I know Thanksgiving is this week. A lot of people don’t want to talk about Christmas until after. BUT… my family loves the holiday season- all the traditions, activities and magical outings full of lights. So it is never too early to print out the Christmas bucket list. I’m always excited about going through it with my family throughout the holiday season, checking activities off as we complete them. It is such a fun way to approach the holiday!
In 2020, traditions were a little different. There were still many great traditions and some new ones that defined that year. We didn’t have an official template for Santa letters, but started them that year as part of our bucket list. I tuck them into a box at the end of the holiday to collect for when they get older.
*The Christmas Bucket List AND a Dear Santa Letter Template have been added to the resource library. Subscribe to the email list below to gain access!
Ultimate Christmas Bucket List
1) Look at Christmas Lights
Nothing says magic and Christmas like a great light display! Some places are requiring reservations to ensure social distancing. Make sure you check out your local places to make plans.
2) Hot Chocolate Bar
This is one of our traditions when we put up our Christmas tree. We get the works- peppermint, marshmallows, whipped cream, different flavors and fancy mugs. My boys go crazy for it. You can host some friends outside for a nice gathering.
3) Matching Holiday Pajamas
I love some matching pajamas! These are the Dear Deer Hanna Anderson pajamas. But I’ve seen some adorable ones at Target, Kohl’s, Old Navy and Macy’s.
4) Go Sledding
With young kids, a small hill is all you need to make this an exciting adventure. We grabbed some sleds randomly at a local toy store one year.
5) Decorate a Gingerbread House
There are kits everywhere for gingerbread houses and I’m HERE FOR IT! We’ve done this the last few years and it’s always a fun afternoon activity.
6) Christmas Tree Shopping
Buying a real tree is an event! Have your kids help you pick out their favorite. Inhale those natural pine smells and make it an adventure.
7) Bake Christmas Cookies
We have some basic shapes that we use every year for sugar cookies. Last year we decorated with friends, but we can still have fun with them on our own!
8) Donate Toys
Multipurpose- getting ready for an influx of Christmas toys, and also getting your kids in a mindset of giving. It’s important to give back during this season as well.
9) Make a Homemade Ornament
Buying a yearly ornament or making one is a great tradition. I have an ornament from every year of my life and I love taking them out and showing my kids. So we have continued that with our family.
10) DIY Gifts for the Family
Continuing the idea that our children should think of giving and not just want they want. Small children can give gifts to their family! These are some of our favorite toddler homemade gifts and gifts older kids can make.
11) Watch Christmas Movies
I love Christmas movies! They make great family night activities. We are starting off this season with a new movie on Netflix called “Jingle Jangle”, but we’ll watch at least one classic a week throughout the season.
12) Ice Skating
Great family event or a special date night for mom and dad! I remember going on an ice skating date before kids and it was so much fun to just enjoy it as adults.
13) Sing Christmas Carols
Like Christmas movies, nothing gets you in a more festive mood than Christmas music. Get the family to sing together.
14) Decorate Christmas Cookies
Get all the glitter sprinkles, dot candy, and colored icing tubes to decorate a batch of Christmas cookies.
15) Put up the Christmas Tree
Pull out all of the old ornaments and talk about them, have the kids lead the charge on decorating and maybe drink hot cocoa and listen to Christmas music at the same time!
16) Acts of Kindness
Are there more intentional ways to give back as a family? Donate money to a charity, volunteer at a soup kitchen or make kindness baskets for neighbors. Lots of little ways to get involved.
17) Eat Dinner under the Christmas Tree
Have a picnic dinner underneath the tree! Or think outside the box in other ways. Kids are happy with such simple things- like eating dinner somewhere new or just getting a chance to be silly.
18) Build a Snowman
Use those snow storms for good use and build a snowman! Or have a snowball fight. If no snow, make a snowman or snowflake craft and hang in your windows.
19) Make a Family Christmas Playlist
Decide which are the absolute favorite family Christmas songs and make your own Spotify playlist.
20) Read Christmas Books
We have a stack of Christmas books that get tucked away with our other decorations every year and we add at least one more a year. They become our nightly readings for the month.
21) Create Christmas Crafts Together
Especially for 2020, crafts are a great way to bond and pass time as a family. If you don’t know where to start, there are SO many craft kits now. I’ve found some great ones at Michael’s.
22) Take Family Photos
If Santa pictures are not in the cards this year, can you take family pictures in front of your tree? Or outside? Maybe in your holiday pajamas or dressed up.
23) Write Letters to Santa
As I mentioned above, I created a template for my boys and have added it to the resource library. (Free for email subscribers, sign up below!) Fun memory to pack away for when they are older.
24) Roast Marshmallows in your Fireplace
Roast marshmallows in a fire- maybe you have a fire pit outside or just in your fireplace.
What other fun ideas do you have to add to your Christmas Bucket List? Sending all the positive energy to you and your loved ones!
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