Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and I love being able to introduce James and Charlotte to some of our favorite holiday traditions. There are so many fun holiday activities to do with kids, and as I’ve learned, they’re never really too young to enjoy them.
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, so many of our favorite holiday activities take place there and revolve around skiing, skating, and sledding. But I’m also 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. So as soon as December 1 hits, we start knocking off our list of favorite holiday activities.
This year I’m especially excited because James really is starting to understand what Christmas is all about and Charlotte is just old enough to really get her taste of all the season’s magic. If you’re looking for ways to make Christmastime extra special this year, here are my favorite holiday activities.
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.