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Amy Clark

Amy, also known as Mom Advice, lives in Indiana. She is a writer, wife and mom to two beautiful children. On Snackpicks she shares her easy entertaining tips and advice for all occasions, from holiday parties to day-to-day family meal planning. Amy is also the founder and creator of the Mom Advice community.

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Top 10 Christmas Ideas for the Family

Christmas Family Time Ideas

I wanted to share a fun and creative list of things to do with your kids and family before Christmas. Each year we try something new. Set some time aside in the weeks leading up to Christmas and try out these 10 Christmas family time ideas. I am sure you will love these fun Christmas crafts, holiday ideas, and Christmas recipes for celebrating the season. You will score some big points with your kids in the process for being present with them as a parent during such a busy season.

Christmas Idea #1: Make a homemade Christmas countdown calendar

Christmas Countdown Calendar

Create a countdown to Christmas with your kids with some common household items.


  • A large circle punch (in scrapbook supplies at craft store) or a jar or glass for tracing
  • Tape
  • Scrapbook or festive holiday gift wrap
  • Ribbon
  • Marker
  • 1 or 2 muffin tins (depending on if you are counting down the 12 days or 24 days before Christmas
  • A picture frame stand or a place to prop your finished tins


1. Punch out 24 or 48 circles (depending on how long your countdown is). On half of these write the numbers 1-24 or 1-12 and on the other half you can write fun activities to do with your children in anticipation of the big day.

2. Stick your holiday activity folded up inside of each muffin tin and then attach the numbered circles to each individual muffin tin. Secure with tape on both sides to hold your activities in securely.

Holiday Christmas Calendar

3. Add a little festive ribbon to the top of your muffin tin. Display the muffin tin by using a picture frame stand or finding a sturdy wall to prop it up with. Have your child draw an activity each morning to complete as a family.

Christmas Idea #2: Make hot chocolate

Homemade Hot Cocoa

Mix up a batch of hot chocolate and set out some of  your favorite Keebler cookies so you can drink cocoa and nibble on cookies by the lights of your Christmas tree. My favorite cookies to pair with hot cocoa are Keebler Chips Deluxe cookies and Keebler Country Style Oatmeal cookies with Raisins. If you want to make hot cocoa from scratch, try my easy Creamy Hot Cocoa recipe below.

Ingredients for Creamy Hot Chocolate:

  • 4 cups non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 (4 ounce) package instant chocolate fudge pudding

Directions for Creamy Hot Chocolate:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. If a finer consistency is desired, you can pour the mix into a blender or food processor and run it through that. Store in an airtight container.
  2. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (depending on your cocoa preference) of the mix to an 8 ounce mug of boiling water.
  3. Set out Keebler cookies to enjoy with the Hot Chocolate and you are all ready to decorate the tree together as a family.

Christmas Idea #3: Go see your neighborhood Christmas lights

Take advantage of your neighborhood’s Christmas decorations for a fun family activity you can do any night of the week. Pop some popcorn or make a batch of these Mint Chocolate Minglers for the road. Then, take a driving tour of the neighborhood Christmas lights in your pajamas together while eating your snacks.

Christmas Idea #4: Deliver festive desserts

Make festive holiday desserts and deliver them to your local fire station to thank them for their hard work. I love these cute little Red Nosed Reindeer Treats for a fun dessert that the whole family can create together.

Christmas Idea #5: Give to a local shelter

Have the whole family put together a box of gently used winter clothing and toys and donate them to a local shelter. Take your children with you to donate them so that they can see how giving is even better than receiving.

Christmas Idea #6: Bake gingerbread donuts

Holiday Donuts

Make a batch of gingerbread donuts for a fun holiday morning treat. My family and I came up with a Baked Glazed Gingerbread Donut recipe that is great for any occasion.

Ingredients for Baked Glazed Gingerbread Donuts:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée

For the Simple Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Direcitons for Baked Glazed Gingerbread Donuts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease two doughnut pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. This will be your "dry" ingredient bowl.
  3. In another medium bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter. This will be your "wet" ingredient bowl.
  4. In the wet bowl, beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, milk, molasses, and pumpkin puree. Gradually beat the dry bowl's ingredients into the wet bowl just until combined.
  5. Fill each doughnut mold 3/4 full with batter. Be careful to not overfill the donut pans or the donuts will not cook evenly.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the doughnuts spring back when touched. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
For the Simple Glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, water, and vanilla extract; stir well. Add additional water, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
  2. Dip tops of donuts in the glaze and then quickly sprinkle with colored sprinkles (if desired).

Christmas Idea #7: Christmas carol sing-along

Listen to Christmas carols while wrapping holiday gifts or writing holiday cards. Get your kids involved by having a contest to see who can sing the loudest or in the silliest voice. You can also play this game at bath time.

Christmas Idea #8: Open one gift early

Get the family together and let everyone open one gift before Christmas. Your kids will be anxious to see what has been waiting for them under the tree. You could even make this into a fun game. Draw names to see which family member decides which gift you open.

Christmas Idea #9: Start a holiday memory book

Start a holiday memory book together and have your children decorate the outside of it. Quote your child and ask them what their favorite thing they have done so far for the holidays is, what they asked for from Santa, and be sure to add a cute snapshot of them with the current year. Update it yearly and see how they have grown and changed.

Family Time Ideas

Christmas Idea #10: Write notes to leave in your family's stockings

Write a note to each member in the family to tell them how special they are and what you love about them. Leave the notes in their stockings and open all of the notes together on Christmas morning.

These are just a few ideas to keep in mind when celebrating the holidays this season. For more holiday inspiration, check out these Christmas recipes, ideas and more.

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