61+ Ideas for Your Family Christmas Bucket List

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Does your family make a Christmas family bucket list? We often take some time together as autumn winds down to ask different family members what they want to do for the holiday season.

Hot cocoa in front of a lit Christmas tree. Family Christmas bucket list.

There are so many fun holiday activities available to enjoy with the whole family. We have favorite things we love to do together, and cherished family traditions from our childhood homesWe also love to add in new traditions each year.

Free Printable Christmas Bucket List for Families

Photo of part of the Christmas Family Bucket list printable.
Get your family Christmas bucket list at the link below!

If you are looking for great ideas to get into the holiday spirit with your family, look no further! This post will walk you through dozens of fun things to do with little kids, preteens or teens. 

We’ve also created a free printable Christmas bucket list for you to download. It’s a chart with 30 easy ideas to do as a family.


Looking for non-Christmas ideas? Check out our 75+ Winter Activities for Teens and Families.

Poinsettia plant on counter. Family Christmas bucket list.

Unique Holiday Bucket List Ideas

1. Ugly Christmas Sweater fun

This is all about the silliness of Christmas clothes! Some families host a party and invite everyone to come in their favorite ugly sweaters.

Another easier idea that I’ve seen lately is to make Christmas cookies and decorate them as “ugly Christmas sweaters”. Either way, you’re sure to have lots of laughter and some great photo ops!

Green Light up sweater with Buddy the Elf yelling "It's Santa! I Know Him!".Fun things to do at Christmas time.

2. Saint Nicholas’ day, or other holiday traditions

This is a tradition in some European countries that involves putting chocolate coins in shoes on December 6. It celebrates the historic Saint Nicholas and his generosity.

For homeschooling families, or families who want to help their children experience different ways of celebrating, look into how other countries celebrate Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, an so on. We did this as a unit study one year, and had lots of fun learning together.

3. Make snow cream or old-fashioned maple sugar candy

Mom and children making snow cream at the table.
Making snow cream with fresh clean snow.

We found a recipe online for “snow cream”, and when we finally got a decent snowfall one year, the kids loved making ice cream from caramel sauce and snow! 

Traditional maple sugar candy used snow and maple syrup to make a delicious winter treat. Both recipes are pinned on our Winter Ideas Board on Pinterest.

Our Winter Ideas board on Pinterest

4. Craft/ holiday bazaar

My girls always include Christmas bazaars or craft shows on the Christmas family bucket list. They love to do their Christmas shopping for each other and support local businesses and artists. 

5. Christmas crackers, hats & crowns

British Christmas cracker with Santa decoration. Family Christmas bucket list.
A Christmas cracker

My family has participated in this British tradition for as long as I can remember. Buy some authentic Christmas Crackers and enjoy “popping” them.

Take a photo with the silly hats at your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day meal.

Mom and son wearing Christmas cracker paper crowns. Family Christmas bucket list.
Wearing the paper crowns we got in our Christmas crackers

6. “Sock” someone or do a 12 days of Christmas gift drop

Fill a stocking with goodies and (covertly) drop it at the neighbor’s house with a message to pass the deed on to another house. My friend Shelly has the full description and free printables to use.

One couple I know chooses a family in need to bless with 12 days of Christmas gifts: they drop off gifts secretly at the family’s house for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. 

Free / Budget Family Christmas Bucket List Activities

7. Advent Calendar

CHocolate advent calendar from Trader Joe's. Family Christmas bucket list.

Having an advent calendar or Christmas countdown calendar is a great way to kick off the Christmas season! Buy the chocolate or candy ones that come with a small treat behind each door— I suggest one calendar per child.

For families that don’t want to use candy or sweets, a Lego Advent calendar can be a great alternative! Or get a refillable, reusable calendar and fill it with your own candy, treats, or fun holiday activities.

@dinkumtribe Love my Christmas countdown! One kid each day gets a turn to have a candy cane every day in December leading up to Christmas. @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #countdowntochristmas #countdownchristmas #adventcalendar #adventcalendar2022 #quiltedadvent #handmadechristmas #candycanecountdown #itsalmostchristmas🎄 Inspired by @Lance Bass ♬ original sound – Lance Bass

The countdown calendars are so helpful for little ones, and for ADHDers who struggle with time blindness, since it helps mark the passing of days until Christmas Eve.

8. Catch snowflakes on your tongue

Here’s quintessential Christmas fun for kids of all ages! If you have the opportunity to enjoy a snowfall, get out and snap some silly photos of the family catching snowflakes.

