There was a time when the holidays consisted of you slipping into the sexiest party dresses, sipping the strongest cocktails and dining out at the fanciest restaurants with friends. But then you had kids — and your holiday seasons looks a little bit different now.
Chances are you’ve replaced your party dresses with matching red-striped pajama sets the whole family sports, and your cocktails have turned into hot chocolate on the couch — except we won’t tell if you sneak a little booze in your Santa mug. But that doesn’t mean the fun has stopped. In fact, spending holidays with your kids is one of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit and help you recognize and remember the true meaning of the season.
Don’t let December fly by without taking advantage of this festive, joy-filled time; we’re giving you 20 no-to-low cost activities you can enjoy with your kids throughout the entire holiday season!
1. Spend a day baking Christmas cookies; then package them up in pretty wrapping and deliver to your neighbors as a sweet holiday surprise. We love these boxes topped with a festive bow.
2. Everyone sends Christmas cards; be creative and make New Years cards for friends and family to welcome in 2017. This DIY tutorial is fun — and not aggravating — for the whole family.
3. Host a holiday puppet show using socks and other stuffed animals you have around the house; pop some popcorn and invite the neighbors over for a front row seat to the big show. We also love these cute finger puppet versions.
4. Throw an ornament party; gather up an assortment of construction paper, glue, glitter and whatever else you have on hand for a day of DIY ornament creations to hang on your tree. These snowmen ornaments are a fun craft to do with the kids.
5. Plan a treasure hunt by hiding “treasures” like gold foil-wrapped chocolates, Ring-pops and dollar bills around the house, then write down clues for your little ones to find them.
6. Step out of your baking comfort zone and pick an impressive holiday dessert you’ve never made before - like a candy cane pie or this peppermint cheesecake - then attempt it with your kids as your helpers.
7. Help organize an under $10 Secret Santa gift exchange between your kids' circle of close friends, cousins or neighbors; then sit back and watch the fun unfold as everyone tries to guess their Secret Santa.
8. Write a thank-you letter to Elf on the Shelf before he goes back to the North Pole.
9. Make an edible snowman using shaved ice — then eat it after you’re finished, sno-cone style.
10. Pick a weekend and have a Christmas Movie Marathon complete with virgin eggnog and mint chocolate-drizzled popcorn.
11. Start an annual Christmas tradition of constructing a themed gingerbread house; pick a new, unique theme every year. Keep it easy with this kit that has pre-made walls.
12. Choose your favorite Christmas story and start a family book club; meet every couple of days to discuss what you’ve read so far.
13. Everyone dress in pajamas, pack the car with blankets, pour some hot chocolate in thermoses, tune your radio to Christmas music and load the family up in the car to go look at Christmas lights at night.
14. Design and decorate your own wreaths using pine cones and ribbon, then hang them proudly on the front door all season. Enjoy some family craft time with this tutorial.
15. Have a family picnic indoors under the Christmas tree; it’ll be too cold to go outside, so spread a blanket in the living room and enjoy the family’s favorite picnic staples.
16. Have a New Year’s Eve slumber party complete with party hats, pots and pans to bang on at midnight, sparkling water or grape juice and plenty of snacks.
17. Pick your favorite Christmas carol, then re-write the words to the song together incorporating family members and things from your home. Then record it on your computer or phone to play back all season long.
18. Make a “Resolution Tree” by having everyone write out their resolutions and tying it to a mini-Christmas tree; then try to guess which one belongs to each person.
19. Make a “Hot Chocolate Bar” and invite friends over; set out a bunch of fun toppings like whipped cream, chocolate covered marshmallows, sprinkles, maraschino cherries, cinnamon, similar to an ice cream bar.
20. Go Christmas shopping for a local children’s hospital; it’s a great way to get your kids involved in giving back and teaching them the true meaning of Christmas.