My favorite family holiday tradition is our Countdown-to-Christmas box. This is my family’s no-calorie version of the chocolate advent calendars. I received this box from my mom when our oldest was a toddler. It’s now my prized Christmas decoration not because of what it looks like on the outside but for what’s inside those little drawers—pure Christmas joy. Nope, it's not filled with sweets or prizes (neither of which anyone in my family needs more of this season), instead it’s full of fun family holiday activities.
You should do this for your family, too. Wait, where are you going? Get back here.
Before you get overwhelmed with the idea of trying to pull off 24 activities with your kids in as many days, I promise it’s quite easy. First, let me lower your standards as to what counts as an “activity.” Answer: Basically anything.
And I guarantee you, your family probably already has half the calendar filled with December events anyway. Is Grandma taking them to The Nutcracker? Is your husband’s family getting together for pizza? Is everyone going to a cousin’s birthday party? Is your kids’ favorite babysitter coming over on Friday? Have I taught you nothing? Milk those things and start getting some official credit for the holiday fun.
Still struggling? Here’s a list of "activities" to get you going:
Watch a Christmas movie before bed
Make hot chocolate
Read The Night Before Christmas
Play a game after dinner
Have a bubble bath
Wrap a gift and put it under the tree
Have a Christmas music dance party
Make cards for your teachers
Go to the library and check out Christmas books
Pick out a new ornament for the tree
Go out to eat for dinner
Invite aunt/uncle/grandparent over for dinner
Take a family walk with your pet
Read bedtime books by the fire
Pick out a gift for your adopted family
Make your own pizzas for dinner
Visit the penguins and polar bear at the zoo
Do the Holiday Luminary Walk
Visit the Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane (Deanna Rose)
Bake Christmas cookies
Visit Crown Center
Build a Gingerbread House
Visit KC’s most over-the-top lighting displays
Do a carriage ride on the plaza
Go ice skating
I promise, it’s a simple and fun tradition to throw into the mix. Plus, your kids will just love it. But if I still haven’t sold you on this no-calorie countdown, here’s a pro tip: Trader Joe’s has the best deal in town on the chocolate calendars for just 99 cents each. Don’t forget to get one for yourself.