Christmas is a time for family, friends, and memories that will last a lifetime. But sometimes it can be hard to create those memories – especially if you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. This year, why not try some of these 12 ideas to making Christmas more special and memorable?
1. Make special ornaments for your Christmas tree. Buy plain wooden balls or Styrofoam balls, and use paint, glitter, sequins, and other decorative supplies to make them as pretty as you want! Hang them on the tree along with the rest of your decorations to create a festive atmosphere in your home. Or my favorite: buy the clear plastic ornaments that you can fill. Have everyone write their favorite thing about Christmas on a strip of paper. Seal the memories in the ornament and have them open the ornaments at a future milestone (like their first Christmas away from home or their first Christmas after they get married!
2. Attend a live nativity scene or choir performance. Nothing compares to watching real people acting out scenes from the Nativity story – it’s so moving that you’ll have tears in your eyes before it’s over. Our church does one as part of our Family Christmas Celebration.
3. Create an Advent or Christmas countdown calendar. Start planning ahead and get your kids excited about Christmas by creating a fun countdown calendar to mark how many days are left until the big day. You can make one out of paper, or even buy a pre-made advent calendar at the store – there are so many options available for all kinds of budgets! Read the Christmas story in Luke 1-2 as part of your countdown.
4. Watch holiday movies together as a family. Watch classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, or Home Alone; or newer favorites like Frozen, A Charlie Brown Christmas, or Elf. These are fun movies that will help you get into the holiday spirit and create memories that last long after the season is over. Plus they can be great conversation starters!
5. Take a scenic holiday drive to check out the local Christmas lights. Many neighborhoods and towns spend a lot of time decorating their homes for the holidays, which makes for some really impressive scenery. You could also visit your local amusement park or zoo – in addition to being fun activities with the family, they’re likely to be decked out in holiday decorations as well.
6. Host a Christmas cookie exchange party with friends and neighbors. Everyone loves cookies during the holidays, and sharing them is even better when you have helpers! Gather your close friends and plan a night where everyone brings an assortment of Christmas cookies, then share recipes and swap goodies so that nobody walks away empty-handed (and full of sugary goodness).
7. Go caroling at a local hospital or nursing home. Spread some holiday #HolyMischief and make an elderly person’s day by singing songs like “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Many hospitals and nursing homes have special visitors during the holidays, but they are always happy to see you as well! Not only will your kids get to experience the joy of giving, but they might also learn something new about other people in their community.
8. Make gingerbread houses together, then donate them to shelters for homeless families or food banks. This is another fun way for kids to give back – it helps teach them how good it feels to do something for someone in need. Plus, you can make the gingerbread houses with store-bought kits and decorations so it’s easy to do!
9. Go caroling in your neighborhood. Singing Christmas songs is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face – even if it’s not necessarily in tune! What a great way to get to know your neighbors and make some connections right next door.
10. Make holiday treats together as a family (or have each child make gifts for friends or neighbors). Treats like fudge and candies are always fun to give as gifts, and they’re pretty easy to make – just follow a recipe! If you have older kids who can safely make these treats on their own, they could also give them to friends or neighbors as Christmas presents. I suggest combining this one with #9!
11. Take your family to see Santa Claus. Many local malls offer photo sessions with Santa Claus around the holidays that are great for families. You might want to get there early in the season (before it gets too crowded) so you don’t have to wait in line very long before your little ones get to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Some stores even have professional photographers to snap photos of the event, so you can be sure that every moment is captured.
12. Go to church. There is nothing quite like a Candlelight Christmas Eve service. Experience the hope that is possible because of the birth of Jesus by worshipping him as a family.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
As you can see above, there are lots of ways that you can help make your kids’ holiday season more meaningful by creating special memories together as a family! Just think about what you want your family to gain from the holidays this year and then plan accordingly so that every moment counts. It’ll be something that your kids will remember for the rest of their lives!
Hope you all have a wonderful Advent and Christmas season with your family. May God’s blessings and joy be upon you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to read my blog today!
Until Everyone Hears,