Christmas Activities Challenge
Activities play an important role in celebrating the Christmas season because they allow us to actively participate in things that bring out the true meaning of Christmas for us. For our planning purposes, activities are defined as things you do at your home with your immediate family and/or fewer than 5-10 people. Use the Entertaining section to plan out more extensive activities at your home. Events (which will be covered in the events planning section) are things you do or attend away from home, such as your holiday office party, Christmas Eve at your parents’ house, Christmas eve service at church, etc.
Challenge # 1 – Christmas Activities of the Past
What activities did you enjoy as a child at Christmas time? Make a list to refer back to later. Do you still do any of these activities? If no, mark ones you would like to incorporate into the upcoming Christmas season.
From Krisann, the Christmas Coach: My memories of Christmas activities from the past include helping my mother make Christmas candies and homemade Chex mix and cheeseballs. Because I lived in Germany for a time, one tradition we did was St. Nicholas Day. I would place a pair of my shoes (normally my wooden clogs) before I went to bed on December 5, and when I got up on December 6, the shoes had little gifts and candies in them.
Challenge # 2 – Must-Do Christmas Activities
Think about what activities are a must-do each Christmas for you and your family at home. Keep in mind activities such as cookie baking sessions, gift wrapping as a family, decorating, Christmas movie night, Sunday Advent Dinners, etc. Remember, this plan is about YOU and your family, so decide what is, or is not, an activity for the family. Make a wish list of the activities you want to do this Christmas season. Remember, you will not be able to do everything, but by listing it all out, you can prioritize what most important this season is. Use the Christmas Activity Wish List planning page to write down activities you want to do at HOME this Christmas.
From Krisann, the Christmas Coach: Some of my favorite activities include having Sunday dinner and lighting the Advent wreath, playing Christmas themed games, and watching Christmas movies with my family.
Challenge # 3 – Family Activity Interviews
Now is the time to start asking your family what they like to do at Christmas. Use the Christmas Organizing planning page or a sheet of paper and ask your family members their top 3 activities they want to do at home for Christmas. You can find the Activity Interview planning page in the free downloadable PDF Christmas Organizing Companion Lists. Download Here
From Krisann, the Christmas Coach: Making sure you do things that your family loves is an essential part of Christmas activity planning. You can send out an email, text, or even call them on the phone to get their responses. If they have trouble thinking of things right away, you may want to go over the list of activities you have done in the past for inspiration. Keep these in your 3-ring binder to refer back each year. Remember to do a check-in with each person every year to see if they have any updates.
Challenge # 4 – Activity Planning Sheet
Now that you know what you want to do, you will need to fill out the Activity Planning page. Use the Christmas Organizing planning page or a piece of paper to fill out the information about each activity. If it is a party that needs additional planning, the section on Entertaining at Christmas will have additional resources and tips.
Information to include:
- Name of Activity
- Date of Activity
- Time of Activity
- Place of Activity
- Type of Activity
- Items for others to bring (food, gift, exchange items, etc.)
- RSVP date (for you to give others)
- Any other information that would be helpful to remember
From Krisann, the Christmas Coach: It is always helpful for me to fill out a planning page for any activity I am having at my house to remember all the little details. Even though many of the activities are small family gatherings at my home, having all the details, including a menu and other notes, reduces my stress.
Challenge # 5 – Mark Your Calendar
Once you know what you are going to be doing, go to your calendar and fill in dates and times, and don’t forget to share the information with your family so they can plan to be there!
From Krisann, the Christmas Coach: Taking a few minutes out to put your activities on your calendar as you plan each one can help you see the big picture! In the past, I have “overbooked” a day because I forgot to add activities to my calendar, resulting in a stress-filled situation at Christmas!