Family Christmas Activities – December 2020

Family Christmas Activities – December 2020

Every year we do lots of fun pre-Christmas activities and while 2020 was a c-razy year we didn’t let it hinder us from still embracing and enjoying the holiday season and festivities!

I’m thankful that, for the most part, our traditions are very basic and all still doable even in these weird times in our world. In fact, we actually had some EXTRA special Christmas fun in getting to meet an incredible Santa over our Thanksgiving trip to Icon Park (see the adorable pics here!)

Prior to us meeting the epic Icon Park Santa we actually had already booked a Santa meet and greet locally. Meeting Santa was something we didn’t think would happen this year with everything going on so we booked this meet and greet and then ended up getting to meet him TWICE and have two awesome photo experiences with him!

Every year we decorate for Christmas prior to leaving for our annual Disney Thanksgiving trip. This year a lot of people decorated super early but I still wanted to wait until after we had Spear’s birthday party.

We actually ended up having Spear’s party in the morning so we could get the decorating done in the afternoon πŸ™‚ It worked out great!

Our tradition is to put ALL of our ornaments out on the coffee table and look through them all as we hang them. All of our ornaments are made up of memories that are special to our family (mostly from trips we’ve taken) so it’s always a fun chance to walk down memory lane a bit!

We also set up our Disney Christmas Village! We have a small village and it’s something that brings us all such joy and is a fun Disney touch to our holiday decorating!

Our tradition is to decorate the house and then watch a Christmas movie to officially kick-off the holiday season. This year we watched the live action Grinch movie and it was super cute. We also enjoyed hot chocolate while we watched and had dinner too. Spear said he loved the “coffee” πŸ˜‰

The kids each have a little tree in their bedrooms over Christmas to decorate as they see fit. They also have a decent amount of holiday clothes to choose from when they dress up for school dress up days. Even in middle school Kye still had dress up themed days and I love that he wanted to participate πŸ™‚

I loved getting together with some sweet friends over the holidays including a Favorite Things Fiesta and we did a favorite things exchange for Book Club too! I’m blessed with so many amazing friends in my circle and I love any chance to get together with them πŸ™‚

I love what Tess’s teacher did this year for their class party. Usually the kids have to get a small gift for a gift exchange and that’s great and all but her idea was FREE and SO much better.

Each child in Tess’s class chose a classmates name and made that student a special Christmas card. It helped kids practice their writing skills but also helped them learn the true meaning of giving and the great feeling it provides to be a thoughtful giver! Tess took it very seriously which made me proud πŸ™‚

Every year I take the kids to choose a new ornament for their bedroom Christmas tree. I used to always hit up Hobby Lobby but have found that Target tends to have a better selection as well as a cheaper one πŸ˜‰

The kids love the bit of freedom to choose any ornament they’d like for their tree in the their rooms and I love that it’s always a reflection of what they are into at each stage of life.

Another annual tradition for us is going to the dollar store to buy stocking stuffer gifts for each other. Kye had the idea recently to mix up the tradition a bit and suggested that we do a “Secret Santa” stocking stuffer exchange.

We each buy ONE item at the dollar store for each person in the family – and we keep it a surprise until we open everything and have fun guessing who bought what for us. It always makes me so proud because the kids take it super seriously and love putting a lot of thought and effort into the gifts they buy for each other.

We also LOVE our tradition at the dollar store each year of having out cash filled envelops to random strangers. It’s always the most fun to bless others as we’ve been so blessed!

Part of our tradition is to go look at Christmas lights and we go watch one of those fun houses with a light show as well as drive around a neighborhood that has HUGE Christmas cards in each yard! A fun reading practice activity for the kids too πŸ˜‰

Usually the kids at church sing a few songs around Christmas time for the congregation but this year they put together a video to share and Spear semi-participated. It was so funny he got on the stage and got stage fright and started crying! I love Tess’s sweet hand comforting him πŸ™‚ She’s such a good little mama and helped with his Christmas crafts too!

Spear got up on stage again for his school program. He didn’t do any singing but he did do some clapping for his classmates and some cute cheesy grins. His favorite part was having Big Papa and G-Mama there cheering him on!

I’m so thankful he’s been able to have a totally and completely normal school experience this year. He LOVES school and his little program was so cute πŸ™‚

While we do all of our indoor decor before Thanksgiving…it’s always a bit more of a struggle to get the outdoor stuff up and this year? It just didn’t happen. It only made it as far as the front porch but never got unpacked haha. I do think for some 2020 was the year to go ALL OUT and for others it was the year to do less and we went the less route and that’s okay!

Instead of doing outdoor decor we joined in a NEW tradition…a golf cart parade around our neighborhood. It was SO FUN and most of all I loved that ZACH loved it! He enjoyed decorating the golf cart and even said it’s a tradition he wants to do MORE for next year. It’s always extra fun when Daddy is all about something πŸ™‚

We had about 25 golf carts that rode around our neighborhood and we loved it so much! We sang Christmas carols and enjoyed the simple quality time together.

A couple years ago Kye asked THE question that all parents dread at Christmas time…and ever since we have started a new tradition with him where he stays up late and we watch Elf together while we wrap gifts. He gets to be part of the Christmas magic and looks forward to it each year.

I’m pretty sure Britt will be part of this tradition with us next year…so I thought it’d be a good time to watch Home Alone with Kye for the first time.

To be honest? I did NOT feel like it held up. Man the parenting…and the disrespect…and the plot holes…I just much preferred watching Elf and we will go back to that next year for sure! But Kye loved it and so did Zach so maybe they can do a night just them of watching it haha!

This year we had a GENIUS idea of hitting up Target for our annual Christmas shopping trip – at OPENING. We went right when Target opened first thing in the morning and it was SO PERFECT.

We were able to do our shopping so quickly without dealing with crowds and it made the check out quick and easy too.

We always split up and everyone buys ONE gift for each person. So all the girls and Spear choose a gift for Kye, Kye and the girls choose a gift for Spear etc. All the kids get something for Daddy and Mommy too!

It’s important to us to teach kids how to give and this is a great tradition to help them have those giving hearts.

As a surprise after our shopping outing I took the kids to try out a new donut and sweet shop in town! It was so funny because it was 9 am and I told the kids we were making a surprise stop and they were guessing the most RANDOM things “A trip to Atlanta! Pizza!” haha no guys…DONUTS.

I love doing little random adventures like this as it made for a super fun morning outing and was tasty too πŸ˜‰

Not only do the kids purchase the stocking stuffers and the gifts, but they wrap them too. The reality is that the kids choose the gifts…but they don’t pay for them! We do! So I think it’s valuable for the kids to be hands on in wrapping the gifts as part of the giving too πŸ˜‰ Plus they LOVE it and it’s fun being all “sneaky” and “secretive” to make sure no one sees what they are wrapping.

We also get into some baking every holiday season! I LOVED the way the kids school schedules worked out this year as they got out of school with a few days before our holiday celebrating got rolling which gave us plenty of time to prep everything in advance and take our time in enjoying the prep process.

We always bake Hershey kiss cookies because Daddy loves them and I make homemade Christmas cookies that my mom made every year growing up.

The homemade Christmas cookies are such a special thing to me and a tradition I love passing along to my children. It is especially important to me to have a happy heart in making them. They are pretty hardcore in the amount of time, effort and energy they take but it can be a FUN process and I make sure to get the process rolling well in advance so it’s enjoyable and not stressful.

I never want to be the mom that doesn’t let the kids have a hand in things. Who cares if the cookies aren’t perfect? I want their memories to be HAPPY and to be of a happy mama who enjoyed doing things alongside them.

Britt, Tess and Spear all wanted to help in cutting out the cookies so I let ’em! They chose some of the cookies cutters they wanted to use and I let ’em do their thing. This was probably my very favorite moment of the entire holiday season right here πŸ™‚

We all got together to celebrate Christmas with Mema at her house and it was the same night that all of social media was freaking out over being able to see the “Christmas Star” so we all went out in the field to see if we could see it. It didn’t really live up to the hype haha!

Love seeing all the cousins together and love the kids table set up as I have so many fun memories with my own cousins around the kids table growing up!

It was so nice to be together for Mema with ALL of her great grand-babies!

This year was the first Christmas season that all four of my kids “got it.” Spear was SUPER fun and excited about every little aspect of the holiday. After school we’d drive by to see Baby Yoda that a neighbor had in their yard.

Spear loved all the Christmas stories and did SO great enjoying the presents wrapped under the tree but NOT opening them. Although sometimes he’d do a bit of rearranging πŸ˜‰ He really started to understand about the elves and Santa and it was just the most fun time with him yet!

I think my favorite thing about the Christmas season is the anticipation and to see my kids have that excitement build up. As we get stuff wrapped I put it out under the tree with little “clues” as the “to” portion of the gift. Like “to the best gymnast” etc. The kids LOVE it and it makes it extra fun for them each morning to see what new gifts are out under the tree.

Our elves came to visit again this year – no Corona was gonna keep ’em away πŸ™‚

I was super excited to partner with The Confetti Box and it was SO great to have a mix of items from the Elf Box to use for our elves as well as incorporate them in with our own unique ideas too. It really allowed our elves to have an extra-fun year this year.

Britt LOVES our elves and I do feel like this will be her “last year” so I was really excited to do a lot of fun things with them. The Confetti Box is a GREAT option for parents who struggle with keeping the elves fun and to have easy, quick ideas on hand for every night! You can check out the Elf Box options here πŸ™‚

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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