December comes and goes too quickly! By the time Christmas rolls around, you look back and regret not taking in the holiday season and making the most of it.

I have rounded up a few activities for all ages that you can share with family and friends that will help you make the most of what December has to offer. Don’t forget to include your own ideas and Christmas traditions!

1. Build a Gingerbread House
Pile the frosting and candy onto a gingerbread house to create a fun-filled home construction evening with friends and family. Make your gingerbread pieces with a homemade recipe or if baking isn’t your forte, buy your own kit!

2. See the Christmas Lights
What is Christmas without Christmas lights? Load up the car and don’t forget your hot chocolate! Take a trip to your local park, a neighborhood or two, or make the drive somewhere extravagant for you and your family to partake in the magic.

3. Mail Out Letters to Santa
Grab your kids, construction paper, and all the necessities you need in order to mail a letter to the big man himself… and also get a reply! There are many services you can use for your kids to write Santa Claus with their wishlists in which a response will be sent back. This will surely keep the Christmas spirit alive!

4. Attend a Christmas Party

Tis the season for parties and gatherings! Between friends, family, colleagues, restaurants, bars, and event spaces, there are bound to be gatherings on every corner from traditional black tie to a jolly ugly Christmas sweater party.

5. Keep Up With a Christmas Movie Marathon

Pop the popcorn and cozy up by the fireplace! Whether your favorite channel hosts a different movie each night, or you compile a list of your own, a Christmas movie marathon will give you something to look forward to each night.

6. Make Potpourri

Potpourri can be a wonderful DIY gift for someone, or use the scent of the season and diffuse it throughout your home. There are endless amounts of scents you can create. To gift, place ingredients into a mason car complete with a ribbon. Or place the ingredients into a simmering pot of water on the stove or a slow cooker to lift the holiday mood in your home.

7. Have a Baking Day

Round up your favorite people and spend the day baking all the Christmas goodies! Make cookies for Santa, feed for Santa’s reindeer, or use the goodies for a neighborhood exchange.

8. Decorate the House of Christmas

Decorating the house as a child was always my favorite part of the season. It is what sets the holiday season in motion. Turn on your favorite Christmas songs and spend the day with family and friends.

9. Secret Santa

Secret Santa or gifting games in general such as Yankee swap or white elephant, bring an extra level of excitement when it comes to spreading cheer.

10. Have a Neighborhood House Decorating Contest

Participate in your local house decorating contest! Everyone loves a little friendly competition. This could make for some amazing Christmas lights for other families to enjoy.

11. Keep Up With An Advent Calendar

Count down the days until Christmas using an advent calendar. You can find one for just about anything you are interested in. Count downs are so much fun especially when you get a little surprise everyday until Christmas!

12. Go to a Christmas Concert

Christmas concerts are not hard to come by during the holiday season. Go big and head to the big city to see your favorite artists or bands perform, or attend concerts hosted by a local church or school choir.

13. Get Your Picture With Santa

Dress the kiddos up in their Christmas best and get their picture taken with Santa Claus. A direct interaction with Santa will surely fill their hearts with joy while they get to tell him exactly what they want for Christmas.

14. Attend Your Local Christmas Parade

Parades are a wonderful opportunity to support your local community! Whether you grab a few folding chairs and see the creativity unfold or if you participate and hand out Christmas candy, everyone in attendance is there to have a good time and celebrate the season.

15. Hide Elf on the Shelf

At the beginning of the holiday season, there is a toy elf that is placed throughout the home and acts as Santa’s eyes and ears to ensure children are behaving during the holidays. Every night after the kids are asleep, the elf moves to a new location for kids to find the next morning. Get creative and have fun with it!

16. See the Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker is a classic Christmas story about a young girl’s journey to a magical land with her nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve to battle the evil Mouse King. I went every year to the big city’s production as a child, and it houses very special holiday memories.

17. Take Family Christmas Pictures

Rally your kids, family, and pets and have professional holiday photos taken with a local photographer for wonderful photos to set out every year for the holidays, and also beautiful images for Christmas cards.

18. Donate Toys/Food

Tis the season of giving, and there is nothing more rewarding than providing Christmas to those in need. Volunteer your time to the soup kitchen, donate to Toys for Tots, provide for anyone you know, or those you don’t! Spread some joy by helping in some way.

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