Have the kids already started chiming, “How many more days until Christmas?!” Help your family savor the season with these 25 ways to spend quality time as a family with this Christmas countdown.
Each day, we’ve provided one simple activity (like Scripture readings, snacks, or crafts from things you already have on hand) that can be done with minimal planning, even in all the Christmas chaos. Because adding a little sparkle to Christmas shouldn’t require a sleighful of energy.
A Christmas countdown the whole family can enjoy
25. Snowball fight!
Round up the family and kick off the month with this Christmas classic. You can play teams and allow time to construct forts or play “everyone for themselves.” If you don’t have snow, provide everyone a pile of rolled up socks and play indoors.
24. At dinner, read Luke 2:1-3 before praying.
Explain that throughout the month you’ll be reading verses from Luke 2 and talking about the story of Jesus as a family. Be prepared to answer any questions that pop up!
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town” (Luke 2:1-3).
23. Deck the Doors!
Help your kids decorate their bedroom doors for Christmas with wrapping paper, bows, construction paper, and double-sided tape.
22. Have an ugly Christmas-sweater fashion show.
Shop for ugly Christmas sweaters or make your own with some hot glue and leftover Christmas decorations. Queue up the Christmas tunes and show off your stylish new look. Couples, this is your chance to make each other’s sweaters for some extra laughs!
21. At dinner, read Luke 2:4-5 before praying.
If they can, ask your oldest child to read today’s verse.
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child” (Luke 2:4-5).
20. Snap a family Christmas-card photo.
Whether photos were snapped at a studio or in your living room, Christmas cards are a sweet way to capture the moments of Christmas. For some extra fun, give everyone a chance to express themselves with a fun pair of Christmas socks.
19. Craft simple but meaningful ornaments together.
Use a marker to write your favorite Bible verse reference on a clear ornament. Line the inside of the ornament with a thin layer of glue and shake to distribute it evenly. Next, fill the ornament with your favorite color of glitter, screw on the top of the ornament, and shake to spread the sparkle.
18. At dinner, read Luke 2:6-7 before praying.
“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:6-7).
17. Make slow-cooker hot chocolate with fun toppings!
This warm treat is perfect for a cozy, low-energy night. Simply pour your ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for two hours. It’s best enjoyed in your PJs with a TV Christmas special. You can find a recipe here.
16. Build a “snowman” using common household items.
It’s time for a creative challenge. Set a 10-minute timer and have the kids gather items around the house that could be used to build a snowman (fluffy socks, cotton balls, paper plates, play dough, etc.). When they come back, have them each put together their own snowman masterpiece, complete with button eyes and a carrot nose.
15. Made with care.
Make a batch of your favorite Christmas treats and drop them off on the doorstep of your pastor or a family friend.
14. Before dinner, ask someone to read Luke 2:8-9 and pray.
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear” (Luke 2:8-9).
13. Shop for Christmas donations to bring to a local shelter.
Many shelters post their wish list online to share what donations are most needed. Research and pray about what type of shelter would be most impactful for your kids to pick donations for. Choose a couple from the list as options for the kids to pick out.
12. Go ice skating as a family.
Maybe ice skating is intimidating for you, or maybe you’re one step away from pro-figure-skater status. Either way, this is a zero-pressure adventure. Take it slow during free-skate time or even take lessons as a family. Ice skating is a great way to burn off your kiddos’ energy during the cold winter months.
11. As a family, aim to commit Luke 2:10-11 to memory this week.
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:10-11).
10. Build a blanket fort and watch a Christmas movie.
This can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. You can throw some blankets over the couch and prop them up with chairs or channel your inner architect and build the world’s coziest fortress. Use your imagination or recruit one of your older kids to plan the setup. If you don’t have a go-to Christmas movie, consider writing down some options and pulling one from a hat.
9. Make Christmas cards to drop off at a nursing home.
Set up the table with markers, construction paper, stickers, etc. Explain that these cards can help spread the love of Jesus and cheer up residents at the nursing home. This would be a great group activity to do with your friends and their children.
8. Before dinner, ask someone to read Luke 2:12-14 and pray.
“‘And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” (Luke 2:12-14).
7. At dinner, ask your kids what Christmas means to them and why.
This is a great way to start a conversation about what’s most important at Christmas. Be sure to recognize that enjoying gifts and fun activities at Christmas are good blessings that remind us of a good God. We give gifts to show we love each other and to remember the gift God gave us by sending Jesus to be our Savior.
6. Before dinner, read Luke 2:15-16 and pray.
“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger” (Luke 2:15-16).
While you eat, discuss why the shepherds hurried to meet baby Jesus.
5. Baking and bonding.
Teach your kids a family Christmas-cookie recipe or learn a new one together!
4. Drive through a Christmas-lights display.
Find a park that offers a free drive-through Christmas lights display. On your drive there, play Christmas music and/or have a singalong. If you live someplace warm, you could alternatively walk through a neighborhood that has lots of lights on display.
3. Before dinner, have someone read Luke 2:17-19 and pray.
“And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:17-19).
Talk about what it might have meant for Mary to be chosen as Jesus’ mom.
2. Play Christmas charades.
Give everyone three slips of paper and have them write down three people, places, or things related to Christmas. Movies and songs can be a great option here! Mix them up in a bowl and choose teams or play charades all together.
1. Read Luke 2:20-21 as a family.
“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days . . . he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb” (Luke 2:20-21).
Explain that these verses remind us that the world had been waiting for a Savior, so Christmas is a time to celebrate the miracle of Jesus coming to Earth from Heaven.
To make this fun Christmas Countdown even easier, we’ve gathered all these ideas into a paper chain you can print, cut, and let the kids put together! Get yours here.
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Alex McMurray is a content writer for FamilyLife at Cru headquarters in Orlando. She graduated from Cedarville University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a concentration in child and family studies. She grew up in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania with her parents and older brother. In her free time, she enjoys having deep conversations over coffee, playing board games, and adventuring outdoors.