December 1st is right around the corner, and I wanted to make this season as magical as possible, so I am doing 25 days of Christmas Bucket List with my family. Feel free to join me. You can change it up however works for your family. Most of the things on the bucket list are simple or inexpensive. But a few may cost a little more money or may take a little planning.
How it works:
Open this Canva link or click below to access the made-for-you 25 Days of Christmas Bucket List FREE download. Feel free to adjust it however you see fit. This is the order I plan to tentatively do the activities in. The order will likely change a little bit, but this is a good starting point.
I have included links and tips for what you can do each day. I cannot wait to make the magic of Christmas even more magical this year. Check back regularly as I update what we did each day.
Christmas Bucket List Day 1 – Make Paper Chains
This one is pretty self explanatory. Cut the construction paper into strips, and glue, tape or staple the ends, looping them together to make a chain. Make 25 loops, one for each day until Christmas. Every day, rip one loop off. This is a great visible reminder to your kids of how many days there are until Christmas. Play Christmas Music in the background (I love this playlist on Spotify), and do it in front of the Christmas Tree to enhance the Christmas spirit.
Day 2 – Write letters to Santa
Did you know that USPS has a program called “Operation Santa”, where you can write letters to Santa, mail it to him and it has a chance of being answered by other people. Not all letters get responded to, but it can! Check out the information about it HERE.
There are templates on that link that you can use to write Santa a letter, or you can use this one that you can download below.
Day 3 – Make Gingerbread houses
I prefer to get premade gingerbread houses, like these. Let’s face it, the chances of you actually eating the gingerbread house, is unlikely. So I prefer to assemble the houses with hot glue. It dries quickly and holds well. Gather as many, or as few candies as you want to use on the house. If the house does not come with a base for the house, use styrofoam plates or a box.
Day 4 – Attend a local Christmas event
Check out what your area is doing during the month of December, chances are you will find some kind of event that you can attend. Here we have the Festival of Trees, Polar Express Train Ride, Zoo Lights, and so many more ideas. Check your local directory to see what events are near you.
Day 5 – Have hot cocoa and read a Christmas story
Make delicious hot cocoa. If you want to go all out create a hot cocoa bar, with everything from hot cocoa and cool whip to marshmallows and peppermint bits. You can even get chocolate spoons and sprinkles. Everyone will make their own cup of cocoa and then sit down around the fire or tree and read a Christmas story. My favorite is the Night Before Christmas.
Day 6 – Visit Santa
There are so many places you can go to visit Santa. But did you know you can go see Santa and get a FREE 4×6 at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops? Go here to make a reservation for your free Santa visit and 4×6.
Day 7 – Go Sledding
Obviously you will need to plan this for a day it snows. If it does not snow where you are, then you may have to skip this one all together. Get your sled, bundle up warm in layers, and find a good hill to go down.
Here you can go sledding at the ski resorts. They have huge hills and lifts to get you to the top. It is so fun! Solder Hollow is about $40 per person for 2 hours of sledding.
Day 8 – Have a family Christmas party
This one will take some planning and preparation. But have a Christmas party with just your little family. Plan a special Christmas dinner, play some games, do a white elephant gift exchange (<–click there for white elephant gift ideas) and just spend time with those that you love. The point here, is make it special and different than your typical evening. Get crafty and make invitations and “deliver” it to your kids room. Use my template here, or create your own on Canva.
Day 9 – Watch a Christmas Movie
Over the course of the 25 days, we will have three movie nights. Each one will be with a different movie. Each movie will have a themed dinner to go along with it. Tonight is The Grinch! My plan is to print the file below and hang it on the fridge for the day. My kids will see it and get excited about it. I will have them help me make the meal and get the room set up for our movie to start.
Day 10 – Do a service project
There are so many ideas you can do for a service project. Do you have a neighbor who needs some help with something? Is there a family that you can do a Secret Santa for? Maybe you can go volunteer at a homeless shelter or donate food to a food bank. Whatever you decided to do, I am sure it will be a wonderful experience. Use this time to discuss being thankful for what we have and teaching to be aware of those around you that may need a little help.
