Celebrate the ho-ho-holidays all month long with these ideas for crafts, activities and recipes to help you connect as a family and enjoy a festive fete.
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Start the month off with the gift of an advent calendar for a cute present each day. Here are some of our favorites: American Girl Advent Calendar, The Elf on the Shelf’s Sweet Spinners Advent Calendar, BRIO World Christmas Advent Calendar and Santa’s Candy Shop Tasting Collection.
Who doesn’t love a bit of holiday mail? While you’re writing your letters to Santa (find cute templates at uspsoperationsanta.com), connect with family and friends across the country by sending sweet letters to them as well.
Have a bit of old-fashioned fun and decorate your yard with bird-friendly garland. String popcorn, nuts and cranberries together for a decoration you can place outdoors. See if you spot any new birds who are celebrating the season!
December 4th is National Cookie Day! Combine the glory of pizza and cookies with this Christmas Cookie Pizza. Find instructions at hersheyland.com.
Remember the reason for the season and make giving a family priority by helping someone in need. Brainstorm ways you can help as a family to encourage discussions of empathy. Through December 12, visit The Interlock to find Light the World Giving Machines, vending machines helping those in need with selections of items for local and global charities. Give holiday gifts and items to underprivileged children and seniors with The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. Help children in need by providing toys, holiday food baskets, warm clothing and more with Lift Up Atlanta.
Create a holiday-themed play dough set with this idea from Because I Said So, Baby. To assemble a kit, fill a plastic bead box with sprinkles, a mini rolling pin, cookie cutters, ribbon, washi tape and stickers. Find instructions at becauseisaidsobaby.com.
Use science to make homemade ornaments for your tree. Create these Salt Crystal Ornaments from Lemon Lime Adventures for an educational and creative outlet. Find instructions at lemonlimeadventures.com.
Play with Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves at Santa’s Village. Code with Santa’s elves, learn how different countries around the world celebrate the holidays, build a wintery Snowbox, help Ollie the narwhal host a kelp lighting ceremony and more.
Sometimes, Christmas can feel overloaded with sweets. Keep the festive spirit alive with this healthier appetizer, Christmas Tree Bites. Find instructions at bettycrocker.com.
Create your own winter wonderland with pretend snow for a sensory playground. Follow The Purposeful Nest’s instructions to make play snow for castles, snowmen and more. Find instructions at thepurposefulnest.com.
It’s a great night for a game night. Search for Christmas-themed puzzles or 3D puzzles, or look online for printable themed games like scavenger hunts, word scramble, Mad Libs or bingo. Check out Santa Cookie Elf Candy Snowman for a seasonal board game.
December 12th is National Poinsettia Day. Poinsettias are indigenous to Mexico and Central America and often used to decorate for Christmas. Make a pretty poinsettia with Mod Podge Rocks’ Christmas Poinsettia Canvas Craft. Find instructions at modpodgerocksblog.com.
It’s National Cocoa Day! Skip the box and make your own for a delicious beverage. Follow Craft Box Girls’ recipe for a wonderful, warm drink, and make fun marshmallow friends for a cute upgrade. Find instructions at craftboxgirls.com.
Looking for an easy and festive dessert? Whip up Pillsbury’s 5-Minute Christmas Bark. Find instructions at pillsbury.com.
December 15th is National Ugly Sweater Day. In honor of the day, have everyone in the family wear their ugliest Christmas sweater. Craft your own unique themed sweater with a free, 20-page printable coloring book at cobberson.com/free-printable-ugly-sweater-coloring-pages.
It’s your very own Christmas tree farm with these 3D Paper Plate Christmas Trees! Make these easy trees, and then, set out paint, glitter glue and stickers for decorating. Find instructions at pinkstripeysocks.com.
Peppermint is a festive flavor for your holiday dessert. And no-bake White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge makes it easy to enjoy! Find instructions at dominosugar.com.
Put a spin on the traditional gingerbread cookie with Wilton’s Butterscotch Milkshake Gingerbread Cookie Shots. These edible shot glasses are made of gingerbread and filled with a creamy milkshake for a decadent dessert. Find instructions at wilton.com.
Make every part of your home feel festive. Find instructions online for creating paper snowflakes. Then, follow In My Own Style to create a no-sew window treatment for Christmas décor that can stay up all winter. Find instructions at inmyownstyle.com.
Take the traditional volcano science experiment and redo it for Christmas with the Festive Fizzing Trees from In These Stilettos. Find instructions at inthesestilettos.com.
Today is the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year and marks the astronomical start of winter. Observe the day by crafting Ice Suncatcher Ornaments from Take Them Outside. Go on a winter walk to find natural items. Find instructions at takethemoutside.com.
Keep those STEM skills strong despite the break with Mombrite’s Gumdrop Christmas Tree Challenge. Use red and green gumdrops and toothpicks to challenge your kids to build the tallest Christmas tree. Find instructions at mombrite.com.
December 23rd is National Christmas Movie Marathon Day. Spend the day watching everyone’s favorite holiday-themed movie. Between movies, search online for trivia questions and answers to see who’s the most knowledgeable!
Tomorrow’s the big day! Leave jolly old Saint Nick a delicious dessert with these Spiced Holiday Sugar Cookies to create the cutest platter of cookies for Santa. He probably won’t mind if you sneak one or two! Find instructions at mccormick.com.