Skip to Content

25 Ways to Simplify Christmas & Enjoy the Holidays

Enjoy time with family this year with these simple activities that make Christmas memorable!

I’m sure that right now, you’re in the midst of holiday craziness — is your mind going a mile a minute?

When do I need to mail the gifts? 

Do the kids still have dress shoes that fit for the holiday concert? 

Did I remember to pick up that teacher gift? 

And when do we need to have the hat & mitten donations to the church??

Or maybe that’s just my mind 🙂

It seems that every year, I have to stop myself in the middle of all the insanity (good or bad) and remind myself that the holidays are about connecting.

Not shopping.

Not wrapping.

Not trying to make everything perfect and fit everything in — just taking time to connect with family and friends.

Tips for enjoying Christmas

25 Ways to Slow Down & Enjoy the Holidays

And kids get this more than anyone — they just want some time together (and maybe a gift or two under the tree).

So here are a few ways to slow down this season.

They can all be done at home on the spur of the moment — hardly any planning or prep, just fun ways to enjoy a little time together.  We’re also including a few affiliate links for items that help us to simplify the holidays too.

1.  Take an evening walk and enjoy the lights in your area.

2.  Make hot cocoa with whip cream or marshmallows (and use a candy cane to stir it ;).

3.  Create some paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling.

4.  Play a round of Holiday Charades with your family or try one of these fun Christmas Minute to Win it games.

5.  Have nightly storytime next to the Christmas tree (check this list of wonderful Christmas stories!).

6.  Teach your kids how to wrap presents — or recruit them help to put on tags and bows.

7.  Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with a simple holiday activity each day (these printables will help get you started!)

8.  Learn about Christmas traditions with this free printable Christmas Geography Challenge.

Play a holiday game with the family

9.  Spend an afternoon doing a puzzle or playing a holiday game — we play Rudolph Monopoly each year.

10.  Make a pomander.

11.  Create a paper chain garland — great way to use all those small strips of left over wrapping paper.

12.  Put up Christmas lights in your kids’ rooms and use them as a nightlight.

13.  Watch Santa’s reindeer online together.

14.  Set aside the Christmas cards you receive and spend an evening opening them together.

15.  Build a super easy (and healthy) gingerbread house together.

Create a Make-your-own Pancake Bar

16.  Create a Pancake Bar one morning!  We used chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, fresh blueberries and chopped cranberries — each person can choose what they want in their pancakes.

17.  Turn off all the lights in the house expect for the tree lights and have a sing-a-long with your favorite holidays songs.

18.  Go on a Gingerbread Hunt with this free printable game!

19. String some garland — use popcorn, cranberries, cotton balls or anything that can be put on a long piece of thread.  If you use any food items, put it outside for the birds to eat.

20. Go on an animal hunt in your backyard or neighborhood.  What furry or feathered friends do you find and how are they spending their day?

21.  Play a ‘simon says’ tv game!  Watch a holiday special together and every time you hear the word ‘Santa’, say “Ho, ho, ho”.  If you hear the word ‘reindeer’, touch your nose.

22.  Have dinner by candlelight one night (maybe on the winter solstice?!)

23.  Start a family conversation jar — use the free printables to kick-start discussions each night.

24.  Roll up your socks and have an indoor snowball fight!

25.  Teach your kids how to write a thank you note – it’s a great life skill to know!


100 Ideas for Your Advent Countdown

Finding Free Kids Holiday Books Online

40 Totally Useful Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers to Teens

Slow Down & Enjoy the Holidays