Frosted windows, a roaring fire, the scent of pine needles, and carols playing in the background—some things just remind us of the season. Growing up, my family had our own holiday traditions, and when my husband and I married, we decided to enjoy some of each other’s traditions.
Now with kids of our own, we’ve found ways to add in some new traditions for our family. I put together a list below of some ideas to get you in the Christmas spirit this year.
Whether you have a family, are a couple, or are celebrating solo this year, use these ideas to have some fun this season!
- Make paper snowflakes to hang around the house. Wake up feeling like you’re living in a snow globe.
- Make hot cocoa for the road, pile in the car after dinner, and go look at Christmas lights. Check Google to see if there are any hot-spot houses near you, some even let you stream music from your car to listen to while watching the light show.
- Go ice skating. Even if you haven’t been in years, it’s easy to pick back up quickly and rinks usually allow you to rent skates from them.
- Send Christmas cards to a retirement community home or hospital to let them know you’re thinking about them. It’s great to make homemade cards and involve your kids.
- Visit a zoo or amusement park near you in December. Most have lights up and holiday-themed activities for family fun.
- Donate food, gifts, or clothing to the needy. It’s important throughout the year but especially during this time to give back.
- Start an advent calendar. There are a lot of varieties out there, but my family does a calendar with a note for each day about what we’ll do. We fill the calendar with activities from this list to keep us in the holiday spirit all month.
- Bake Christmas cookies. My favorite is peanut butter blossoms. Betty Crocker has a recipe that is delish.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen. A few hours of your time can go a long way. Ask the kitchen if you can bring your kids along to help.
- Holiday express. A lot of Christmas train rides are popping up to give you your personal Polar Express experience or at least a ride with the big man himself.
- Chalk art your sidewalk or driveway with holiday cheer. Bring a smile to neighbors with holiday messages or movie quotes like this one from Elf, “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Include picture drawings to bring a smile to anyone who sees it.
- Live somewhere with snow? Make snowmen, snow angels, and go sledding. Don’t forget to wear your holiday sweater.
- Write a letter to Santa to mail to the North Pole. Or if you’re older and looking to fulfill a child’s Christmas wish, connect with Operation Santa where you can view letters from children to Santa and help fulfill them anonymously to help keep the spirit of Santa alive. Letters are posted after November 29.
- Make ornaments or garlands for your Christmas tree. You can use paper, beads, popcorn, or whatever else you have on hand to decorate with.
- Turn up Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and start dancing. Spotify has tons of holiday playlists—you’re sure to find one that has all your favorites.
- Watch a Christmas movie. There are so many good ones to choose from, but we enjoy the Grinch on Netflix. Hang up some Christmas lights inside or light the fireplace for ambiance, make some hot cocoa, and pull out all the pillows and blankets while you cozy up.