Day 11 – Lesson about the true meaning of Christmas
Take a moment to teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas. I love this blog that discusses 10 ways to teach your kids about the true meaning of Chirstmas. We will probably do a few of those activities.
Day 12 – Go through your toys and donate unused toys to a charity
This is another good way to teach your kids about gratitude, and being thankful for what we have. Have your children go through their toys and gather all the toys they no longer play with to give to charity. Explain that there are some children who do not get gifts on Christmas. Help them show humility and gratitude for what they have.
Day 13 – Go Ice Skating
This is another pretty self explanatory one. 🙂 Hit up a local ice rink and skate your heart out.
Day 14 – Wear Ugly sweaters all day
Plan a day that you are out running errands, going to visit family, or perhaps it is a normal school day, and wear ugly sweaters ALL DAY LONG!!
Day 15 – Have a family game night
Day 16 – Watch a Christmas Movie
Tonights movie is Elf! One of the best Christmas movies!
- You Smell Like Beef and Cheese Charcuterie Board
- “Hold the Syrup” Spaghetti
- Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, Syrup – Pick your favorite candy
- World’s Best Cup of Cocoa
Day 17 – Make Neighbor Christmas gifts
Check out this post with fun, simple, inexpensive neighbor gift ideas. Gather all the items and have your family help put them together and deliver them.
Day 18 – Go shopping for gifts for each other
For this one I am planning on doing it later in the month because for the whole month of December my children will be doing extra chores to earn money to buy their siblings Christmas gifts. We will take them to the Dollar Tree to pick out gifts for each other.
Day 19 – Go to a Christmas play, musical or the Nutcracker
In our city we have several venues hosting Christmas shows. We will plan a day to go see a Christmas show as a family. This is also one that will cost extra money. A few options here are The Nutcracker, Desert Star Theater, Hale Center. Research what is available in your area and go see a Christmas show.
Day 20 – Wrap gifts
Remember the gifts we bought the other day? Now we will take the evening to wrap the gifts and put them under the tree. They get to wrap all the gifts they bought. As we wrap, we talk about the things we love about the person who they are wrapping for. I also love this because it gives us some one on one time.
Day 21 – Go look at Christmas lights
This is another activity that you will need to do some research for and you will need to decide what direction you want to go with it. Either go to a paid light display, or find neighborhoods/houses with light displays that you can drive by. Some fun local light displays here are Luminaria, Christmas in Color, and Temple Square.
Day 22 – Watch a Christmas Movie
The last movie night is The Santa Claus.
- Denny’s Grand Slam – Pancakes, bacon and eggs
- Hot Fudge Sundae – any toppings you want
- Chocolate Chip Cookies – Homemade or store bought dough (<– the best store bought dough)
- Judy’s Hot Cocoa (shaken, not stirred) – get a blender bottle and shake the hot cocoa
Day 23 – Make cookies for Santa
Christmas is right around the corner. Its time to make cookies for Santa! You can make your own cookies from scratch (I love this recipe), or get premade dough and bake/frost your cookies.
Day 24 – Christmas Eve Traditions
Some families already have established Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning traditions. If you have traditions keep them going. If you do not have your own traditions pick some that you can start. They may include time with family or friends, or may be just your own immediate family. Whatever you do, make it special and memorable.
For our Christmas Eve traditions we usually go to my mom and dad’s house and eat Raclette – /rəˈklet/. That is a cheese dish that you spread over meat and veggies. Watch the video to see my mom explain what it is. We then open new Christmas PJ’s and read the Night Before Christmas.
Christmas Bucket List Day 25 – Magical Christmas Traditions
Like I said, you probably already have your Christmas morning traditions. Don’t stop them. If you want to improve the magic felt on Christmas morning, try adding to it. Play Christmas music as you open gifts, or light the fireplace, maybe have cinnamon rolls baking in the oven so you can eat a warm, fresh treat when you finish opening gifts. Maybe spend a few minutes before opening your gifts to talk about the true meaning of Christmas and give thanks for the magical month you just had as a family. Whatever you do, remember that you are an amazing parent and how lucky your children are to have you as their parent. Merry Christmas. 🙂
Anyway, that is it! If you join me in making December magical, let me know how it goes! I am so excited to hear about your magical 25 days of Christmas Bucket List adventure.
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