Christmas Bucket List for the Whole Family


We have all seen the advent calendars that have a little chocolate or trinket in them for each day counting down to Christmas. This year, our family is continuing with the tradition we started last year. Instead of a trinket that will get lost or broken, we made a family advent calendar using ideas from our Christmas Bucket List. 

Christmas Bucket List for the Whole Family

Here are 30 Christmas Bucket List ideas that are sure to make fond memories and new traditions for your family throughout the Christmas season.

Count Down to Christmas

  • Make an Advent calendar or Christmas countdown
  • Put up and decorate the Christmas tree
  • Make a wreath 
  • Make paper chains to decorate the house
  • Add some lights or candles to the windows
  • Make paper snowflakes to decorate your windows or doors
  • Use tempera paint to paint a Christmas or wintery scene on a window. Don’t worry; tempera paints wash off easily. Make sure it says tempera on the bottle, and let the kids go at it.
  • Read your favorite Christmas picture books as a family
  • Watch a classic Christmas movie
  • Listen to Christmas music during dinner
  • Sing Christmas carols with friends
  • Make a Christmas gift for someone in your family
  • Send Christmas cards to family and friends
  • Try a new holiday recipe
  • Bake Christmas cookies. Don’t forget all cookies are Christmas cookies when they are made in December, even if it’s the same recipe you make throughout the year.
  • Decorate a gingerbread house, or make one out of graham crackers or even pop-tarts!
  • Make fancy hot chocolate drinks for dessert. Set up a hot cocoa station with whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes, and other holiday treats.
  • Drive around to look at Christmas lights
  • Watch your favorite animated Christmas movie
  • Visit with Santa
  • Visit a local holiday light display
  • Attend a local living nativity or Christmas pageant
  • Make Reindeer Food
  • Be a Secret Santa a drop a small gift off to a friend or family member as a surprise
  • Make a Christmas craft
  • Make a holiday centerpiece 
  • Open one gift before bed on Christmas Eve 
  • Wear matching Christmas pajamas and take a family photo in front of your Christmas tree
  • Bake cinnamon rolls in the shape of a Christmas tree. Peel-and-pop cinnamon rolls from the grocery store are fine.
  • Have a family game night in front of the fire. No fireplace? No problem! Netflix and YouTube have a Yule Log video that is about 2 hours long of a crackling fire with instrumental Christmas music in the background.

Display Your Christmas Bucket List

We have a door hanging with twenty-five little pockets and we tuck each bucket list idea into a pocket. Just like with a traditional Advent calendar, each day we open one pocket and take out the activity we are doing for the day. 

Do the activities on the days that work for your family. Maybe you need to read Christmas stories and watch Christmas movies over several days because of how busy life is, and that is totally okay. There is enough stress during the holidays. Don’t make this more work for yourself, but rather something you look forward to doing each day.

You can get a printable copy of the bucket list to put in your own advent calendar here.

Stephanie Huston

About the author

Stephanie is a homeschooling mom & evaluator with over fifteen years of teaching experience; first in New Jersey’s public schools and currently while homeschooling her three children. She and her family maintain a quarter-acre homestead in the middle of suburbia where they grow a wide variety of fruits & vegetables, herbs, and flowers. In the nice weather, you can find her in the garden, but in the winter she spends a lot of quality time in the kitchen cooking and baking with her children.

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