12 Days of Christmas Ideas – Celebrate With Your Family & Friends!
Are you looking for some inspiration to celebrate 12 days of Christmas with your family and friends. We have compiled lots of 12 days of Christmas Ideas here, as well as other resources you can use to do those activities. We have a list of indoor and outdoor activities, so something for all kinds of weather days too.
We took many of these ideas for 12 days of Christmas Family Ideas from our 25 Days of Christmas Activities List here. Be sure to check that out for even more ideas, and there is a free printable you can use to plan it out too.
Although this is technically a 12 Days of Christmas List, I often use it too plan fun things to do over Christmas break with my kids too. They get two weeks off, so it is just an really easy way for me to put together a list of ideas of things we want to do during that time, and then whatever we can make happen we do, and what does not work out we let go. It has made Christmas break with my kids so much nicer using this list.
Ideas for 12 days of Christmas you can do at home (indoors) –
- Wrap & read a different book each night.
- We have lots more ideas on how to do this here, as well as book recommendations.
- Bake Christmas cookies or treats
- Here are some Christmas Cookie Recipes that are fun (including No Bake options)
- Make these Christmas Cones
- Another spin on this is to make it a “Bake Cookies for Santa Night”. Do this one Christmas Eve, and let the kids leave some of the cookies they baked out on a platter to Santa.
- We have a list of Christmas Cookie Kits here, if you prefer to not bake them.
- Sign up here to get some of our favorite Christmas desserts delivered to your inbox!
- Make hot cocoa bombs, or homemade hot chocolate
- You can also put together this hot cocoa charcuterie board if you plan on having others over too!
- Write a letter to Santa.
- Check out our Free Printable Letter to Santa with tips on writing a letter to Santa & where to send it as well as a free printable letter.
- Make Homemade Christmas Ornaments. I would have my kids do this each year, and it is so fun to bring out the ornament and all the memories that come with it each year.
- Do a Christmas Craft to decorate the house
- We have lots of DIY Christmas Crafts you can do here, including ideas of Dollar Store projects to save you money too!
- Christmas movie marathon night (or day)
- Spend an evening making a homemade gift for someone (family member, teacher, neighbor, senior in your area, etc.)
- Find some DIY Gift Ideas here to help inspire your gift making night.
- Make a night a Toy Donation Night. You can usually drop off toy donations at a local fire station, or many schools and community centers host toy drives each year too. I like to give my kids a budget and let them shop, wrap and then drop off the toy each, so they are part of the process too (rather than just doing it by myself).
- Holiday game night. Honestly, this is one of the indoor activities the kids will enjoy the most. You can combine it with any of the others (ie making hot chocolate that night too), but really all you have to do is set out a family favorite game, and spend time playing it together as a family or group of friends. It is one of the simplest ways to create special holiday memories.
- Make Smores (this one can be indoor or outdoors) but smores are always fun! This is also one you could combine with the family game night.
- Make homemade cards. These can be a special tradition you start for those in your home (let everyone pick a name out of a basket to write a special card for), or you can do it for a senior, or teacher, pastor, service worker, etc. This is one of my favorite traditions in my home. I have treasured the homemade cards my kids have made for me over the years, and one day hope to make a book out of them! They are my very favorite gifts of all.
12 days of Christmas family ideas to get out & do (outdoors) –
- Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt (we have a free printable here)
- U Cut a Christmas Tree if you don’t have on yet (remember 4th graders and their families get a free tree – details here!)
- Snow Tubing for a day (find a list of great spots to snow tube in Washington here, or Oregon here).
- Outdoor Ice Skating
- Attend a Christmas Event (check out our PNW Christmas Events list to see a few here in the Puget Sound area )
- Deliver Cookies to your Neighbors or a local Firehouse
- find some of our favorite Christmas Cookie recipes here.
- Volunteer as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army
- Spend a day out Snow Shoeing (we have tips on snow shoeing at Mt. Rainier here).
- Spend the evening taking various Christmas Selfies. This is a fun activity if you have tweens or teens especially. Plan a map out of areas with Christmas lights or scenery near you. Once you arrive at each spot the kids jump out and take a selfie at each location. You can even make a photo book after of all their selfies for the memories (find out how to get free Shutterfly photobooks here too).
- Enjoy a day exploring your downtown festivities or favorite town
- Set up a Christmas Getaway in your own backyard. We did this one in our Trampoline one year. Serve Christmas treats and play games. It is a fun way to get the kids outdoors in the winter, and create fun memories too.
- A movie and dinner. I know this sounds pretty standard, but we still love it. You can put a Christmas spin on it, by checking out a Christmas movie, and maybe trying a new restaurant you would not otherwise. You can create a 12 days of Christmas tradition too, by doing something like:
- Selecting a kind of food you will always go out for over the 12 days of Christmas – and making that a tradition every year.
- Deciding that this is the time that you pick a new spot you have never tried, and turning that into a tradition.
- Letting the kids pick. Each year, it is the kids who pick where you will eat this night – they will love that one, but set some rules in terms of how they can agree (if you have more than one kiddo), budget, area, etc.
One last bonus idea, is to make one of these days Get Photos with Santa day. We have a big round up of ideas on where you can get free photos with Santa in the NW here.
For more ideas check these resources out too:
- 25 Days of Christmas – How it works & Ideas for Advent Calendars (can do this for 12 Days, 5 Days, you name it) – intentional activities to spend time together as a family during Advent Season
- Read a Christmas Book each night & wrap it up to countdown to Christmas + a list of our 40 favorite Christmas books