9. Sing Christmas Carols together

Hymnal showing Christmas carols. Family Christmas bucket list.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is sitting in the living room with my family, singing Christmas carols. Print out the words for your family’s favorite carols or songs and have a singalong.

As Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear!” 

10. Family game night

Kids playing Exploding Kittens card game.

With a little extra time off, it’s the perfect time to enjoy board games that you may not have time to play together during other seasons. We love Castle Panic and Exploding Kittens.

11. Christmas caroling

If you really enjoy singing, take your family caroling at a local homeless shelter or retirement home (call ahead to make arrangements). You could also visit your neighbors and sing a few carols at the door.

12. Christmas Tree decorating

Decorated Christmas tree lit up. Family Christmas bucket list.

We make this a party night at our house! We get out our Christmas tree decorations, crank up the Christmas songs and decorate together as a family.

Instead of a big dinner, we make special appetizers and small bites to snack on throughout the process.

@dinkumtribe Recipe for clam dip coming soon! We traditionally have appetizers for our tree trimming night. @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #treetrimmimg #appetizersfordinner #familytraditions #easydinnerideas #christmastraditions #christmastok #christmas2022 #christmasfoods ♬ We Need a Little Christmas – Angela Lansbury

Each child chooses which ornaments they want to hang so everyone is involved. 

Children decorating a Christmas tree. Family Christmas Bucket List.

13. Christmas movies

For years, my sister and I watched the 1954 version of  “White Christmas” together as our sister’s Christmas tradition. My husband’s family grew up watching “A Christmas Story”.

There are so many Christmas movies available! Choose a few favorites or just have a movie marathon day when you play them in the background while doing other activities.

Kids enjoying the claymation "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Family Christmas Bucket List
Our kids enjoying the claymation “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

14. Christmas music

We have a rule in our family that we can’t start playing Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving. Then Christmas songs are pretty much on repeat throughout December!

We take turns letting different family members choose the station or style of Christmas music they enjoy.

15. Hot cocoa

Hot cocoa with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles. Family Christmas bucket list.

Our kids love having a cup of hot cocoa before breakfast with whipped cream and holiday sprinkles. We try to serve hot cocoa several times during Christmas break when our mornings are not so rushed.

You can also do a hot chocolate bar party— an extra special dessert as part of other fun Christmas activities, like a movie night or after looking at holiday lights. Pinterest has tons of hot chocolate bar ideas.

Christmas and Advent Ideas Board

16. Borrow Christmas books from your local library

Also, many libraries have free/inexpensive holiday or Christmas events. Younger kids can enjoy a story time, while bigger kids may appreciate a crafting or movie event.

17. Christmas lights

House with Christmas lights.

One item that always makes it onto our family Christmas bucket list is driving around to look at Christmas lights. Sometimes we only do that locally in town, but whenever possible we try to go to a bigger holiday light display or even a light show.

@dinkumtribe This incredible lights display is an annual event held at Azalea Park in Brookings on the Oregon Coast. @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @travelsouthernoregon #christmaslights #christmaslightinstallation #christmaslightsaremyfavoritecolor #holidaylights #holidaylights2022 #southoregoncoast #southernoregon #southernoregoncoast #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids ♬ Jingle Bells – Christmas Background Music

We’ve also done a scavenger hunt to look for specific Christmas lights or decorations, and our kids had a great time looking for Rudolph, Santa, the Grinch and other items on the list!

Related posts: Christmas Lights in Salem Oregon and Christmas lights in Portland Oregon

18. Local town parade

Many small towns have a Christmas parade— check your area and attend one for a boost in Christmas cheer! 

@dinkumtribe The Christmas Parade in Jacksonville was a festive way to start off the holiday season! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #christmasparade #christmasparade2022 #victorianchristmas #christmasinoregon #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids #youroregon #thatoregonlife #traveloregon #visitoregon #oregonisawesome #bestoforegon ♬ Here Comes Santa Claus – Gene Autry

19. Christmas Story

Nativity scene with candles. Family Christmas bucket list.

It’s part of our family’s faith— our own Christmas tradition is to read the Christmas Story from the Bible in Luke chapter 2 and Matthew chapters 1 and 2. We usually do that on Christmas Eve.

If you want a non-religious reading, check out the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” or “How the Grinch stole Christmas”.

