decorating the banisters and mantle.
- Make homemade ornaments
- Watch Miracle on 34th Street – The 1947 version is our favorite.
- Ring bells for Salvation Army – It’s easy to volunteer for this job: just sign up online.
- Take hot cocoa to other bell ringers – They really appreciate it, especially when the weather is bitter cold!
- Camp out in sleeping bags under your (indoor) Christmas tree
Attend a Christmas concert
- Watch It’s a Wonderful Life –Isn’t it funny how a movie that bombed at the box office could be so beloved by future generations?
- Hang a Christmas wreath on your door
- Put a CD of Christmas music in the car – I have Bing Crosby’s Classic Christmas CD playing in mine right now.
- Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas – This classic children’s book isn’t just for children!
- Hang mistletoe in master bedroom – I like to tie a cluster to the headboard of our bed with a strip of red satin ribbon.
- Drink hot cocoa
- Make fantasy fudge – I use the recipe on the back of the marshmallow creme jar. It’s creamy and delicious!
- Write or call out-of-town friends/family – With Facetime or Skype, it’s the next best thing to having dear ones right in the same room with you.
- Leave a treat in your box for the postman – They deliver your mail in rain, sleet, and snow. Christmas is a great time to show your appreciation.
- Watch White Christmas – Even though it’s rare that we get a real White Christmas here in East Texas, we can dream, can’t we?
- Have a cup of eggnog
- Stage a gift wrapping contest – Who can wrap the most, the fastest, the fanciest, the funniest?
- Go Christmas caroling
- Exchange white elephant gifts
- Work a Christmas puzzle – This is a holiday tradition that has been passed down through many generations in my family, so we complete several favorites every Christmas.
- Make paper chains for the tree
- Make a gingerbread house – We usually buy a kit for this activity (after Christmas, once they’ve all been marked down 50-90%).
- Eat tamales – This is a traditional meal for Latin American posadas, but one we happily adopt. Good homemade tamales are hard to beat (which is why I order ours from somebody who knows what she’s doing).
- Make some luminarias
- Roast chestnuts on an open fire – We got hooked on these in Europe, where they sell them on street corners all winter long. Yum!
- Serve dinner at a soup kitchen
- Watch Elf – This quirky movie makes us laugh every time we watch it. We love Buddy’s take on the four basic food groups: Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup!
- Host a birthday party for Jesus
- Eat a candy cane
- Adopt a new family tradition
- Hang Christmas stockings
- Attend a candlelight service
- Watch Home Alone
- Send thank you notes – Gratitude never goes out of style.
- Pray about New Year’s goals – I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than on your knees.
Jennifer Flanders loves stringing lights, stuffing stockings, singing carols, and celebrating Messiah’s birth all month long. For free, printable versions of her Christmas bucket lists, please visit https://www.flandersfamily.info.