Planning your Christmas bucket list will be a lot of fun. My list of 24 ideas includes Christian activities as well as festive family traditions.
My Christmas Bucket List for families includes a free printable for you. There are 24 ways to celebrate the season with family. Plus I have offered ways to carry out each of the ideas. The work has been done for you so you can enjoy the holiday season with your family.
What should I put on my Christmas bucket list?
You should include activities that your family will enjoy and can reasonably do where you live.
For instance, we can’t go ice skating here in the deep south. There is no need to include ice skating on our holiday bucket list. But we can include riding in a horse-drawn carriage because that is an event offered nearby in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
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Do you have to do everything on the holiday bucket list?
No, pick and choose those things that fit into your busy schedule. The bucket list is meant to be fun, not stressful. If you can’t do all 24, it is not a problem.
Pick and choose what is right for your family and even write in your own ideas. Scroll all the way down for the free printable Christmas Bucket List.
I have included Christian activities and traditional holiday activity ideas.
Table of Contents
- What should I put on my Christmas bucket list?
- Do you have to do everything on the holiday bucket list?
- What kind of things are on this Family Christmas Bucket List?
Family Christmas Bucket List Ideas
- 1. Countdown to Christmas with an Advent Calendar
- 2. Make a Nativity Craft
- 3. Bake Christmas Cookies
- 4. Play Christmas BINGO
- 5. Make Christmas Ornaments
- 6. Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
- 7. Adopt a family in need of gift giving
- 8. Visit a local Christmas festival or parade
- 9. Send Christmas cards to friends and family
- 10. Listen to Christmas music
- 11. Visit a Live Nativity
- 12. Decorate your front door for the holiday season
- 13. Do a random act of kindness
- 14. Put together a Christmas puzzle
- 15. Make bird suet and hang it out for the birds
- 16. Get all gussied up and take family photos
- 17. Read the Christmas story in the Bible
- 18. Read “T’was the Night Before Christmas”
- 19. Visit a shut-in or elderly friend or relative
- 20. Roast marshmallows and sip hot cocoa
- 21. Watch Hallmark Christmas movies
- 22. Go on a Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt
- 23. Go to a Christmas Service at Church
- 24. Track Santa on Christmas eve
- Print the Christmas Bucket List for Families
What kind of things are on this Family Christmas Bucket List?
I have included family-friendly activities that can be found all over America during the holiday season, in small towns and big cities. There are plenty of things to do right at home.
There are 24 different ideas on this holiday season bucket list. If you really do have time for all of them, kudos to you. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that you are such a fun person to hang out with during the holidays.
However, please do not stress out trying to complete the list. Only do those things which will create a more festive and fun atmosphere in your family as your plan and prepare for Christmas Day. Use this lest to create excitement during the holiday season.
Family Christmas Bucket List Ideas
1. Countdown to Christmas with an Advent Calendar
In anticipation of Christmas, the advent calendar allows you to open one window, flap, box, or bag daily. Behind the flap or in the bag, whatever the case may be, is typically a treat related to the season.
Advent calendars are always fun for young children. They are excited to see what the treat will be each day.
Be sure to plan ahead and start your advent calendar on December 1.
No children in the house? No problem. Get yourself one of these chocolate candy-filled Advent Calendars. ~wink~
Also, see my DIY Paper Bag Christmas Countdown Calendar easy craft to make for your family.
2. Make a Nativity Craft
Teaching the children the true meaning of Christmas can be reinforced by making a Nativity craft.
Visit my Christmas Season board on Pinterest for more DIY ornament ideas.
3. Bake Christmas Cookies
Baking cookies at Christmas and making a Gingerbread house are things the whole family can enjoy. The hard part of making cookies is deciding which ones, right?
Visit my Cookies category page for lots of cookie recipe ideas.
4. Play Christmas BINGO
Print this cute Christmas BINGO Game. It’s free.
We know that gathering during the holiday season with friends and family create those memories we all love. It’s a great game for the kids and fun for classrooms too.
