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12 Days of Christmas Family Ideas with FREE Printable!

Make the holiday season extra special this year with these 12 days of Christmas family ideas that are fun for kids of all ages!

As parents, we all know that the best time to get our kids to spend time with us and not complain about it is during the holiday season, lol! Of course, they are trying to be good because Santa is coming, but there are also so many fun things to do!

Some families like to do 12 days of Christmas gifts (which is also fun), but we’re going in a different direction. Plus most of these ideas do not require money, just a little bit of time on everyone’s part.

And we are going beyond just using advent calendars (although I am a huge fan of using an advent calendar too!). Today I’m going to give you some ideas to do as a whole family as you countdown until Christmas Day!

days of christmas family ideas pin

Christmas Family Ideas

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On the first day of Christmas … Make a gingerbread house with your family! Either buy a prepackaged ready to make boxed kit or go all out and make everything from scratch.

Here’s a great gingerbread recipe and then you can get a template on Amazon here. Each family member can make their own or you can all decorate the same house.

days of christmas family activities

On the second day of Christmas … Carol to neighbors or senior citizen homes. This is a super fun way to spread the holiday spirit. I remember caroling to houses when I was young and loved it. We have also sung Christmas carols at senior centers and they LOVE It!

Grab our free printable caroling book, put on a few Santa hats, and have fun spreading Christmas spirit! Singing the 12 days of Christmas song is always a big hit. You can do solos or separate into groups for a partridge in a pear tree, five golden rings, etc.

On the third day of Christmas … Make some ornaments and hang them on your tree. Making homemade Christmas ornaments is always so much fun for the whole family. Make sure to check out my roundup of over 100 DIY Christmas ornaments to grab a few easy craft ideas!

Or print out ornaments to color and spend some quality time coloring together.

make your own ornament party

On the fourth day of Christmas … Use old pop bottles to make snowman bowling pins! That’s right, make your own bowling set and then you can use the bowling pins anytime over the Christmas season! Hours and hours of fun!

On the fifth day of Christmas … Make some cookies, decorate and give them away! Probably a favorite tradition for many families is making Christmas cookies. My kids and their cousins used to make Christmas cookies every year with their grandparents and these holiday traditions will be memories they have for a lifetime.

But you don’t need to eat all those cookies! A great idea is to package them up and give them away to neighbors, co-workers, or friends along with other small gifts in You’ve Been Elfed buckets.

family christmas activities cookies

On the sixth day of Christmas … Write letters to Santa and send them in the mail. Another great way to spend time together and have your kids practice writing, lol! I love looking at old letters to Santa that my kids wrote, they are so special and fun to see what they were secretly hoping for each year.

Download and use our free printable Santa letter template to make it super easy!

On the seventh day of Christmas … Do a fun snowflake craft to hang up around the house. Doing a craft together is always a fun idea! There are so many ways to make snowflakes like cutting them from paper or using popsicle sticks.

Then hang them all over the house as easy DIY decorations! One year I made a stencil and we used Sno Spray to make snowflakes all over our windows.

Christmas window decorations

On the eighth day of Christmas …Make fake snow to play in if it doesn’t snow today. If you live in a place where it never snows (like us!) then making snow would be a fun family activity.

On the ninth day of Christmas … Give blankets to a homeless shelter. Teaching your children about giving back and caring for others less fortunate than us is so important all the time, but especially easy to do over the holiday season.

You can buy blankets or even make some and then drop them off at a homeless shelter in your community. And you might want to think about dropping off an additional gift card so the shelter can get stuff they made need.

On the tenth day of Christmas … Watch your favorite Christmas movie! Sometimes this gets hard because everyone has different favorite Christmas movies. Maybe do a family vote and then sit down with some hot chocolate, popcorn, and enjoy just being together.

Christmas Phone Notifications Reminder Instagram Post

On the eleventh day of Christmas … Donate old toys and clothes to kids in need. Before Christmas Day, it’s a great time to clean out toys and clothes that our children don’t use anymore. Get the entire family involved with everyone going through their own stuff.

Then everyone can hop in the car and drop off the donations at a local Goodwill, Hospice, or donation center.

On the twelfth day of Christmas … Read the Christmas story with your family tonight. This has been our Christmas Eve tradition since my kids were born. We all sit in a room together and read the book “The Night Before Christmas.” Easy to do and everyone will always have those special memories!

More Family Christmas Activity Ideas

If one or more of the above doesn’t suit your family, no problem! Just substitute for another activity your family would like better.

Here are a few more I came up with:

12 Days of Christmas Family Ideas Printable

If you like a way to see all of these 12 Days of Christmas family ideas in one place (you to-do lists lovers!), I have a free printable of these simple ideas for you!

As with all my free printables, these are for personal use only! Please no selling or redistributing of PDF files. Thank you!

Simply click on the download button below and the days of Christmas activities PDF will automatically download or pop up to download. Hang it up and check off the family activities you’ve completed!

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

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