I am a stickler for waiting until December before we start our Christmas festivities! Read this post here to read about our Thanksgiving traditions. I hate rushing through one of the most important holidays, intentionally finding things to be grateful for, and slowing down to savor the fall. I refuse to skip Thanksgiving and jump right into the Christmas season. But just because we don’t begin the fun until December, that doesn’t mean I don’t start looking ahead and planning mid-November.
As a family we have several Christmas traditions that my girls always look forward to. But this over-achieving planner likes to change things up every now and then. There are so many ideas floating around inside my head, old and new. And I can’t wait to get started.
In an effort to organize the chaos going on in my brain, I thought I would create a list of all of the great ideas I have come across. THANK YOUUUUUUU, Pinterest!!!
For each idea, I’ve included the gist of the activity, and the original link that inspired the idea. Take a moment to click on each link for free printables, directions for activities, and gorgeous pictures! I am so looking forward to December!!
- DIY Wood Nativity Craft – This is a super easy DIY activity using simple wood blocks, paint, and fabric scraps to create your own Nativity. My girls love to play with our Nativity, and rearrange all of the little figurines. And they will love having their own to play with! http://www.the36thavenue.com/diy-wood-nativity/
- Advent Calendar Envelope Printables – This blog has a beautiful freebie where readers can download and print their own envelopes for a homemade Advent calendar. I’m planning on putting a different idea in each envelope, and each day we will pull out the card and do something fun! http://www.ellaclaireinspired.com/free-printable-vintage-christmas-advent-calendar/
- Advent Calendar Idea Cards – Enter the fun ideas we will do…Each card has a different family activity idea geared towards the Christmas season. One card goes into each envelope. I probably won’t do everything on every card, but many of the ideas are definitely going to be added to our list of traditions! http://addapinch.com/childrens-advent-calendar-printable/
- More Advent Calendar Idea Cards – A second option of adorable activity ideas. How can you not love free printables?!?! http://mamapapabubba.com/2014/12/01/printable-advent-calendar-activity-cards/
- DIY Wood Calendar Tree – THIS is such an amazing DIY project!!! Please click on the link here and check out the pictures and tutorial for an easy DIY Christmas Tree turned Advent calendar. I can’t wait to make this little baby and have a fun place to display our free Advent envelopes filled with our free Advent activity cards. http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/11/wood-advent-calendar-with-free-printables.html
- Wrapping 25 Books – One of the first traditions we started with our girls is this one. We wrap 25 books and put them in a basket under the Christmas tree. Each night the girls get to open one and we read it before bed. It is always fun for them to unwrap something every day, and they are always more patient waiting until Christmas morning when they can finally open all of the wrapped gifts under the tree. http://www.simplysara.ca/2011/11/traditions.html?m=1
- Scripture Cards – The MOST important thing I want to instill in my girls is the story of Jesus’ birth. But it is more than just a story about a cute baby. It is a message of hope for God’s chosen people, both then and now. Christ humbled Himself, became fully human, and gave a way for us to be reconciled to the Father. Every day we will be reading a different part of the Christmas story, and talking about the gospel and God’s plan for His people. My plan for this is to read through one card first thing each day during breakfast. I think I’ll print them out and put them in a decorative basket to be added as part of our centerpiece or counter decor. I know if they are front and center, I’ll be more apt to use them. Out of sight, out of mind, right? http://printablewisdomco.com/blogs/news/86269127-free-printable-advent-calendar
- 12 Days of Christmas Countdown – This is another free printable! Over the course of 12 days, the girls will get one piece of a little Nativity and read a card with a little somethin’ somethin about each one. I will be using this Olive Wood Children’s Nativity Set (12 Pieces Set) – 3 Inch Set from Amazon. So cute!!! You can buy the Olive Wood Miniature Set with Stable instead, which is the same figurines and a stable to go with them. I haven’t decided if I will stretch this out over 12 days, or if maybe it will be a fun Christmas Eve activity. If I do it over 12 days, it might get a little overwhelming keeping up with all of the other things going on at the same time! Maybe I will do it after our breakfast Scripture reading? Totally thinking out loud here…. http://overthebigmoon.com/12-days-of-christmas-nativity-countdown-printables/
- Holiday Light Tour – One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to pop some popcorn, load our thermos’s up with hot chocolate and drive around looking at Christmas lights. We have done this so long, my husband has it down to a science at this point. We start at one end of town and follow his little homemade map, stopping at our favorite houses to walk and look at all of the colorful displays.
- Other Nativity Ideas – This a great site with ideas for teaching little ones about the Nativity. There are several ideas. Take a minute and peruse to your heart’s delight. http://www.mamashappyhive.com/nativity-lessons-for-kids/
I hope these ideas inspire you to make Christmas a fun and meaningful season with your family. Focusing on memories and traditions is such a great way to get kids’ minds off of presents, presents, presents! And remind them what truly matters in life!!