Busy Moms, Here’s Your Christmas Activities Cheat Sheet
If you’re like me, every December you get this super boost motivation to make magical memories with your kids. Forget the fact that you’ve barely been surviving your fall routine with school dress-up days, doctors’ appointments, gymnastics classes, and car tantrums. It’s December! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Who needs sleep when it’s the season of the sticks?
Regrettably, moms and kids do.
So while I support your attempts to make memories through Christmas activities and new family traditions, I’d also like to equip you for the winter days that are shorter than they look.
In this blog post on Christmas activities for kids, you’ll find realistic holiday experiences.
I’m not grinching out on you. These fun Christmas activities for toddlers, kids, and teens are indeed memory manufacturers—but they’re festive without the fuss. Try out these new holiday traditions that take less effort and less money than their idealistic counterparts and sleep in heavenly peace this holiday season.Santa's Workshop at Home
Here’s your perfect Sunday afternoon Christmas activity for kids: Transform your living room into Santa's workshop. Grab the glitter—unless you have an “allergy” like I do—and glue. Pull out the construction paper, pom poms, safety scissors, and stickers. Your kids are Santa’s elves, and they need to have five kids’ Christmas gifts completed by dinnertime. Ten if they’re swift workers. Let their creativity flow from the Christmas craft supplies you have on-hand, or jumpstart the holiday activity with this wooden gingerbread house kit.
If you read our last blog post on holiday home decor, then you got a sneak peek at 2023’s cutest Advent calendars for kids. These aren’t your grandma’s Advent calendars.
There’s a soft plush penguin Advent calendar for 3-year-olds and older to move a stuffed fish from day to day as they await Christmas morning. For older kids, you’ll find this Advent calendar that doubles as bohemian holiday decor and ticks all of the boxes for millennial motherhood. (Each tear-off pouch has a handmade wool ornament inside and is decorated with a question, encouragement, or intentional thought for your kids!) More Advent calendars are available in dinosaur theme, charm bracelets, and circus aesthetic. My recommendation: Order your Advent calendar now. If it comes with fillable pouches, plan to drop stickers, treats, or encouraging notes in each day’s pocket. That’s minimal effort for holiday magic every. single. morning.
Holiday House Construction
If the wooden embroidery gingerbread house kit was a hit, then you can’t go wrong with an edible, sugary building experience. A great Christmas tradition for kids who love to build and parents who don’t yell bad words when their cookie roof slides off of the gingerbread walls for the fourth time in a row (I’m no longer allowed to participate in the Harrison family gingerbread house competition), gingerbread houses are more about the experience than the finished product. We found this homemade gingerbread house recipe if you catch the holiday baking bug. There are prepared gingerbread house kits in the holiday shop of most grocery stores for the rest of us.Christmas Movie Marathon
Suit up in your holiday pajamas for the next fun family Christmas activity. Unlike most Christmas traditions, this winter activity brings peace and rest to both parents and kids. Turn on a Christmas classic like “Home Alone,” a vibey flick like “Harry Potter,” or a Christmas comedy like “Elf,” to keep the holiday magic flowing at home. It is the recommendation of this author that you do not tell your kids there’s a “Cocomelon” holiday special unless you’d prefer to spend eleven bonus months singing carols with JJ and friends.
By the way, movie snacks are an absolute must for your family movie night, but don’t feel like you have to make them at home. This year, you can do less while enjoying more special moments with the family. It’s 100% okay to buy pretzels and popcorn and NOT dip them in white chocolate for movie night.
Host a family snowball fight as a new tradition, but first build your snow field! Inspire creativity in your kids by letting them be the gamemakers. They can craft intricate paper snowflakes or keep it basic with blanket forts and boxy obstacles to hide behind. For added mom magic, gather all of the packing peanuts you have and drop them from your second story as a light snowfall during the building phase. Next, you’ll work together to form a ton of snowballs from printer paper or recycled paper, and then you’ll split the teams. Once you’re ready, the indoor snowball fight begins! Winner gets extra marshmallows in their post-game hot cocoa.DIY Christmas Ornaments & Holiday Market
Homemade Christmas ornaments are a rite of passage for bored kids on holiday break. Cultivate kids' creativity as they design their own unique ornaments and prepare them for market. Show them the designs for some of the ornaments you made as a kid—like sequins on popsicle stick stars, foam picture frames, and pipe cleaner candy canes. Then let them pretend they’re selling their Christmas tree ornaments at a holiday market. They’ll have a blast trading homemade ornaments for cold, hard, (pretend) cash.Decorate Kids’ Christmas Trees with Core Memories
What are the 2023 moments your kids will always remember? Find out which moments are solidifying into core memories and then decorate a tree in their bedrooms with that theme. For instance, if your child had a huge soccer year, track down soccer ornaments for their personalized tree. Did they read a ton of books? Discover a new hobby? Connect with the animals at the zoo? Eat a ton of snacks? Shop for Christmas ornaments that fit their theme and let them express themselves by displaying it in their bedroom or play room. Here are some snack and animal themed ornaments to get you started.
Have a Christmas Cookie or Christmas Cupcake Exchange
Every winter, I crave seasonal treats like pumpkin bread, firecrackers, and peanut butter blossoms. These recipes were holiday traditions for my family while I was growing up, and I love baking (and eating) them as continued family traditions with my own kids. Another takeaway from my nostalgic Christmases in the country is the holiday treat exchange that was an unspoken tradition among our neighbors. Friends would wind down our white rock driveway with holiday treats that were a part of their cultural traditions, and we would give them a tin of peanut butter blossoms or white chocolate popcorn in return. My husband’s family frosted Christmas themed sugar cookies with cookie cutters like these Santa & Reindeer cookie cutters. My daughters are cupcake lovers, so they’re excited to try out the festive house cupcake kit or nutcracker cupcake kit this year. While I’m less likely to knock on my neighbors’ doors today, I still like the idea of showing Christmas kindness through a homemade treat (free of common allergens) in their mailbox or on their front step.
Send your kids to their happy place with a doll house or gingerbread that could use a festive touch. The holiday collection from Maileg invites little mice to shoop, shoop, shoop down the miniature slopes, toast one another at a tiny tea party, and rock around the LED light-up Christmas tree. Your kids will spend hours setting up their little house with cosy couches and decor, and then they’ll play with it for hours more. This is the lazy mom (lol, as if there was such a thing) Christmas activity because it requires very little interaction by you, and is the perfect diversion for when you need to hide the Christmas gifts from your kids.
As a mom, you’re used to facilitating the fun, but your kids and partner would enjoy spending more quality time with you instead of losing you to activity prepping and perfecting. Take a page out of the lazy mom’s playbook (again: there’s no such thing as a lazy mom), and choose realistic, intentional Christmas activities this year. Less is more for holiday togetherness magic.If you try out any of these Christmas activities for kids or new holiday traditions, make sure to tag @shopbohemianmama to let us know how they go!