I love Christmas traditions and my kids have inherited my love for the holiday season and the traditions that make it extra special. We have always incorporated new and old traditions into our December routine, but over the past few years my kids have taken over the December planning. At some point they came up with the idea to write a Christmas Bucket List as a fun way to plan our December fun. Since they are writing and planning, I count this as a homeschool activity that is part of our Dessert Subjects!
A bucket list is usually a list of all the things you want to experience or accomplish before you die. Our Christmas Bucket List is a little less ambitious and much less morbid than that. We make a list of all the fun things we want to do before Christmas is over. We incorporate sacred and spiritual traditions into our holidays too, but the bucket list is just the fun stuff. Here are a few of my family’s traditions to give you ideas to get you started on your own Christmas Bucket List.
Ever since the kids were a year old, we have had them pick out one special ornament from the store. These ornaments are always very random, but reflective of my kids’ interests and what is going on in their lives. Now that they are 12 and 10, we have quite a collection of special ornaments. Every year when we open the ornament box to decorate our tree, it’s like opening a time capsule that gives us a little reminder of years gone by. When I first started this tradition, I intended to give these ornaments to the kids when they moved out on their own and had their own tree to decorate. These ornaments have become so special that I will probably keep them as I may never be able to part with them.
Pizza and Movie Nights
Who doesn’t love a good Christmas movie? Every weekend during December we have a pizza picnic in our family room while watching our favorite Christmas movies. The kids will take turns making fun movie treats. They have invented several different holiday popcorn recipes for our movie nights. Usually the week before Christmas we watch a Christmas movie every night (without the pizza), as a final countdown. This helps us fit in our entire favorite movie collection before the holiday is over.
Hot Cocoa and Christmas Lights
This is a fun and easy tradition and you should try this one even if you don’t make a Christmas Bucket List. Go to your favorite local (or chain) coffee shop and pick up some fancy hot chocolate drinks. You can always make your own drinks, but consider how you can make them a little fancier than normal to add some whimsy. Pile in the car and go find local neighborhoods with the best light displays. Bonus if you can find a house that does a synchronized light show! We always bring a special homemade snack too. This is always a hit for our family.
Bake Cookies for Neighbors
I love this tradition as it gives us a chance to focus on loving our neighbors. We declare one Saturday in December “Baking Day” and go a little crazy in the kitchen. Dozens of cookies get baked, and cookie tins are packed and delivered to the neighbors. I realize that delivering cookies to neighbors is not going to be the best idea this year with a pandemic still raging, but I will still encourage you to find a way to love your neighbors this Christmas. You can still have a baking day, on a smaller scale, without delivering to neighbors. You can choose some of your favorite traditional treats, or even try some of my favorite recipes. Put on Christmas music or a movie and have a crazy, fun baking day with your kids!
I hope this gives you some ideas for traditions you can add to your own Christmas Bucket List. Remember, you don’t have to do everything. Have fun with it and get your kids involved in the planning! I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!