Have your little ones decorate a big box and place it by your tree on December 1st. Every day until December 25th, place one non-perishable food item or toy in the box to donate to a charitable organization at the end of the December. You can make your donation to the food bank, women’s shelter or local SPCA.
Number each item so you and your family can count down to Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve Box
This tradition stems from one I’ve taken part in since I was a wee little girl. Every Christmas Eve, Santa’s elves would sneak into my room and leave a new pair of pajamas on my bed. I remember the excitement I felt when I discovered the pajamas and how happy it made me feel to wear them the night before Christmas Day.
With my own little one, I’ve expanded the surprise to include a Christmas movie and a Christmas book. I wrap the items in a Christmas box and each Christmas Eve we snuggle down in our new jammies, watch the festive movie and read the book before going to bed.
It’s the perfect way to amp up the excitement for Christmas Day – while helping your children cope with the anticipation of waiting until the next day to open gifts.
December Bucket List
There’s so many fun and exciting activities to participate in over the Christmas holidays but in the hustle and bustle of it all we sometimes forget to do them.
Before the end of November, sit down with your family to create a Christmas bucket list. Write down activities you want to do during the month of December such as skating, sledding, building a snowman, driving around to look at Christmas lights, baking cookies, etc.
Schedule the activities on a calendar and check them off as you complete them.
Grab some crafty supplies and make a yearly Christmas ornament. Your family can all contribute to one ornament or you can each make one individually. Write the year on it and begin your collection on the Christmas tree.
Some ideas for homemade Christmas ornaments are:
Grab some empty glass bulbs from your local craft store and fill them with whatever you can get your hands on! You can use beads, strings or a little bit of Epsom salt to look like melted snow. You can get even more creative by coating the inside with a little bit of furniture polish, pouring the rest out and then adding glitter. Give it a good shake and you have a beautiful glittery bulb!
Make a simple 3 ingredient cinnamon ornament by mixing together 1 cup of applesauce, 1 (4 oz.) container of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of white liquid glue. Form into a soft dough and knead until smoother. Roll out the dough and cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a wooden dowel or straw, make a hole in the top of the ornament. Dry in the oven at 200ºF for 2-3 hours and air dry for 3-4 days. Once dry, add a ribbon to hang on the tree!
Popsicle sticks are a great way to make unique ornaments. Glue them together to make reindeer, Christmas trees and snowman then paint away!
Christmas Morning Family Photo
Remember those pajamas the elves leave every Christmas Eve? Take a photo of the whole family wearing their new jammies in front of the Christmas tree! Set the timer on your camera or phone and pose for a beautiful yearly photo.
Want, Need, Wear, Read
I’ve seen this idea floating around for a few years and I think the concept is amazing! Instead of having your children write out long Christmas lists full of stuff they don’t need (and will likely never use), limit their requests to these 4 things: Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.
Putting a limit on what they can ask for will help them to really think about what they want to receive for Christmas. Of course, you as a parent are not limited to purchasing only these 4 items and can certainly buy as much (or as little) as you want for your kids.