20. Volunteer to help at a Christmas event in your community

Boy standing next to lighted up snowman.
Our son enjoyed helping to set up Christmas lights at our local church.

Volunteers put on Nature’s Coastal Holiday in Brookings, Oregon (see video above in the “Christmas lights” section).

One of the local churches in our area has volunteers giving our free hot cocoa and cookies at their light display.

It’s another great way to get into the holiday spirit.

21. Make stovetop potpourri

Christmas potpourri. Family Christmas bucket list.

Here’s an easy recipe: a dozen whole cloves, 1-2 cinnamon sticks, a whole sliced orange or apple. Simmer in a small saucepan on the stove until the house smells amazing.

Extra Fun Family Christmas Bucket List Ideas

22. Ice skating

Girl ice skating on indoor ice rink. Family Christmas bucket list.
Appaloosa learning to ice skate

We’ve never lived in a place where a white Christmas is the usual, so any kind of winter sport is novel for our family.

Ice skating is one of those classic winter activities that I also associate with a traditional Christmas. It’s a lot of fun, even if it takes some practice. All of our kids enjoy ice skating when we have the chance to do it.

Girl ice skating.

Sometimes there are temporary skating rinks set up in different cities during the holiday season.

23. Christmas cards

I personally love to give and receive Christmas cards from friends and relatives. We string any photos or cards on ribbon over a doorway or along a wall so that we can all enjoy them as part of our Christmas decor.

It can be quite a task to send out cards to everyone you may want to include, so make it a special family event. Play a Christmas movie or some music, put out the fun snacks or appetizers and work on the addressing, stuffing envelopes, and stamping together.

24. Gingerbread house kit

Girls and dad with Oreo cookie house.
Finished Oreo cookie house!

You can buy a pre-made kit or make your own. We’ve done both, and the gingerbread house kits tend to work better. Last year we found an Oreo House kit – it was delicious!

25. Christmas ornaments

We gift our children one ornament each year so that when they’re adults they’ll have some childhood ornaments to take to their own homes. If you don’t have a lot of ornaments, make some for yourself! Handmade or hand decorated ornaments also make great gifts to give to friends.

Girl painting Christmas ornaments. Family Christmas bucket list.

We often have our kids make ornaments to give to extended family. It’s a great project to spend quality time together, and it also provides a unique gift for extended family members.

26. Family photo

Of course, we try to get at least one family photo during the Christmas season. We usually don’t make this a formal photo shoot, but some families enjoy wearing matching sweaters, or matching pajamas for their annual Christmas photo. 

27. Christmas craft

Paper Christmas tree. Family Christmas bucket list.
Cut paper Christmas Tree.

Kids on Christmas break usually need some activities to stay out of mischief, and a Christmas craft can be just the right idea. Cut paper snowflakes, or spread pine cones with peanut butter and birdseed for the birds if you need inexpensive ideas.

Of course, if you love crafting together, go for the more complicated ideas!

Paper ornaments.
Paper ornaments we made with a friend one year.

28. Christmas book

I have friends who wrap up a Christmas book for their kids to open and read each day leading up to Christmas. Even if you don’t want to do 24 Christmas books, reading a Christmas book together can be a precious memory for you and your children.

29. Christmas shopping

We encourage our children to buy gifts for each other as well as for others they love. That often means myself or my husband taking one child to the store (or on Amazon) and helping them select gifts.

Even if you can’t spend a lot, visiting stores when they are decked out for the holidays is a magical experience in itself — toy stores in particular!

30. Have a family Secret Santa gift exchange

Boy in Santa hat. Family Christmas bucket list.
Mischievous Santa

Everyone is assigned a different name and spends the Christmas season buying Christmas gifts (or just one main gift) for their assigned person secretly. Then on Christmas morning everyone gets to open their gifts and find out who their Secret Santa is!

Another way to do the Secret Santa game is that everyone gifts multiple small gifts to their person throughout the season while their person is trying to figure out who is giving them Christmas gifts.

31. Christmas decorations

Smiling woman with nutcracker.

I personally love nutcrackers, and I love the traditional look of pine and red bows and candles, so I decorate with those throughout the house. When I first got married, I loved snowmen, so many of my decor items reflected that.

Whether you have a theme, or just an eclectic collection of Christmasy items, having a day or weekend set aside for Christmas decorating is one of the best things to have on your Christmas family bucket list.

32. Candy canes

Peppermint bark from Costco. Family Christmas bucket list.

