Growing up, Christmas was such a special time in my family – and it continues to be my most favorite time of year now that I have kids of my own. There’s something so magical about the holidays and it’s so fun to see the enjoyment through the eyes of little ones.
This year, I’m especially excited to welcome the month of December because I have 25 days of activities planned for my girls! That’s right, instead of 25 pieces of chocolate (of course, kids love that, too!), we’re doing an advent calendar filled with experiences and activities. Below, I’ll share a few of my favorite ideas to help you start some fun holiday traditions with family!
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Decorate a Gingerbread House
This is such a simple idea that kids love! The best thing about this activity is that your kids can decide how they want to decorate it. I don’t know about your kids, but my 4-year-old is really into independence right now and she likes to do things “her” way! While I tend to stay in charge of our Christmas decor, I want to give her a little bit of leeway to decorate in her own style – and letting her take charge of the gingerbread house is one way to do this. If you’re not into building your own gingerbread house, I saw a pre-assembled version at Target – which means all your kids have to do is decorate it!
Deck the Halls (and Bedrooms, too!)
I always had a mini Christmas tree in my bedroom growing up, so I wanted to continue that tradition for my girls. I wanted to let them have a little bit of fun with it, since most of our decorations are really traditional, so my oldest has a white tree with pink lights and my youngest has a gold tree with white lights – matching their room decor, but with a fun punch of color! You can find really inexpensive mini trees and accessories at Target and Hobby Lobby.
Christmas Light Tour
One of my favorite holiday traditions with family! Some cities have really big Christmas light tours that you can purchase tickets for; but that’s not what I’m talking about here. This “experience” is all about cheap thrills – grab some hot cocoa (or coffee, if you’re an exhausted parent! ha) and hop in the car to drive around and look at the pretty lights on homes in your area. Some people really go all out with holiday lights, so you just might stumble upon something magical! Sometimes, you can even find out about big light displays from social media or your local news – a few years ago, we went to see a house in our area that was decked out as Clark Griswold’s house…and we wouldn’t have known it existed if it weren’t for Instagram!
25 Books of Christmas
Another one of my personal favorite holiday traditions with family – reading a Christmas book with your kids before bed every night. I actually purchased most of our holiday-themed books secondhand from eBay (sooo much cheaper!), but you can also check out books from the library if you want to make this a cost-free activity. I like to do a mix of religious and holiday fun books – so my girls understand the reason for the holidays, but also to have a little fun and let them experience the ‘magical’ side of Christmas while they’re still young and believe in Santa. You can check out the 25 books we’ll be reading this year right here.