{25+ family christmas activities} includes free printable

The best part of Christmas isn't Christmas morning.  Don't get me wrong--I absolutely love the magic of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and seeing the joy in my children's faces as they tiptoe down the stairs, see the tree lit with all the presents underneath it, peek into their stockings for the first time, and open that one gift that they've been praying for (and that I've been dying to give them).  For me, it's everything that leads up to that morning--all the wrapping, shopping, decorating, baking, reading, light-seeing, concerts, plays, parties, craft-making, snuggly movie & popcorn nights, secret santa runs, visits with family & friends, and more.  I love the journey as much as or more than the destination, and I love how it brings out little family closer and establishes much-loved traditions.

You all know I love advent calendars, and one of my favorites ways to count down the first 25 days of December is with a fun family activity each day. It doesn't have to be fancy, cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time to prepare--sometimes the most most simply activities are the best ones! My kids absolutely love this, and they look forward to each morning when they find out what we'll be doing that day. Many of these things very likely are activities your family will be doing anyway, but planning it out, and making it a surprise changes everything!

Crunched for time? To help make it easier,  I've compiled a list of some of our favorites, and ones that I plan to include this year for our family. In addition, I  included some general labels, that might be easier to fit more families' needs--i.e. "attend concert or play" or "attend party".  I also created a printable sheet of labels--one activity per label--that you can either print on labels, or on cardstock.  If you use the labels, you can mat them on cardstock or scrapbook paper and cut them out.  If you print them on cardstock, just cut them out!

You can place them in special envelopes or in another advent, or even write it on a family chalkboard or whiteboard for all to see each morning. I plan to use mine in the paper sack advent I posted about last week...and I'm SO excited!!!

1. Act out the Nativity & read the Christmas story
2. Make homemade hot chocolate
3. Christmas movies & popcorn
4. Make & decorate sugar cookies
5. Go Christmas shopping as a family
6. Drive to see Christmas lights
7. Go ice skating
8. Have snowman pancakes for dinner!
9. Make paper snowflakes & hang in windows
10. Write letters to Santa
11. Deliver treats to neighbors & friends
12. Make& decorate gingerbread houses
13. Invite friends over for a Christmas sing-a-long!
14. Baking Day!
15. Visit Santa
16. Deliver treats to local fire stations
17. See the Nutcracker ballet
18.  Go for a winter walk
19.  Stuff & stamp Christmas cards
20.  Gather friends to go Christmas caroling at a local nursing home
21. Make Christmas crafts
22. Make a snowman (inside OR outside!)
23. Family Game Night!
24. Make reindeer food!
25. Secret Santa night
26. Attend Christmas concert, play, or performance
27. Decorate Christmas tree
28. Go to library and check out Christmas books
29. Attend Christmas party
30. Make handmade ornaments

To download the Word file to print as labels (Avery 15160, 1 x 2.63 or compatible) :  HERE

To download the PDF file to print on cardstock: click HERE

To download the psd file for photoshop, so you can create your own images:  click HERE 

Merry Christmas, and Happy Countdown!!!

{kierste}

Simply Kierste
Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and most of her posts revolve around making her home a beautiful, organized, and fun place to be. When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.
Simply Kierste

@simplykierste

Blogger at Simply {Kierste}: Where you can find simple ideas and tutorials for DIY projects, holiday crafts, home & family, organization, recipes, and more!
Simply Kierste
Simply Kierste

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comments

  1. Thank you so much for these printables! We always do our own homemade advent calendar, and in fact I usually do a lot of these same activities on it – but these printables are going to save me a ton of work this year! Love it!

    Stephanie

  2. Love these ideas! When my girls were younger, we’d have all their friends over for Polar Express night — they’d all wear their jammies, drink hot chocolate with candy cane stirrers while I read the book (along with other holiday-themed children’s books) aloud. Then they’d each get a “reindeer bell” tied with red ribbon when they went home. We use all those sweet leftover bells to decorate our tree.

  3. simply {kierste} says:

    I really love that idea, Amy!! I just might have to try that with my girls…

    Thanks for sharing!!! XO

  4. I share your exact feelings about Christmas. To me it is the season, I love to fill the 25 days with festive memories, like you the purchasing and making of gifts for others, wrapping, decorating, making our own decorations, endless Christmas baking etc. I have a number of advent calendars on the go all at the same time, each provides something special for the kids to do. We have a Christmas book advent, a little treat advent, a Christmas activity advent and a charity or giving advent. I try to be organised by December 1 so I can sit back and enjoy this magical time with my family. xx

  5. Amy Carter says:

    Thanks so much. This is a great time saver and a lot of fun. I appreciate your hard work to make my life easy! Happy Holidays.

  6. Hi again Kierste, just to add to your list of advent activities, we also make our own Christmas bon bons/crackers (not sure if these are as widely used in the US as they are here in Australia), make teachers gifts, make our own Christmas cards, I try to have at least 5 different Christmas baking days for our own consumption and for gifts, make chocolates for gifts and we try to make a number of decorations including polystyrene Christmas baubles, cardboard Christmas trees, pinecone craft and pop stick stars etc. The list of activities requires a lot of organisation, making sure all supplies are on hand for the next days activity, nothing worse than thinking you will make something sparkly and you have no glitter on hand. Can’t wait for the count down to begin! xx

  7. Just so you know, Target is selling bakers twine in their dollar section! I picked up 6 of the red/white swirl, red and green today. I know you do alot of stuff with bakers twine. You get 5 yards of it per package

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