We eat them, we put them in hot chocolate, we crush them up and include them in our cookies… peppermint candy canes are everywhere at our house.

One year we hid dozens of candy canes like an Easter egg hunt throughout our yard and sent the kids out to find them.

@dinkumtribe Inexpensive and easy ways to make Christmas special for your kids and teens! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #adventcalendar #chocolateadventcalendar #chocolateadventcalender #adhdchristmas #adhdtiktok #cheapchristmas #cheapchristmasgiftideas #cheapstockingfillers #moneysavingtips #moneysavingchristmas #christmasonabudget #moneysavingmomhacks ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

I nearly always include a giant candy cane or peppermint stick in our kids’ stockings.

33. Volunteer at a food bank, or donate to a food bank

Christmas is a great time of year to think about and share with others who are less fortunate. Food banks are often in need of donations, or you can volunteer your time.

This is the perfect way to help your family remember others during a time of year that can easily become too commercialized.

34. Christmas pajamas

I love this idea, though I haven’t yet managed to pull it off! My uncle’s family gives everyone the gift of new matching Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve, so that everyone can wear them on Christmas morning. The photos I’ve seen are fantastic!

35. Visit Santa Claus

Mom and boys with Santa Claus. Family Christmas bucket list.

Whether you call him St. Nicolas, Father Christmas, Santa Claus or something else, a visit to the North Pole (or your local holiday events) is a favorite tradition for many families.

36. Themed movie night

Hand-drawn poster of the Grinch on green paper with red hearts.
Pin the heart on the Grinch game

Take the Christmas movies a step further and do a Christmas movie theme night!

We did a Grinch theme movie one year and enjoyed Grinch-y snacks and a “pin the heart on the Grinch” game while watching one of the Grinch movies. It’s a fun memory for all of us.

Grinch drinks (green juice with red sugar rims.
Grinch drinks

37. Random act of kindness

This “most wonderful time of the year” is not so wonderful for many people who are grieving, or experiencing job loss, or any number of other challenges.

Taking the time to think of and share a random act of kindness — or several! — can increase your own Christmas spirit and make someone else’s season a little brighter.

38. Bake Christmas cookies

Girl baking gingerbread cookies. Family Christmas bucket list.

For years, my mom and grandmothers baked dozens of Christmas cookies each year to eat and to give as gifts to other families. I don’t have a lot of time or energy to do that much baking, but as my kids have gotten older, they can make some simple recipes on their own.

You can also just grab a can of sugar cookies from the grocery store to bake up at home. Done is better than none!

39. Snowball fight

Girl holding a snowball ready to throw. Family Christmas bucket list.

This is a must on the few occasions when we get snow at home. Getting out in the fresh air to chuck snowballs at siblings or parents is one of the most fun Christmas bucket list ideas!

If you don’t get snow where you live, grab an indoor snowball kit!

40. Snow day

We usually make a plan to drive into the mountains for a snow day.

Boy holding sled in the snow. Family Christmas bucket list.

We enjoy sledding, but as our kids get older we are looking forward to trying skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, or snowboarding. 

@dinkumtribe Sledding in the forest near Mt. Jefferson! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #sledding #sleddingseason #sleddingfun #snowdayfun #oregonwinter #oregonsnow #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids ♬ Sleigh Ride – Leroy Anderson

41. White elephant gift exchange

Teens especially love this idea, and it’s great for a teen Christmas party.

Everyone brings small gifts wrapped up and puts them in the center in a pile. Then one person at a time gets to choose a gift from the pile and unwrap it. (This is the simple version, but there’s lots of rules and variations besides this online).

Girl unwrapping a gift. Family Christmas bucket list.

This game is the most fun if the dollar amount is small ($5 or less) and if everyone understands that their gift should be as creative as possible.

I once received a straw that was wrapped in at least 5 boxes— it started off the size of a suitcase! Hilarity is guaranteed.

42. Christmas performances

Choral performance at the Keller Auditorium.

So many choices! We love to attend at least one performance each Christmas: the Nutcracker ballet, Handel’s “Messiah”, a play, an orchestral performance or chorale, Portland’s singing Christmas tree…

43. Roast chestnuts (Or maybe not!)

Having heard the famous song for my entire life, I requested that we try roasting chestnuts one year— yuck! Oh, well, at least I’ve experienced it now.

I suggest marshmallows or popcorn instead if you don’t like chestnuts. 😊

44. Go on a sleigh ride, Polar Express or Christmas train

Horse-drawn sleigh on a frozen lake.

Many towns offer something like this in the holiday season. This year our kids got to ride in a horse-drawn carriage— a holiday bucket list item for at least one of them!

@dinkumtribe Our kids loved riding in the horse-drawn carriage ride! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #victorianchristmas #victorianchristmasaesthetic #jacksonvilleoregon #oregonchristmas #historicoregon #horsedrawncarriage #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids ♬ Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald

45. Kiss under the mistletoe

Brian and I make a point of getting some mistletoe to hang up in the house. It’s more goofy than anything else, but it’s a good reminder to us and our kids that our marriage is still a priority in this busy holiday season.

46. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Church with Christmas lights.

This is my new favorite tradition! May local churches offer a candlelight service, and it’s a beautiful quiet space in a fast-paced world.

47. Build a snowman, or snow fort, or make snow angels

Girls standing in snow with snowman.

Definitely include this on your snow day trip, or if you get a snowfall at your house!

Girl making a snow angel. Family Christmas bucket list.
Making a snow angel!
Christmas cookies.
Bought these at our local grocery store last year.

Organize this with friends or neighbors, and enjoy trying other family’s Christmas cookie favorites.

49. Elf on a Shelf

We’ve never done this, but there are a plethora of ideas for Elf on a Shelf on Pinterest. I’m not a fan, but lots of families love it!

50. Go get a fresh Christmas tree

Cutting down a Christmas tree at a Christmas tree farm. Family Christmas bucket list.
Cutting down a tree at a Christmas tree farm

Here in Oregon, fresh Christmas trees are available everywhere— you can even get a permit to cut one down in parts of the forest! There are few smells that evoke Christmas more than fresh fir or pine. If you can’t get a tree, see if you can get a fresh wreath or some boughs.

51. Try ice hockey or curling

Boy eating snow.

Any kind of ice or snow play is especially fun at Christmas time!

52. Christmas tree lighting

Many cities or towns have a Christmas tree lighting, and it’s one of the best ways to kick off the holiday season. 

@dinkumtribe Mt. Angel Christkindl Market was rainy, cold and perfectly festive! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #christmasmarket #christmasmarkets #christmastreelighting #bavarianfood #christmasinoregon #christmasinthepnw #pnwchristmas #oregonchristmas #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids ♬ A Holly Jolly Christmas – Christmas Music

53. Enjoy some egg nog

My husband loves egg nog, so it’s one of our family Christmas bucket list items. If egg nog isn’t your thing (me neither!) maybe you’d enjoy a peppermint mocha, or some gluhwein, or another traditional holiday drink—where I grew up in Jamaica, we enjoyed sorrel as a Christmas beverage.

54. Bring home a poinsettia

Poinsettias are bright and colorful tropical red and green plants that bring a smile to my face all winter long. 

55. Write a letter to Santa

Boy and girl mailing a letter to Santa. Family Christmas bucket list.

Here in the US, there are several options for doing this. We drop our Santa letters at the mailbox in Silverton, Oregon by the mural. 

@dinkumtribe Checking out Silverton’s murals: send a letter to Santa Claus here and get a real response! #silvertonoregon #santaclaus #santaclausiscomingtotown #ibelieveinsantaclaus #ibelieveinsanta #silvertonartwalk #christmastownusa #lettertosanta #letterstosanta #christmasfunforkids #christmasfunfortoddlers #christmastreelighting #artwalks #exploreoregonshistory #oregonexplored #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #familytraveltiktoker #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #pnwfamilies #oregonfamilies #familytravelvlog #familytravelblog #familytravelblogger #familytravelvlogger #familytravelinfluencer #travelwithkids @dinkumtribe ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel

56. Operation Shoebox

Many families and churches get involved with this fun Christmas charitable gift idea— for details, go to https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ 

Samaritan's Purse "Operation Christmas Child" shoeboxes with label.

57. Visit a live nativity

My husband took our kids to do this one year, and they all loved the experience of seeing the animals and experiencing the Nativity Story this way. Check churches in your area to see if there’s one near you.

58. Make snow globes or shake a snow globe

Buy a pretty snow globe, or look on Pinterest for instructions to create your own. 

59. Buy a wreath or make one

I always try to have a fir wreath on my front door during December. Here in Oregon, the cold moist weather makes it last over a month— but if you live elsewhere, make one out of craft supplies or buy an artificial one. 

60. Celebrate Advent

Children looking at advent wreath candles.

My husband did this when he was growing up, so now we do it with our kids, We light a new candle every Sunday of Advent. Then on Christmas morning, our kids rush out to see the final candle lighted to remind us of the Christ Child’s arrival. It’s one of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions.

61. Check out a historic Christmas event

We visited Wolf Creek and Jacksonville, Oregon this year to see an authentic Victorian Christmas celebration. 

@dinkumtribe The Women’s Parlor at Wolf Creek was all decked out for Christmas! @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #victorianchristmas #christmasinoregon #adhdfamilytravel #familytravelcreator #oregonfamily #pnwfamily #familytravelblog #bestoforegon #stagecoachstop #applegatetrail #californiahistorictrail #historicoregontrail #oregonstateparks ♬ Carol of the Bells – Christmas Background Music

62. Take a holiday vacation or getaway

Many national and state parks are open throughout the holidays (excepting Christmas Day). It’s often a time of year when there are fewer crowds, so you can enjoy the beauty without all the people.

We visited the Redwoods this December during our children’s interterm school break, and it was perfect! If a vacation hasn’t made it on your family Christmas bucket list this year, maybe add it to your calendar for next year.

Family in front of the Tour Through Tree in Klamath, CA.

63. Go to a different culture’s holiday celebration

We visited a Christkindl Market in Mt. Angel this year. Our kids loved seeing all the nutcrackers and German wood carvings, and we heard about the pickle tradition for the first time.

Your local communities may have similar cultural celebrations during the holiday season.

What’s on your family’s Christmas bucket list?

Train decorated with Christmas lights at night.

With over sixty Christmas and holiday ideas, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble creating the ultimate Christmas bucket list for your family. From our family to yours, we hope you’ll have a Merry Christmas season together!

© Copyright Jennifer D. Warren 2022. Updated November 12, 2023.

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About the author

I’m Jenn Warren, Co-Founder and Content Creator for Dinkum Tribe. I'm a Third Culture Kid (TCK) from Jamaica and California, married to my college sweetheart. I've been a missionary kid, pastor’s kid and (former) pastor’s wife. My husband and I traveled as pastors for 12 years throughout the United States and Canada before becoming travel content creators.

I love living in Oregon and exploring new places with my family. We’ve road tripped over 30,000 miles across the United States and Western Canada with our six children since their infancy. Prior to our marriage, I also lived in Spain for a summer and spent another summer in Mexico.

I’ve homeschooled our six children for over 10 years, and served on the board of a homeschool co-op for 4 years. Several members of our family are neurodivergent (gifted, ADHD, cPTSD), and I’ve spent 5+ years learning how to accommodate neurodivergent needs as well as supporting the resultant mental health challenges (anxiety, depression).

I’ve also served as a support group leader and co-director of Pure Life Alliance, a nonprofit organization that supports families struggling with sexual addiction.

I write about family travel and road trips, millennial marriage, general parenting, homeschooling, parenting neurodivergent children, grief, and abuse recovery.


  1. Your free printable bucket list for Christmas is awesome….thank you so much! Making ice cream snow sounds wonderful…and I love the idea of doing the Secret Santa gift exchange with family. So many festive things to do in the month of December!

    1. You’re so welcome! And thanks for letting me include your instructions for the “Socked” activity – such a fun idea!

  2. We enjoy many of these as well–some from my and my husband’s childhoods and some new ones! But here’s my real holiday hack–the 12 Days of Christmas, December 25-January 5. We started doing this because my husband is a pastor so Christmas Eve (and sometimes Christmas Day) are incredibly busy. We also could never travel to see family before Christmas. We now spread our celebrations out and keep the Advent candles lit through the whole of Christmastide. I love it. It makes things less crazy leading up to Christmas and less of a let down on December 26.

    1. Oh that’s sheer brilliance right there – wish we thought of that when we were pastors, it would have made it a lot less stressful!

  3. These are some really special family Christmas bucket list ideas. I’ve gotta say though, #12. Christmas Tree decorating – is my favorite. It’s always been such a special holiday tradition in my family.

    1. Many families love participating in the Operation Christmas Child program – it’s a fun way to think of others during the busy holiday season.

  4. These are all wonderful ways to create Christmas traditions for the family. I’ve only done a few of these things with my kids. But you’ve definitely given me some more ideas to consider.

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