Everyone loves playing BINGO, it’s easy and cost nothing, unless you buy prizes which is always nice.
5. Make Christmas Ornaments
Making homemade Christmas ornaments is a must-do activity every year for me. They are the most precious ornaments on the tree.
Plan a Saturday just for Christmas crafts and see this list of 21 DIY Christmas ornaments for ideas.
More DIY Ornament Ideas
- Easy Painted Wood Slice Ornaments DIY
- How To Make This Elf Entrance Sign Christmas Tree Ornament
- Make This Red & White Pom Pom Mini Wreath Ornament
- Mini Terracotta Pot Snowman Kids Christmas Craft
- How To Make A Felt Poinsettia Christmas Ornament
6. Attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
Check you local listings for Christmas tree lighting ceremonies near you. Usually the local news station will publish a list of public events that will include these festive ceremonies. The public is invited because they want a crowd and the event is generally free.
In my neck of the woods, it is the local Children’s hospital that hold this type of event early in December.
7. Adopt a family in need of gift giving
Contact your Department of Family and Children services organization or local American Red Cross to get signed up to adopt a family. There is a huge need.
If you cannot adopt an entire family, there are other ways to give. You can sponsor one child and it will be a blessing.
8. Visit a local Christmas festival or parade
Watch your local news source for upcoming holiday events in your area.
One popular event is called the Mistletoe Market which is a larger group that holds local events. We always enjoy going to our Mistletoe Market which is generally held in November where we live.
You might find local Christmas festivities sponsored by churches and civic organizations. Don’t forget to go to the Christmas parade in your town and take the kids for this traditional holiday experience.
9. Send Christmas cards to friends and family
Everyone loves getting Christmas cards in the mail. It makes a heart smile. Rejuvenate this old Christmas tradition in your family.
Buy the pretty, festive postage stamps to go on the envelopes. Mail the Christmas cards out in early December so your friends and families can enjoy having them on display throughout the season. Order beautiful Christmas cards from Day Spring.
The price of a postage stamp is still cheap enough to send a holiday greeting.
Also, see 12 DIY Christmas Card Display Ideas
10. Listen to Christmas music
Of course, we tune into our local Christmas music radio station in early December, well okay, maybe I tune in around Thanksgiving.
But, did you know that if you have an Amazon Prime membership, it includes Free Music? Get a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime. Then you can listen anywhere; home, car, gym.
FYI, Evergreen radio carries Christmas music 365 days per year. Listen to Evergreen on Alexa.
11. Visit a Live Nativity
Go to a Live Nativity that will be performed by one of your local churches. Some of these events are drive-throughs and some allow walk-throughs.
Check your local listings for a Live Nativity near you.
12. Decorate your front door for the holiday season
Decorating your front door for the holiday season is a perfect way to share the Christmas spirit with family and neighbors.
You can make your own Christmas Wreath. Buy a Christmas wreath, there are plenty on Amazon-order early.
I LOVE this Santa cover for the front door. This is a bit old-fashioned way to decorate your door for Christmas and that is what is so great about it. These door covers are festive and less expensive than a wreath.
You could decorate the area around the door or your whole front porch. Look for ideas on the Christmas Board on Pinterest.
13. Do a random act of kindness
The possibilities are endless for random acts of kindness. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
10 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
- Pay it forward by paying for the order of the person behind you at a drive-through
- Pay off a stranger’s Christmas layaway at a local department store
- Buy extra food at the grocery store and take it to your local food bank (they always need meat)
- Volunteer to serve a meal at your local soup kitchen. You can’t just walk into being a volunteer. Most places require you to fill out a form to be approved for safety reasons, so plan ahead.
- Allow someone to go in front of you in a long line.
- Pay for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant. Look for an elderly person dining alone.
- Hold a door open for strangers.
- Bring doughnuts to work for your co-workers.
- Leave a generous tip for a waitress or waiter.
- Send Care packages to soldiers overseas. Visit Any Soldier for more information.
