Fun December Activities to Do with Your Family

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I’m stunned. Where has the year gone? December is here already? Wow! Ready or not, let the fun begin!

The following are easy, fun, and frugal ways to enjoy time with your family.

Watch movies

Last night after dinner we watched The Christmas Carol, starring Jim Carrey. Last year a couple of the FishBoys and I saw it in the theatre in 3D. The action is certainly not as dramatic on the TV, but it’s still a good flick, and so inspiring toward giving, something I’m trying to grow in this year.

MomAdvice recently shared this list of holiday movie schedules. Keep track of when your favorites will be showing. You can also check out movies from the library, usually for free.

Bake cookies

Later tonight at Ultimate Recipe Swap, we’ll be sharing cookie recipes. I’ve got tips for baking and freezing all your Christmas goodies. Here’s a peek at what is coming to LifeasMOM and Good Cheap Eats this month. The kids and I had so much fun doing this:

If you want to try your hand at candy making, grab this free ebook from my friend Lynn.

Plan the Daze

Create a ginormous calendar of the month. Let the kids decorate it and be a part of your holiday planning. My sister has multiple birthdays and celebrations over the coming months, so she did this with her girls this week. What a sweet memory in the making!

Observe Advent

I busted out our Jesse Tree ornaments this morning and we’ve got a new book to read through this year. I’m looking forward to a new twist on an old favorite.

And I’m excited to follow along with Mom’s Toolbox as Amy is going to be sharing daily Advent activities for moms and families. Amy is always a good one to remind me where to look.

Look at Lights

Pop some popcorn, get the kids in their jammies and coats and head out to see the lights in your town. My kids love this tradition. Look at how little they were!

If you live in or near a major city, chances are your regional parenting publication is offering a map of all the Christmas light displays in your area. Yes, really. If you live in San Diego county, you can check out San Diego Family Magazine’s Map of Lights.


I don’t know if was watching The 30 Day Give from afar or a visit from The Christmas Ghosts, but I feel compelled to be more generous this holiday season — and hopefully beyond.

The other night Toys for Tots was standing outside Walmart. How easy is that? Buy a toy and drop it in the box. The men standing out in the cold were sooooo surprised. That struck me. I must not be the only one who could grow in giving.

I love JessieLeigh’s idea for helping out Military families by donating at Dollar Tree. Give your kids each a couple bucks and let them share the joy of giving. You all generated some great ideas about giving as well. Thank you for the inspiration!

What fun have YOU got planned for this month?

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  1. Planning is definitely something I need to do! We have plenty to do and I want to make sure we get it all in. One fun activity we have planned is making all the decorations for our tree. I think my son will have fun with that!

  2. We’re doing a ton of fun things this month: set up the Advent calendar last night; will read Christmas books and watch movies; Happy Birthday Jesus party at church Friday night, caroling for seniors next Monday – and I’ll be helping Santa write personalized letters to kids through a service group (, with all the proceeds going to the Autism Society of Minnesota.

  3. We have an activity a day starting today, some big some small but all fun and family! I like all the ideas you shared. Bring on the cookie recipes! This is one area I need some ideas. I will be following.

  4. We decided to do “Christmas” different this year. I want to keep the focus on Christ and Family. So, on the first advent Sunday we read from the Bible, and the kids opened new ornaments to add to our decorating party. The second Sunday will start with Bible reading then the kids will open new board games and a Christmas Carol DVD. The third week they will open movie gift cards, just for the big kids. We never plan ahead for this and are usually to broke to go do things as a family, so wanted to make sure this was a priority this year. Then the fourth will be our baking and giving night! We want to focus on delivering goodies and maybe the big kids and us can slip out to a free church Christmas program and out for cocoa afterwards! Then Christmas Eve will be a Big family gift a Wii with a Birthday cake for Baby Jesus. Stockings on Christmas day. We spread out our funds for the month instead of focusing it all on Christmas day. I pray the kids see this as a great new tradition instead of being dissapointed on Christmas morning. We’ll see!

  5. We invite all our friends (kids AND parents) to join as at local nursing homes, where the kids perform whatever songs they are working on in their music lessons. Some parents are good pianists, and accompany!

    We have had widely varied programs, including Seitz violin concertos, Eccles viola sonata, various Suzuki pieces for violin and cello, Scott Joplin rags, Beethoven’s Fur Elise, and various Broadway tunes (lots of singers in the bunch). Audience favorites: a trumpet version of Amazing Grace, and a 5-year-old who played the first line of “Twinkle!”

    The nursing home residents adore these concerts–they are too often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holidays. And it’s a wonderful experience for kids (especially those without local grandparents) to connect with the elderly, and feel that they are doing something helpful in the lives of others.

  6. We are also first-time users of the same Jesse Tree book that you have chosen. I sat down and read the whole thing the other day just to get a feel for it and while it’s a little different from the traditional Jesse Tree readings…I really enjoyed it and I think it’s just short enough to keep the littlest kids’ attentions. Love the artwork.
    I made a color copy of the back pages with the tree and then grabbed some cardstock, punched out circles, numbered them and using a map pins, pinned the corresponding circle over each ornament. So, each day the kids can take off one of the circles to reveal the symbol beneath. I really wanted to make ornaments this year, but, of course ran out of time.

  7. i know this is a bit weird, but the Christmas stockings you used for family fun idea’s. Are they yours or just a pic? If they are your I have to know where you found them. They are just adorable. I have mine from when I was a little tyke and it’s similar to this ,I would LOVE some for my kids? thank you for all the wonderful idea’s and teaching us.