1. Make a gingerbread house – If you’re ambitious or love to bake, you can make your gingerbread from scratch. If not, you can purchase a pre-made gingerbread house, and all you have to do is assemble and decorate! Your kids will love creating these sweet masterpieces!
  2. Go caroling – You don’t have to sing perfectly, you just have to enjoy yourself! Stay toasty by filling a thermos with hot cocoa or apple cider before heading outdoors. Invite your neighbors or friends to join you because “the more the merrier”!
  3. Look at Christmas lights – It seems like every year people get more creative with their lights and decorations. Take your family out on the town to visit some of the most notorious neighborhoods, or stay local and visit your own community. Either way, it’s a  true holiday pastime the whole family can enjoy.
  4. Visit a local homeless shelter or pet shelter – Teach your kids about compassion by visiting a local shelter and focusing your family’s attention on others. Many of these shelters have volunteer opportunities, too.
  5. Make ornaments – Stop by your local craft/fabric store to pick up the supplies you’ll need, including plain bulbs, popsicle sticks, paint, yarn, ribbons, glitter, holly/pinecones, etc. For more fun, make it a decorating party by inviting your kids’ friends over to join in!
  6. Make cookies for your local fire/police department – Our local public service men and women deserve some recognition this year! As many will be working during the holidays and spending time helping others instead of spending time with their families, it’s a nice, thoughtful way to show your thankfulness for their sacrifice.
  7. Make a garland – There are several types of garlands you can make, from ribbons to popcorn to colorful beads. Get creative and let your kids string to their hearts content. Then hang you lovely garlands around the house or on your tree for some festive decorations.
  8. Visit the snow – There is something about frolicking in the powdery snow that makes everyone feel like a kid again! So grab your coats, gloves, and sleds and head up to the snowy peaks. Make snow angels, snowmen, and don’t forget to have a snowball fight too!
  9. Donate a gift – There are many options for gift-giving during the holiday season. To help you get started, check out operationsantasearch.org, which lets you search for local organizations that help children in need.
  10. Watch a Holiday movie – Enjoy a family movie night with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone, The Polar Express, It’s a Wonderful Life, or Charlie Brown Christmas. Many of these movies will be aired on your local network during the month. You can check out the schedule here.
  11. Go on a scavenger hunt – Make a list of holiday-themed items your kids will be able to find. Some ideas include: Santa Claus, reindeer, a Christmas tree, candy canes, presents, silver bells, Santa’s sleigh, elves, Frosty the Snowman, etc. You can make this a scavenger hunt in your home, neighborhood, or on the long car rides during the holidays.
  12. Make gifts for your neighbors – It doesn’t have to be a huge gift, but something simple and thoughtful can be the perfect friendly gift. Try a hot cocoa kit in a mason jar or herbal tea in a holiday mug to warm your neighbors hearts (and hands).