Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and I love being able to introduce James and Charlotte to some of our favorite holiday traditions. I was afraid they were a little young, but there are so many fun Christmas activities to do with kids.
We’ve been spending Christmas in Park City with my in-laws for as long as Andrew and I have been dating. There’s really nothing better than skiing at Christmastime, and it’s always a beautiful winter wonderland. But I’m one of those people who likes to celebrate Christmas all month long. Well, really as soon as Thanksgiving is over, because honestly, its the best time of the year.
This year has been especially fun because James is finally starting to understand what Christmas is all about, and there’s nothing like seeing the joy on his face when we picked out our Christmas tree, hears “Holly Jolly Christmas” or watches The Grinch.
I know I sound like everyone else, but I can’t believe the holidays are upon us and it’s only a week until Christmas. I mean wasn’t it just Thanksgiving, and I feel like we haven’t fully taken advantage of the holiday season because we’ve been so busy moving out of my in-laws and into our new home. Someone also told me we lost a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and that’s why it feels so rushed, which I don’t totally get but helps to explain why this year it especially feels like the time is flying by. I want to make sure we take advantage of these next couple of weeks though to really enjoy the holidays with the kids and all the fun holiday activities. So last week we really kicked it into high gear on the merry festivities, and I have to say, it’s bringing me so much joy to see how much James loves my favorite holiday activities, many of which I used to do as a kid.
In fact, seeing his eyes light up when we got our tree and how much fun he had decorating it, literally made my heart burst. I was thinking he was too young to really enjoy the tree and was trying to convince Andrew we should just go for a small one this year. But I’m glad that the hubs knew better. We took James and Charlotte to pick out our tree, and James was soo excited he was running around like a crazy man. And you should have seen his face when the tree arrived and it was time to start decorating it. He couldn’t wait! Even though he’s just three, he is already enjoying our favorite holiday traditions and I’ve discovered some really fun holiday activities we can do as a family. And I know she’s only three months, but I already feel like Charlotte is learning about the joy of the holidays too.
I meant to finish this post like two months ago, but ya know, motherhood. But if like me you feel like the holidays kind of snuck up on you and you’re trying to make the most of it all before they’re over, I’ve rounded up our favorite holiday activities to do with kids.
1. Matching Pajamas (because how else would you open presents on Christmas morning?)
4. Ice Skating
5. Seeing the big movie of the holiday season (usually a date night with Andrew to see the new Star Wars and then something fun with James like Frozen 2)
6. Caroling (fun fact: we love going to the same caroling Christmas party each year and yes, everyone gathers around and sings and it’s delightful)
7. Visiting Santa
8. Baking Christmas cookies
9. Collecting toys for a local toy drive
10. Family holiday photos (for the holiday card or just to have — you really never regret spending this money or time, even though I will admit they can be brutal to take with kids)
11. Writing Christmas letters to Santa
12. Elf on a Shelf (I actually don’t get this tradition yet, but I’m told I will in the years to come)
13. Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Gardens (if you live in the NYC area, this is a must do)
15. Polar Bear Swim (or I supposed just a swim if you celebrate someplace warm)
16. Picking out and decorating the Christmas tree
17. Smithfield Ham (a favorite of my husband’s family and prepping and carving it is half the fun)
18. Advent Calendar (we’ve never done this, but I feel like we should?)
19. Reading Christmas stories
20. Driving around to look at Christmas lights
21. Hot chocolate and Christmas movies in pajamas (favorites of mine are Elf, Home Alone, The Polar Express, Charlie Brown Christmas and The Family Man, but right now, James is obsessed with The Grinch)
22. Hanging Stockings (just bought these adorable personalized needlepoint stockings and they look handmade — they’re so cute on our mantel!)
23. Town Tree Lighting Ceremony – We just moved to the cutest little town and this is my new favorite tradition. A few weeks before Christmas, they have this adorable tree lighting ceremony complete with hot coco and singing and Santa and Frosty arrive no a fire truck and everyone comes out for it, and it’s ADORABLE.
24. Decorating gingerbread houses (a blogger I love has an annual gingerbread house decorating party, which I plan to try next year because doesn’t that sound like so much fun? Plus, it’s one of those things that you can do with kids and adults, which I love)
25. Making your own Frosty the snowman
26. Santa Brunch – We went for the first time this year to our club’s annual Santa Brunch and it was so much fun for the kids. They had pics with Santa, a breakfast buffet, magic show, and even a fire engine ice cream truck. It’s a fun idea you could recreate with friends if you’re looking for something to host. Kids are so much better behaved at brunch than dinner, and you could have someone dress up as Santa, and make gingerbread houses. It’s a great way to spend a weekend morning during the holidays.
27. Making homemade ornaments
28. Seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall – This is another amazing activity if you live near NYC or plan to visit. I haven’t taken James yet but plan to next year.
29. Town Christmas Pageant – If it’s starting to sound like I live in Stars Hollow, you may be right, because I seriously think I just moved there. Our town puts on an annual Christmas Pageant on Christmas Eve and everyone participates and I, for one, cannot wait!
30. Decorate the House – I come from a family that goes all out for Christmas and I’m excited to start collecting our own Christmas decorations to put all over the house.