We’re jingling all the way to Christmas day! Can you believe there are only 13 days until the biggest holiday of the year!? I still have so much to do; last minute Christmas shopping (see my gift guide if you’re in the same boat!), getting all the food together… the list goes on! I’m sure many of you feel the same way I do. Sometimes though, I need to remind myself to take a step back and remember what matters most: spending time with my family! One of the best ways to do this is by creating traditions with fun Christmas activities.
Some of my best memories from childhood were during the holiday seasons. My parents would always find fun Christmas activities for me and my siblings to do as kids, I remember them making Santa noises while we pretended to be sleeping so we got even more excited. Now that I’m older, I want to give the same experience of Christmas activities and holiday traditions to Diego and my family! The holidays are always a magical time of year for everyone and I want Diego to experience that. I want his memories to last a lifetime like mine did! There are so many holiday activities that I want to do to make this time of year special for Diego, and picking out a few is hard to do. However, I know that doing it as a family will make it make special no matter what. This year I want to start making our own traditions. I want Diego to remember our Christmas with as much love as I remember mine.
I have a few ideas on what I want to do this year for Diego to make it extra special for him and a few other unique traditions that you can put your own spin on and do in your family as well!
Christmas Activities for Kids
Elf on the Shelf – This looks like such a fun activity and you can get SO creative with it! I’ve seen so many people put their elves around the house in clever ways! Some of my favorites are when the elves are put in the kitchen making Christmas Cookies, but there are so many other things you can do to tell a story! I would love to see Diego’s face as he looks for the elf every morning! There is even a cute story that goes along with it! You can start your own Elf on the Shelf journey by getting one
Christmas Lights Show
This is a personal favorite of mine! The area where we live has some AMAZING light shows to visit. One specifically in Arizona that is amazing is Illumination Symphony of Light, a drive-through light show. I’ll pack up some healthy snacks for Diego and hot cocoa for Dustin and me, turn on some Christmas music, and enjoy the scenery. This is also a great way to slow down and enjoy the season as a family! It’s easy to get caught up in the commotion of trying to get gifts and finish last minute projects at work but driving through beautiful colorful lights is a great way to slow down and connect with the ones you love.
Reindeer Pancakes for Breakfast
I love making Christmas morning breakfast fun! What better way to do that than with Rudolf-inspired pancakes! Dustin will be making these, he loves cooking way more than I do. All you need is
- Cassava Pancakes
- Turkey Bacon
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Trader Joe’s Brand is Vegan!)
Using the pancakes as the face, take the turkey bacon and position pieces to look like the antlers. Then, use the dark chocolate chips to make eyes and mouth. For the finishing touch, a red strawberry for the nose! Set up the table the night before with pretty plates, silverware, and table decor so all you have to do is make your breakfast the morning of!
Veggies for Vixen
Santa always gets the credit for Christmas day, but what about the reindeer that get him where he needs to go? This year I plan on showing the reindeer (because he loved animals) some love by cutting up veggies to set out with Santa’s cookies. Chop up some carrots, celery, and any other reindeer treats, and set them next to Santa’s cookies! Don’t forget to put them next to the fireplace so they’re easy to find. (Tip: if you do not have a fireplace, Netflix has a show that can make your TV look like a fireplace!) Not only will this promote the delicious veggies, but it will add to the Christmas mystery that is Santa Claus.
Sharing Cookies With Neighbors
The holiday season is all about giving to others. One fun way to do this and to get the kids involved is to bake some cookies and bring a few to your neighbors! Bake some sugar cookies (GF hahah) in fun holiday shapes! Think trees, stars, bells, etc. Then, bring your kids into it and let them decorate with colorful frosting and sprinkles. After you’ve decorated them all, package them in a cute bag with a little tag that reads something like “Happy Holidays! From your neighbors”. Finally, go down and knock on your neighbor’s doors and watch their face light up as your children hand them the gift! This is a great opportunity to remind teach the kids about giving during the holiday season.
Unique Christmas Activities and Holiday Traditions
You don’t have to follow the traditions that I’ll do this year! Thinking outside of the box for holiday activities is 100% allowed. Below are a few unique holiday traditions that you and your family are sure to love. You can even put your unique spin on it to make the season extra special!
Sometimes it’s better to give experiences and create memories than it is to give gifts. Giving experiences not only creates memories, but it allows you to reconnect with the individual you are giving to! The other day on my Instagram stories, I asked you all to share with me what your holiday traditions were. One of you shared that you get massages on a certain day with some friends. I love this idea! Setting aside a time to do something fun (or relaxing!) with your loved ones can be so much more meaningful than a gift! This is also a great option if you are going through a rough financial season. Offer to take your sister hiking at the trail you’ve always talked about. Or set aside a night to watch that one movie you’ve always wanted to see with your mom. Whatever you decide, you both get what you want in the end. Quality time.
Christmas Eve Pajamas
Diego gets so excited to open his gifts, so one great tradition to begin is opening up one gift on Christmas Eve! Once your kiddo has their jammies on (see some of my favorite below!) for the night, bring them by the tree and let them pick one present to open! Then, let them play with the gift for a while before going to bed. This makes the Christmas excitement last a little bit longer! Pair it with some hot cocoa and popcorn and evening is perfect haha!
Christmas time is the perfect time to look back on the year and remember all the memories. On Christmas Eve, you can make a slideshow on your phone with iMovie of all the photos in the past year and show them on the TV so the family can see. Whether it was a trip to Hawaii that you took, your son’s second birthday, or just funny selfies, reflecting on the achievements in the past year is a great way to go into the season with a joyful spirit. It’s also a great time to reflect on what New’s Year’s resolutions you’ve kept and what you may want to do for the new year!
Chances are you’ve already decorated your tree by now, but is there room for one more?! Make your kiddo feel extra special by letting them decorate an ornament for the tree! This craft is great because it doesn’t take a super long time, but they will love being able to contribute to the ornament collection. All you need is:
Have them paint a Christmas related image like a snowman, Christmas tree, or just red and green dots on the ornament! Once they’ve dried completely, let them choose a spot on the tree to show off their work!
Looking to switch up your traditional Christmas activities for this year? Consider volunteering within your community this season! This is a great way to show your kiddos and remind yourself that this holiday season is as much (or even more!) about giving than receiving. Some places that you could volunteer would be:
- The local food bank
- Homeless Shelter
- Animal Shelter
Look online to see where local volunteer opportunities are in your town!