12 days of Christmas

Anyone else feel like life can be a full out sprint in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Well for me it usually is, so last year we came up with an idea to slow down and spend some time together as a family. Instead of several gifts on Christmas morning we decided to do activities the days leading up to Christmas. Now don’t let me lose you here, some are as simple as watching a movie together or looking at Christmas lights! Good news, you still have time to start this fun little tradition this year {we’re starting on December 14}. Yay!

So, here’s how it goes… Come up with a list of 12 days worth of activities or gifts to do as a family {or just use mine listed below!}. To prep, you might need some red envelopes, optional of course, and a few craft activities. Red envelopes are for you to use to write out the activities and days on and something they can open everyday! Maybe write a reminder on the outside in case you need to switch the days around. Easy, right?!

If you’re not so sure your kids are ready, follow along on my Instagram Stories to see our 12 days of Christmas! Maybe you can do it next year or just do small things your littles will enjoy. In case you’re wondering we also read a lot of bible stories and books about the real meaning of Christmas! We’ve tried to do the Jesse Tree {I love it!} but my kids are still a little young to sit through it… {read: I sat there reading to them yesterday while they were fighting with each other and having meltdowns.} Maybe some of it soaked in. BUT, we love these books which help us talk about the Christmas story and hold their attention: One Small Donkey for Little OnesItsy Bitsy Christmas: You’re Never Too Little for His Love and A Charlie Brown Christmas: Deluxe Edition (Peanuts).

1. Giving a gift – find someone to give a gift to, even if you’re donating to something.

2. Polar Express movie night in! – We also love the VeggieTales Christmas movies if you want another option!

3. Drink hot chocolate and look at neighborhood lights.

4. Christmas clings for windows – I like the ones from Michaels or Target dollar section usually has some too. {not responsible for the other $100 you might spend, guilty!}

5. Zoo lights – Our Zoo has an awesome lights display but there are a ton of similar things other places. This is for sure a plan ahead type activity!

6. Gingerbread house

7. Christmas craft to give as gifts – Because we all know the grandparents eat it up

8. Read Christmas book – this might even be a new book if you want to add to your collection!

9. Bath toys or Snowman big book – I plan to recycle a gift from last year but we also love bath colors or bath tablets.

10. The Star movie

11. Happy Birthday Jesus party – With a birthday cake and singing, of course!

12. Santa gifts

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