Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Holidays are full of traditions and activities. Finding the perfect tree, building gingerbread houses, countdown calendars filled with chocolates, baking cookies, and listening to classic Christmas tunes while savoring a candy cane are just some that come to mind.
This year as we get ready for a different kind of holiday celebration let’s not forget those traditions that bring back memories of days gone by. We may have to alter some of them a little but the joy and smiles it brings remain the same.
We have a list that will be great for everyone! Young and old alike. Take a look at our list and let us know if your favorites made it. If not make sure you let us know what things you plan on doing? Did you have to change some of these things up a bit? How did you do it? We’re all about the ideas over here! We may have slipped in a few unique ideas for you to try out so you can create new traditions.
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." - Burton Hills
1. Write a Letter to Santa
Let’s face it. The holiday season can’t officially start until those special letters get mailed out on time. Why not make this an evening of fun with letter writing and a game to go with it?!
This Santa Mail Dice Game not only saves the day by getting Santa’s Mail to the North Pole but it also has Letters that you can use to write your very own letter to Santa.
This game covers letters for both the little ones and the older ones. If you purchase it soon you can send the letters to the North Pole and get an answer back from Santa in the mail or use the editable letter to write a special personalized note to your kids yourself.
Forgot to send a letter? Check out our link below so you can email Santa and get a reply!
2. Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
Finding the perfect tree or bringing out the family's favorite faux tree? Whatever it is that your family does it is all about the decorating. In our family, it was making an ornament each year by hand from a kit my mom would buy at the Craft Store. My dad would hang the lights and then hand us ornaments while Christmas music played in the background. Reminiscing about each ornament and what it meant or stood for was a delight.
For my kids, mini trees with mini ornaments for their desks and rooms are childhood memories they still have.
Why not make a day of it! Make an ornament, decorate the tree, and then play a fun Decorate the Tree Dice Game! The winner gets to open a small gift from under the tree or maybe everyone gets a special treat left under the tree. This Dice Game uses Christmas Candy as markers so how fun is that?
3. Hot Chocolate Station Ideas and Christmas Movie Night
Combining cocoa and movies are always a must! A few blankets, maybe a fire in the fireplace, or one you find on YouTube it doesn’t matter how you do it, just plan for a cozy holiday night together.
A movie marathon can include family favorites like “Elf”, “White Christmas” or “Scrooge” and movie ballots to vote on the first movie to watch can make it extra special. How about a Christmas Movie Bingo too?
Create a Concession stand that includes a Cocoa Bar filled with marshmallows, whipped cream, shaved chocolate, cookies, and sprinkles of course!
We take it one step further and play our Build your Cocoa Dice Game for the win! The winner of this game could create their cocoa creation first and give it a name that will be part of next year’s festivities with instructions on how to recreate it! How about Michele’s Cocoa Bliss? It has a nice ring to it right?
Perhaps you want to have a Cocoa Party! Send out an invite, play the game, have the cocoa bar, and watch movies with your guests.
4. Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
As a kid my dad and I would walk around our neighborhood, the snow crunching beneath my rubber boots and look at the lights. Back in the 70s, every house was decorated! Because I was so excited about Santa’s arrival it was a great tactic to get me out of my mom’s hair so she could finish up the cooking.
When I had my kids it was a drive through our city and around the neighborhood in our car with hot cocoa and homemade cookies. As years went by, we found light displays at our local Zoo and Museums to be even more exciting. These things allowed the entire family to get together and enjoy a holiday activity.
This year why not set up a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt! This printable game can be played in 6 different ways including one for the little ones that include a Christmas Light Bingo with pictures. This game also includes Christmas Trivia under a QR Code and Editable Christmas Light Cards and Trivia Cards so you can create your own Hunt.
So, grab the blankets, wear the Christmas Pajamas, bring the cocoa and cookies and you decide how you want to search for the lights this year.
Perhaps you can send out the Invite that’s included with this game. Gather a couple of families to play along. Meet back at a designated area to see who won finding the most lights and answering the most trivia questions correctly. The Treat Tag works great for a treat bag or prize.
5. Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Having a Christmas Birthday? Looking for a way to make Christmas Morning more fun? How about a Christmas Scavenger Hunt that leads to a special gift. How about using this Hunt to gift to a family so they can use it Christmas Eve night and find one gift from you.
Add a pair of Christmas Pajamas, a gift-wrapped for the whole family to enjoy, or one for each member to find (think gift cards or a small puzzle or card game perhaps). How about adding some cookies to leave for Santa and a recipe for Reindeer food.
Make this a whole evening of fun for the night before Christmas since the anticipation will be driving everyone crazy. If it’s a birthday then a special Birthday gift waits at the end and treats for everyone else.
6. Countdown Calendars
How about a Scratch-Off or Scratcher Calendar this year! Adding Scratch Off Stickers from Amazon to a Special Elf Calendar with editable ideas or ideas that are included is perfect. Each day provides an activity like building a snowman, going ice skating, drinking hot cocoa, watching a movie, reading a favorite story, or perhaps a way to give back to the community like baking cookies for a hospital or donating coats to a shelter during December. You get to decide how to spend your Holiday together.
7. Christmas Games and Activities for Family
Looking for all of this in one place? Our NEW eBook "North Pole Games with Santa’s Elves" is our favorite! This Christmas Activity Book includes everything you will need to enjoy the entire month of December without even having to think about it! This includes 13 Games and Activities from the North Pole and Santa’s Elves. Become an official Elf with our Hiring Packet then pick your favorite Elf’s Game or Activity to print from home. Read each Elf's story and tips for even more fun for the day! Here’s what you get:
1. Elf Hiring Packet with Official Badges and Elf Name Generator
2. Santa Letter Pack
3. Cookie Toss Game with Cookie Decorating Contest
4. Build a Gingerbread House
5. Santa's Reindeer Matchup Game
6. Gift Shopping Wrapping Game
7. Elf Detective Game "Who Done It?"
8. Santa's Holiday Train Countdown Calendar
9. Toy Shelf Charades
10. Toy Bingo
11. Snowball Fight Knockout Game
12. Mrs. Claus Cookie Recipe Scavenger Hunt - The Case of Santa's Hungry Elves with a recipe Book
13. Santa's Weather Tracker Board Game
14. Santa's Holiday Coupons for Gifts or Prizes
Sit down with the family and choose a few of these to play or spread everything out during the year or winter months. Winter Break comes to mind and you can even play these during New Year's Eve! Once you print them, think of laminating the games for continuous use.
8. Cookie Decorating or Cookie Exchange Party
Having a Cookie Decorating Party with your family is easy to do! Grab store-bought cookies or homemade, icing, and candies for decorating at home and in a more intimate setting. OR
Create a virtual Cookie Exchange Party or Cookie Swap Party. Mail out recipe cards in an invite and enough for each person involved, and include one ballot per person or family. Have everyone email or text you a pic of their recipe cards you sent before the big night.
On the Cookie Exchange, Party Night have everyone hold up their creations via FaceTime or Zoom and let the voting begin on their favorites with the ballots you sent.
Don’t forget to decorate your background for a festive look. Once the ballots are either emailed or texted back to you (guests take a pic of the ballot and send it to the hostess) and the votes are tallied the winners can be announced for each category. Send each winner a prize and award to display in their home.
Check out this Cookie Exchange Party Pack that has everything you will need. The skies the limit. You can decide how to handle your party or cookie exchange but the party packs are here for inspiration.
I hope these ideas will help you plan an epic Holiday that is fast approaching. I know we are all looking forward to a new year but let’s enjoy this season the best we can with laughter and the same excitement we have always had in years past. I know that one way to honor my family's legacy is to keep the traditions they handed down to me, going.
Oh, and don’t forget to take some pictures and videos! I love pictures and videos when it comes to my family. These are two ways to freeze time and your kids and family will thank you for it. Hearing voices of the past, seeing the moments we shared are the best gifts of all.