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24 Super Simple Christmas Tradition Ideas for the Tired Mama of Littles

This is an activity-based Christmas tradition, but full disclosure, I am not a big "let's do an activity" mom. I am telling you that so you know that this is going to be easy to do and implement. This is the time of the year that my kids get activities to make up for the other eleven months that are filled primarily with free-play and coloring, painting, and a smidge of educational focuses.

You can adjust this to fit your own family and it is only intended to get you started and help the ideas flow so you see how simple traditions can be. Let's be honest, if it is too complicated then we won't do it!

What You'll Need:

Advent Calendar (you can substitute with paper bags or whatever is most manageable for you)

Candy (only if you want)

Slips of Paper


Now, each of my activities have a "What You'll Need" section of their own, but like I have said before, I like to keep things super simple so most of them you will already have at your house.

The Basic Idea:

I got this idea from Ralphie from @simplyonpurpose on Instagram. She does what she calls Gifts of Togetherness and I took the idea and adjusted it to something that fit my children's ages.

Basically, the idea is primarily doing activities that allow us to spend more time together as a family and celebrate what is enjoyable, fun, and exciting about this season.

Each day, after dinner we open a drawer of our Avent Calendar for one small piece of candy and an activity to do together as a family.

Here is the list of my activities:

  • Pick out a gift for a sibling

  • Graham Cracker houses (same idea as a gingerbread house using graham crackers instead)

  • Write grandma and grandpa Christmas cards

  • Drink hot cocoa

  • Open one gift on Christmas Eve

  • Read Christmas stories

  • Watch a Christmas movie

  • Build with marshmallows

    • What You'll Need: Marshmallows & Toothpicks then build away

  • Decorate a water color tree

    • I paint a water color tree and provide things like pom poms to glue on and crayons and simple things like that

  • Finger paint Christmas lights

    • I basically draw a line and allow them to put dots on it with finger paint

  • Decorate window

    • What You'll Need: Window Clings

  • Paper Snowball Fight

    • Crumple up sheets of paper and throw them at each other

  • Paper Plate Wreath

    • Color the outside of a paper plate, cut out the middle, and let them decorate it

  • Christmas craft

    • I generally do something that is already prepared like this example from Target

  • Decorate cookies

  • Gift the cookies to other families

  • Go sledding

    • Will have to adjust as needed with weather

  • Pick out a new Christmas ornament

  • Animal Rescue

    • We freeze small animals in a muffin pan and give our kids an empty plastic container to place the frozen animals in, a small bowl of warm water, clean nose aspirator, and something to chip away at the ice (this is more of a preschool activity)

  • Bow Stick

    • I wrap a box and let them stick bows all over it

  • Decorate the Christmas tree!

    • I must admit, I am the first weekend in November girl!

  • Make a Rudolph Christmas Ornament

  • Go to Build-A-Bear and pick out a present for their beloved stuffed animal

  • Build a snowman

Things to Consider:

  1. You'll have to buy some supplies ahead of time: I generally try to plan the whole month out at once or at least be a week ahead so I can make the necessary purchases to do the activities.

  2. Plan your activities that require you to leave the house in a way that works with your schedule and energy: For example, I plan the activities that require me to leave the house for the weekends.

  3. Consider your energy: We skip doing a lot of things due to being tired. Work with that instead of against it. Are you tired on Monday nights? Movie night! You get the picture.

Christmas traditions make those sweet memories we all want for our kids and they don't have to be hard. Things that are too complicated don't get done. Even if my own personal Christmas tradition is a bit too much for you, simplify it! Pick a few ideas off the list. No guilt or shame mama.

I am wishing you a very merry Christmas.

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