10 Family Activities to Celebrate the Holiday Season

10 Family Activities to Celebrate the Holiday SeasonEditor’s Note: Tanya from Eat Laugh Purr and A Mindful Migration is back to share some fun holiday activities that your family will enjoy.

The weather outside may be frightful (or not) but whether Mother Nature has decided to Let It Snow or it remains warm outside where you live, you can still enjoy plenty of family holiday activities. I know this time of year is very hectic for many, but these activities are not about adding to your busyness, but to give you time to slow down and enjoy the season with your loved ones.

10 Fun and Frugal Holiday Activities for Your Family

Make sure to pencil in some time this month to enjoy some favorite (and low-cost) holiday fun with your family. You’ll create great, long-lasting memories and some of these activities may become an annual Christmas tradition.

1. Christmas Entertainment Binge Night

Put on your flannel pajamas, some thick, wool socks and gather around your TV. Pick from holiday movie classics like A Christmas Story, Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Scrooge and settle in with a big bowl of buttery popcorn to binge watch all your favorite Christmas shows.

2. Bake and Decorate Christmas Cookies for Santa

I have many fond memories of making holiday cookies with my Mom. It might have been messy and easier to do it by herself, but we both have treasured memories of decorating misshapen Christmas tree cookies. Turn on some Christmas music, set out mugs of hot cocoa and invite your kids to bake with you and enjoy the mayhem and mess.

3. Go Sledding or Ice Skating

I lived in Minnesota for 30 years so I know what an endless winter feels like. At the same time, some of my fondest memories involve the snow too, whether it was sledding, ice skating or skiing, but not downhill because I’m scared of heights. 🙂 Invite family and friends to join you on an outdoor outing and make it your holiday party. End the afternoon with a simple potluck dinner or a progressive dinner.

4. Make DIY Gifts for Loved Ones

DIY gifts are the new rage and make a great family project for a lazy Sunday afternoon. You can find ideas, here, here and here to help you create some unique and low-cost gifts that will impress loved ones. This is also a great opportunity to help kids understand the price tag of a gift isn’t what makes it great.

5. Decorate Gingerbread Houses

I know this is a family tradition that Shannon enjoyed as a child and has carried on with her own daughters. You can purchase inexpensive gingerbread kits and have fun decorating these edible (or not) centerpieces. Consider making a few to give as gifts too.

6. Attend a Christmas Performance

Support your community by attending a local holiday performance. Most schools host various holiday concerts, as do most places of worship. Many cities also offer Christmas Tree lighting events, parades and other activities for little to no-cost.

7. Help Someone Decorate for Christmas

Not everyone is able-bodied enough to decorate their own home for the holidays. Volunteer to decorate (and eventually take down) their Christmas Tree and other decorations. This is a great chance to give-back and show some Christmas spirit.

8. Play Christmas Games with the Ultimate Prize

I’m not a big board game fan but my niece loves them. Since I love her, I find myself playing board games with my family every time I visit. And you know what? It’s actually pretty fun. Play a favorite family board game or Pin the Red Nose on Rudolph (it is Christmas after all) with the winner having the honor of opening the first present on Christmas.

9. Volunteer Together

In 10 Ways to Give Back this Christmas, Shannon suggested volunteering as a great holiday activity. This is especially true for those who don’t have much room in their budget. Plus it’s a good reminder, for the young and old, that Christmas means more than presents under a tree.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”  How The Grinch Stole Christmas

10. Make a Christmas Video

Instead of the more traditional card, consider creating a family Christmas video. Everyone has a video camera on their phone these days and your kids can likely edit a simple video to post privately on your Facebook page. Or if your video is fabulous and has the potential to go viral, put it on YouTube and enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.

What are some of your favorite holiday activities?

TanyaTanya is a freelance writer, web designer and blogger. You can find her at Eat Laugh Purr where she whips up delicious recipes and caters to her cat’s every whim. Or at A Mindful Migration where she blogs about mindful living and spending. Connect with Tanya on twitter and Pinterest.
December 11, 2015  •  10 Comments  •  Christmas

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  1. Friday, December 11th, 2015
    One thing we've been doing is going through old Christmas photos. It's a great way to share memories of loved ones that my daughter will never meet. She loves to see what my husband and I looked like as kids!
    • Monday, December 14th, 2015
      I love it, Emily! What a great way to remember and honor loved ones you've lost, plus introduce your daughter to them. I always liked looking at pictures of my parents (and grandparents too) when they were young too. :)
  2. Friday, December 11th, 2015
    This is a great list Tanya! We enjoy doing some of them, especially now that our kids are getting a little older. We really enjoy driving around to look at different Christmas light displays. We would never pay to get them done, like some of the displays we see have been, but they're awfully nice to look at.
    • Monday, December 14th, 2015
      My parents, particularly my Mom, really likes to look at the Christmas light displays. They live in Minnesota, so assuming there is snow on the ground, makes the reflecting lights look even better. I wouldn't normally pay to have done either, although I'm a real wimp when it comes to heights, so I would likely need to bribe someone to climb the ladder for me! LOL!
  3. Friday, December 11th, 2015
    I would love to go sledding around my neighborhood. Unfortunately it doesn't snow in Los Angeles metro area. But I like binging on Christmas entertainment with a warm cozy!
    • Monday, December 14th, 2015
      LOL! No, it definitely doesn't snow here in LA. Coming to LA from Minnesota, Christmas has always seemed weird to me due to the lack of snow. Of course, I go home for Christmas and am really excited to come back to LA where there is no snow! I like binging on Christmas entertainment too with a bowl of popcorn and hot apple cider!
  4. Friday, December 11th, 2015
    We always bake christmas cookies every year for Santa and it's something we all look forward to. Each of us has different skills as far as the cookie making is concerned so we always get a good laugh out of the experience. I think that anything that involves family time without a tv is a great holiday activity.
    • Monday, December 14th, 2015
      I used to pester and pester and pester my Mom to make Christmas cookies for Santa. I was deeply concerned that no cookies might make Santa forget about me! I always enjoy baking with her (still do) and remember we (or I) made quite a mess, but that was part of the fun, for me at least!
  5. Sunday, December 13th, 2015
    Making a Christmas video is really a good idea! With my kids and scripts, it would more exciting to do. Thanks for this wonderful idea Tanya.
    • Monday, December 14th, 2015
      You're welcome, Diana! Adults can sometimes be shy when it comes to videos but kids love them. And you'll be able to treasure their antics (and potentially blackmail them) for years to come.
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan