Inside: These fun and easy family bonding activities will set the stage for strong family relationships and lifelong memories at Christmas.
If there’s one time of year perfect for family bonding activities, it’s Christmas.
Maybe it’s the smell of fresh sugar cookies taking us back to our grandmother’s kitchen when we were little, hearing the sweet innocent voice of our child during their Christmas concert or feeling the gentle tug on our heartstrings, reminding us that another year with our sweet children has passed, but something about the Christmas season seems to bring everything into clearer focus.
I need to spend more time my kids this holiday season and less time stressing out.
I want to create memories they’ll always remember in an atmosphere of love and closeness.
I want to make time for family bonding and strengthening family relationships.
Being intentional in setting aside time for family bonding activities during the holidays is a gift to your child that will keep on giving, throughout your child’s life.
Taking time to make sure your child’s emotional needs are met over the holidays now will pay off big time later, as research is clear that children who feel securely attached and have strong-parent child relationships have healthier relationships and better mental health later in life.
Your heart is in the right place- now it’s all about making a plan and following through during one of the busiest times of the year. Here’s a list to get you brainstorming on which Christmas ideas for families will cultivate the best family bonding.
50 Family Bonding Activities for Christmas
1.Have a family board game tournament and chose an object for the official trophy!
2.Connect through art with these fun interactive (and washable!) tablecloths
3.Take a family vote and then watch the ‘all-time favorite’ Christmas movie
4.Have a pizza picnic on a blanket by candlelight at the end of a busy day
5.Go ice skating
6.Savor their smallness with holiday footprint art
7.Let your child be the photographer to document a special day
8.Go sledding (yes you too!)
9.Tell the story of the birth of Jesus and let the kids get in on the action with this nativity
10.Read Christmas stories cuddled in the dark with flashlights
11.Look through family photo albums together
12.Write your child a letter about how they’ve grown in the past year and what an amazing kid they are!
13.Boost well-being by making a craft or ornament from nature
14.Have a ‘secret Santa’ exchange with your immediate family (shhh no telling!)
15.Share Christmas traditions from your childhood with the kids.
16.Have a ‘family bake-off’ where each member gets to make their favorite Christmas cookies and everyone judges the winner.
17.Bundle up and head out on a nighttime nature walk with flashlights
18.Head to the local animal shelter or outdoor petting zoo to cuddle and feed the animals
19.Cook a meal together
20.Make homemade wrapping paper
21.Create a family time capsule ornament for the past year.
22.Sing the most annoying Christmas songs together during a road trip
23.Go see a Christmas play at a local theatre (or watch one on TV!)
24.Watch family videos from your childhood (kids LOVE this).
25.Try these epic Elf on the Shelf Ideas
26.Read the scriptures covering the birth of Jesus
27. Decorate gingerbread houses (step away and let your kid do it all by themselves!)
28.Have a one on one date with your child and chat about their favorite parts of Christmas
29.Make a hot chocolate bar
30.Have a diy spa day complete with foot soaks and manicures
31.Take a drive to see Christmas lights and decorations (don’t forget to-go mugs with hot chocolate!)
32.Make homemade Christmas ornaments to hand out
33.Let the kids decorate their own small Christmas tree all by themselves
34.Make your own Christmas popcorn
35.Have a winter fire outdoors
36.Print this nature advent calendar to help promote outdoor time in the winter
37.Try these mindfulness activities with your child to help handle holiday stress
38.Have a holiday movie bing-a-thon
39.Show up on someone’s doorstep to sing carols
40.Go to the Nutcracker Ballet (or catch this one online for safe social distancing)
41.Volunteer at the local food pantry
42.Bake a birthday cake for Jesus
43.Teach kindness with the Kindness Elves
44.Take your kids to shop for their own gifts for other members of the family
45.Make reindeer food to put out the night before Christmas
46.One of our new favorite family bonding activities is heading to the local tree farm to cut down a real Christmas tree.
47.Make homemade tree garland
48.Open gifts on Christmas Eve (gasp!). Santa coming after midnight mass was a childhood tradition I adored growing up.
49.Choose some of these adorable Artsy Christmas Tree Crafts
50.Enjoy this miraculous time of year with your little blessings.
Family bonding activities at Christmas don’t need to be complicated
Being together is what counts.
It seems like all your child wants for Christmas is presents, but I bet you’d agree when you look back on your own childhood the other kind of presence is what you remember most. Making time for family bonding activities with your kids at Christmas is an investment you’ll never regret.
Want more guidance on how to raise an emotionally healthy child who will live their best life? I’ve created a free 5-day email parenting course just for you.
Sign up below to gain life-changing insights and strategies on discipline without damage, helping your child manage their emotions and the best way to encourage your child to listen.
Other articles you’ll love:
About Angela Pruess LMFT
Welcome! I’m Angela, a Licensed Children’s Mental Health Professional, Positive Parenting coach, and mom to Spirited Kids that help me learn and grow (grey hairs) every single day. I believe EVERY child deserves to live their BEST life and that emotional health is the magic key to lifelong success and happiness. Read more about me and the Parents with Confidence manifesto.