The great thing about the holidays is having the chance to spend time with loved ones and create family traditions together. But this time of year can also get busy and go by fast, so to make sure we really enjoy the holidays and have lots of family fun, I like to make a list of ideas of activities that I'd like to do before the new year. This year I incorporated the list into our advent calendar. Here are some of my favorite fun holiday family ideas this season, which you can tailor to you depending on which holidays you celebrate, where you live, and your favorite family traditions:
1. Go see a local production of The Nutcracker.
2. Make an ornament to hang on your Christmas tree, and then decorate the tree as a family.
3. Have a family gelt hunt and share the story of Hanukkah.
4. Make hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows.
5. Take the kiddos to sit on Santa's lap.
6. Watch a favorite holiday movie (mine is Christmas Vacation) and/or show your kids one of the holiday cartoons you grew up with like Frosty the Snowman or A Charlie Brown Christmas.
7. Start an 'Elf on the Shelf' tradition.
8. Make holiday cookies together – even the littlest hands can help.
9. Download a favorite holiday song and have a family sing-a-long or dance party.
10. Go to the movies (Frozen is a great kid-friendly holiday movie this year!)
11. Sing Christmas carols.
12. Walk or drive around to see Christmas lights in the neighborhood.
13. Have each of your children choose one of his or her toys to donate to a less fortunate child.
14. Sit around the fireplace and share your favorite family memories from the year or favorite holiday memories from past years.
15. Make a popcorn garland together.
16. Read your favorite holiday story (like The Night Before Christmas) as a family.
17. Go ice skating, or if you're lucky enough to get snow, make a snowman, go sledding, or have a snowball fight (or all of the above!)
18. If you can, go to Disneyland or an amusement park or zoo nearby to see the holiday decorations.
19. Get matching holiday pajamas each year and wear them on Christmas Eve.
20. Give back as a family: participate in a toy or coat drive, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or ring the Salvation Army bell.
21. Write a letter to Santa with your child.
22. Host a Christmukkah party for family and friends: candy canes and cocoa, latkes, and other mixed traditions can be incorporated.
23. Bake some holiday goodies for your neighbors.
24. Get a family photo together during the holiday season: by the Christmas tree, wearing ugly sweaters, playing in the snow.
25. Make a gingerbread house with your family.
What are your favorite hoilday family fun ideas? What will you be doing one with your family this holiday season? Tell us in the comments!