Plan Family Time This Christmas

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The year I declared that I was done with the crazy Christmas season is still etched in my mind.

No longer did I want to wake up on December 26th and wonder where the month went.  I wanted to savor time as a family instead of rushing around like a mad woman focused on decorating and shopping.

It was time to plan some purposeful family time during a month that flies by faster than most.

Make time for family time this holiday season. Check out a few ideas here.

We began planning some family fun during December with a once a week Family Night.  These purposefully planned nights became a tradition in addition to our Advent Dinners on Sunday nights.

We brainstorm fun family night ideas each year so that we focus on time together in the month of December.  Each year, we return to favorite activities while adding in a few new ones. Typically family night happens more than once a week as fun activity ideas fill our calendars.

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Family Time with a Family Gift:

Plan a game night with a brand new card or board game.  Four-way countdown was our most recent purchase and it has been a huge hit.  Codenames is waiting in the closet to pull out when the night is right.

New flashlights for each child were a surprise one year.  After opening their new flashlights, we went on a walk in the dark around our neighborhood.  My kids were all under 10 years old and this was a huge hit!

Unwrap a new DVD and enjoy a movie night. Of course, you could make use of Netflix, Redbox, or a loan from a friend!

If you select a Netflix movie, then unwrap new PJ’s to wear while watching. (This is a new idea we are going to try this year.)

Open an envelope that reveals this year’s museum/zoo/science center membership and head out for the day. We love any museum that is part of the ASTC passport program!

Family Time at Local Events.

We love to attend local activities in our area during the holiday season.

Without a doubt, we enjoy light displays for at least one family night every year. Local newspapers and websites inform residents of the well-decorated homes and the local light displays. This is a favorite night for me because I love to get out and enjoy lights, even if it is just a walk around our street.


The Walk-Thru Bethlehem is a favorite for my children. They remind us every year that we should look it up and reserve a night on the calendar, so we do. Churches across the country host similar events, so be sure to check google for one near you.

Museums in the area often have special holiday activities or displays.

Light displays and winter hayrides can be found at local farms in your area.

Visit Santa Claus wherever he might be hanging out.  The mall is typically a common location to see him, though we have visited him in his sleigh at the local general store in Raleigh.

Visiting local train gardens was one of our favorite holiday activities in Maryland. Apparently, train gardens were a Maryland “thing” because we can’t find any around us anymore.

Family Time in the House

Family time can begin with a gift, but we have tried plenty of ideas at home that didn’t involve gifts.

Baking is always a holiday season hit. Pick 2-3 cookie recipes and help your little chefs have a ball. If your kids are young, stick to one yummy recipe. Be sure to enjoy a few fresh cookies from the oven.

Gingerbread houses are fun to build together.  Kits are easy to find locally or online.


Relax on the sofa with old photo albums, especially albums of Christmas in the past. Kids adore stories about themselves so be sure to share what you can remember.

Make use of the fire pit if you have one and roast marshmallows while sipping hot chocolate.

Slowing down and savoring the lights, beauty, and joy of the season comes naturally for some. Others of us have to schedule and plan ways to slow down. Attack your planned family time spontaneously or attack it with a plan. Either way, you won’t wake up on December 26th and regret the family time you enjoyed this season.

Check out some great ideas for making family time part of your Christmas Season.

What are your favorite ways to spend time with your kids during the Christmas season?

This is the final post in the series, “5 Days of Meaningful Christmas Traditions“.


We give our children four christmas gifts: want, need, wear, read. Click and discover some ideas for each category.Building toys for kids who like to design, create, and build.


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