14. Put together a Christmas puzzle
An all-time favorite Christmas tradition that families can share each year is putting together a Christmas puzzle. For the price of one puzzle, you get days and hours of family time.
Find religious Christmas puzzles at Day Spring. These will be smaller puzzles.
Our favorite brand of Christmas puzzle is Ravensburger, available on Amazon and you can also find these at Hobby Lobby.
15. Make bird suet and hang it out for the birds
Show some Christmas love to God’s creatures by making bird suet for the birds. My recipe for bird suet is super easy. The kids can make it with your supervision.
16. Get all gussied up and take family photos
Oh, what fun ♫♪ Have a relative or friend take family photos of your crew all dressed up for the holiday season.
You can wear ugly sweaters or dress very nicely, the decision is yours. Don’t forget to take the traditional family photo in front of the tree too.
17. Read the Christmas story in the Bible
Find the Christmas story in Luke chapters 1 and 2 and also in Matthew, chapters 1 and 2. There are different details in each of those passages so be sure to read them both.
This is a fun family activity that you can do over the course of several days if you like.
18. Read “T’was the Night Before Christmas”
An all-time family favorite Christmas tradition is the reading of Clement C. Moore’s Night Before Christmas.
Even though we no longer have small children, I still read it every year for the pleasure it brings to me.
I have this Hawthorne Village Thomas Kinkade ‘TWAS The Night Before Christmas Collectible Story House by The Bradford Exchange. Each window lights up as the story is being told. Our youngest grandson enjoys watching and listening and that brings us all pleasure.
I also like the video version below as read by Perry Como.
19. Visit a shut-in or elderly friend or relative
If you don’t know someone personally who is a shut-in or have an elderly relative, go visit your local nursing home. There are always folks there who would love a visit.
20. Roast marshmallows and sip hot cocoa
There is something about roasting marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa during the holiday season. It’s another must-do family tradition.
Set up a Hot Cocoa bar like this to enjoy throughout the entire season. After Christmas, you can change it up for the winter season.
We use our Solo Stove to roast marshmallows in the backyard when we have all the family over.
21. Watch Hallmark Christmas movies
Of course, you can switch that up to any Christmas movies you prefer. We never miss A Christmas Story or Christmas With The Kranks.
A favorite thing for everyone is to gather in the living room and have a Christmas movie marathon. Cozy up under blankets and enjoy the day. If you have already baked cookies and set up that hot chocolate bar, you will have yummy treats to enjoy.
FYI, if you are indeed a fan of Hallmark Christmas movies, you can stream on the Frndly network.
More Christmas Movie ideas
- See my Christmas with the Kranks movie night at home.
- My Top 5 Plus America’s Top 10 Favorite Christmas movies list
- Set up your own version of my Christmas Movie Night Snack Bar.
- Make this Festive White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn for watching Christmas movies
22. Go on a Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt
Driving around to see Christmas lights is always a fun Christmas tradition. Many cities now have Facebook pages pointing you in the right direction. You may even be able to add your own address if you have a big Christmas light display.
Get my free printable Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt and have fun.
23. Go to a Christmas Service at Church
Many churches host a special service for Christmas and then offer several performances. Some are more elaborate than others. Check your local listings for one near you.
Do not worry that you may stand out because you are a visitor. There are lots of visitors at church on Christmas and Easter. You will be in good company and can enjoy the service.
24. Track Santa on Christmas eve
Have some fun with the little kids by tracking Santa on Christmas eve. Use the NORAD tracker.
I hope you have found some fun things your family members will enjoy to get into the holiday spirit.
Print the list of 24 Christmas Bucket List Ideas for families and make plans now to enjoy a festive holiday season.
You can also use this Christmas Bucket List for couples. That is how my husband and I will be doing it and we can’t wait.
My friend Rita at Harbour Breeze Home blog has created these beautiful Gift Tags you can print for free. Rita and I are always in the Christmas spirit.
Print the Christmas Bucket List for Families