Christmas is an ideal holiday to gather the family and spend some “us” time. In today’s busy world, it’s sometimes hard to spend quality time with family. Rekindle the meaning of family with simple activities the whole family will enjoy and look forward to year after year. If possible, do one activity every night or a few a week to build anticipation for the upcoming holiday season.

1. See Christmas light displays around your city, and then hang Christmas lights indoors and outdoors.

2. Fire up the fireplace, drink eggnog or cocoa, eat popcorn, and read Christmas stories aloud. Take turns reading.

3. Make an Advent calendar or wreath and decorate it together.

4. Play card or board games together. Share apple cider or other snacks.

5. Have a picnic indoors: Cook food on a regular stove or grill food outdoors, then set up a spot in your home to enjoy. The fireplace or family room works great.

6. Bake cookies together. Decorate and enjoy while they are still hot. Gingerbread cookies are always a hit.

7. Deliver meals or baked goods to the elderly or disabled in your neighborhood.

8. Visit a giving tree together. Choose a gift and give everyone a part in buying, wrapping, choosing or giving the gift. Deliver the gift together as a family.

9. Sign and address Christmas cards together.

10. Wrap gifts together. Make your own wrapping paper and bows if you like.

11. Visit a tree farm and find and buy a live Christmas tree together, then decorate it.

12. Be a Secret Santa and have a family gift exchange. Draw names and give the recipient a small, inexpensive gift several times before the big day. The dollar store works great for this. Reveal who you are on Christmas Day.

13. Make fudge, then wrap it as a gift for family, friends, or co-workers.

14. Color pictures together for a coloring contest.

15. Write a story or poem about a time you all shared together.

16. Together create a Christmas scrapbook of past holiday celebrations.

17. Play pin the tail on Rudolph. He draws a rough sketch, colors it and makes a tail out of yarn.

18. Donate non-perishable food, toys, or clothing to a shelter.

19. Have a movie night. Watch classics like Charlie Brown Christmas and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Or relive recorded family memories.

20. Go caroling or stay and sing together. See if your neighbors and friends want to join in the fun.

21. Learn about Santa Claus. Discover the traditions and names that Santa Claus goes by in other countries.

22. Make personalized gift tags for your friends and family.

23. Make and decorate your own Christmas stockings.

24. Make reindeer food and sprinkle it outside to guide Santa’s sleigh.

25. Play in the snow. He makes snow angels or snowmen and then has a cup of hot chocolate and writes to Santa.

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