Traditionally, the 12 days of Christmas celebrate the Christian nativity, beginning on Christmas Day and lasting until January 5. However, many people have time off in the days leading up to Christmas and then must return to work shortly after January 1. Whenever you celebrate your 12 days, planning daily activities during this time makes the holidays more enjoyable, especially if you have children. Whether you’re in your home or out and about, here are 12 Christmas activity ideas for you to try this year.
Day 1 – Clean the House
It might not sound like fun, but you can make it fun when you’re creative! By getting this taken care of first, everything else will be easier for the New Year. Put on some festive holiday tunes and have a dance party while cleaning the house.
Day 2 – Make Festive Decorations
Whether you make homemade ornaments out of paper or you string popcorn and cranberries to make a garland, making decorations to put up around your home is a fun project for the whole family to participate in.
Day 3 – Decorate the House
Now that you’ve made your festive decorations, it’s time to hang them and fill your home with holiday cheer. Nowhere is out of bounds – the fireplace mantle, stair railings and banisters, your porch and entryway, bookshelves, and kitchen and bathroom countertops are all great places to decorate.
Day 4 – Holiday Movie Night
Watching the classic movies of the season is a great way to get and stay in the holiday spirit. Make your favorite treats, and turn the lights down for some Christmas or New Year’s Eve movie fun.
Day 5 – Make a Gingerbread House
Making gingerbread houses is a favorite Christmas activity, especially among children. Gather things like gingerbread dough or graham crackers, gumdrops, stick pretzels, sprinkles, icing, small marshmallows, and assorted small candies. Then, let your imagination run wild!
Day 6 – Have a Potluck Gathering
Invite loved ones for a casual potluck gathering. This is a great opportunity to catch up with friends you might not see very often. Make a list of things people can volunteer to bring, and coordinate it so that everyone is bringing something different. For even more fun, turn it into a game night!
For more formal gatherings, here are 5 Simple Ideas for Hosting a Holiday Party.
Day 7 – Donate Time or Other Gifts to a Charity
One of the best ways to get in touch with the heart of the season is to help those in need. Look for charities that need help and volunteer your time. Donate gifts or items you can part with that someone else would enjoy and appreciate more.
Day 8 – Schedule a Holiday Photo Shoot
You won’t want to miss this opportunity for capturing images of those you love most. If you have a great camera, skip the professional portraits and create your own photoshoot with holiday decorations in the background.
Day 9 – Visit a Nursing Home
Many nursing home residents have no family members visiting them during the holidays. Brighten their day by bringing cards and small gifts. Speak with staff beforehand to see if there are special conditions to consider, such as food allergies, if you plan to bring edible treats.
Day 10 – See the Holiday Decorations around Town
Take a trip around your town to see the holiday decorations and lights. Plan stops along the way to enjoy cocoa, hot coffee, or a small snack. Turn on some Christmas music to make the evening even more festive.
Day 11 – Make Holiday Treats
The holidays offer a great excuse to splurge and treat yourself a little. Take advantage of it and make some Christmas cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn balls, pies, or gingerbread for you and your loved ones to munch on.
Day 12 – Make a Holiday Highlight Video
Photos are great in their own right, but videos can be extra fun to make and watch later. Capture the fun of this year’s holiday season on video. For something extra special, you could ask everyone to say one thing they love most about the holidays.
Switch the Christmas activities around to meet your family’s schedule and personality. There are no rules for enjoying Christmas activities except to simply enjoy them! Some things will become family traditions, and others might be left aside for next year or when your children get older. No matter which activities you choose, you’ll be sure to create lasting memories.