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family christmas activities

30 Favorite Christmas Activities That Your Family Will Love

(Inside: Fun family Christmas activities that will bring your loved ones closer together over the holidays. Enjoy the season with these great ideas.)

1. Decorate the house, inside and/or outside.

2. Donate your time, food, money, and/or gifts.

3. Take a winter wonderland hike.

4. Drive around and look at holiday lights.

5. Grab fancy, warm drinks from the coffee shop.

6. Make gingerbread houses.

7. Christmas shop together at the mall or local stores.

8. Get dressed up and go out to eat.

9. Open an advent calendar.

10. Bake holiday cookies and treats

11. Exchange names and give Secret Santa gifts.

12. Spend a day skiing or sledding.

13. Attend a holiday concert.

14. Enjoy a Christmas service at church.

15. Read the Christmas story around the tree.

16. Get a group together to Christmas carol. (In person or over screens.)

17. Snap holiday pictures.

18. Watch Christmas movies.

19. Look through family photo albums together.

20. Go ice skating.

21. As a family, do something extra nice for someone you know.

22. Write handwritten cards.

23. Go out for pastries or dessert.

24. Make Christmas crafts as a family..

25. Light candles and use your “good dishes” for dinner.

26. Play holiday music and enjoy a family game night.

27. Build a snowman, create a snow fort, or make snow angels.

28. Put together a Christmas puzzle.

29. Share your favorite holiday memories with each other.

30. Each family member picks out an ornament that represents their year.

Entertaining Tweens/Teens and Connecting with Your Family Series

The other day, I saw of picture of when my kids were little (like when I wrote this post), and I thought I so deeply want to go back to this season of life. I miss it.

But just as quickly as that thought came, another thought followed Someday, I will see pictures of my current parenting phase (raising tweens and teens) and wish to come back to today. 

So, I want to do my best to enjoy this season of life. These ideas on how to connect with and entertain tweens and teens can help…


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*30+ Ways to Connect With Your Family Over the Holiday Season

family christmas activities

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

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encouragement on valentines day

See Your Greatest True Love on Valentine’s Day

(Inside: Valentine’s day isn’t always roses when it comes to relationships. So remember who your greatest True Love is. See your greatest love on Valentine’s day.  Encouragement for Valentine’s Day.)

I brushed my fingers over the pink iridescent hearts on the Valentine’s Day cards. I thought of the love words I’d write to my sons, to my husband…

Then my mind switched to a friend who’s been in my thoughts – this is her first year as a divorcee. I knew this holiday would hold pain. For the first time in years, her husband wouldn’t be giving her the flowers, instead, they’d go to the woman he’d chosen over her.

I thought of my grandma, she’s been decades without my grandpa – I know she’d think of him on this day, missing him with the same intensity as the day after he died.

I thought of the past times my husband and I had skipped the fluff of Valentine’s day, because of our budget and because we were in survival mode with three small kids. (“You love me. I love you.” High five. The end.)Valentine’s day sometimes plays out like a chapter in a romance novel. 

But, whether we have the roses in our hands or not – Valentine’s Day always holds love. Always. Because there’s One who calls out to us – all of us – on this day…

Pay attention, you’ll see Him…

He tucks silky rose petals into all areas of our lives.

He reminds us of His extravagant love.

The air whips around me as I walk around the lake, and I can’t take my eyes off of the huge flock of geese circling and landing in an intricate dance reminding me we’re all a part of a bigger story. I hear God gently stir these words in me…Trust in me. I am in control of your story… I see you and I love you.

Again, I heard the voice when I tucked the clean sheets around the corners of my son’s bed. I smelled the aroma of fresh linens and am transported back to my childhood. When living in New Mexico, my mom always hung my sheets outside to dry. She’d lay the linens over my bed and declare that clothesline sheets smelled the best…I hear God press deep inside of me, I gift you with good memories because…I see you and I love you.

My friend and I sit legs tucked under us near her living room fire; the heat cuts through the Minnesota chill. We shared for three hours – three hours! – about parenting, careers, relationships, dreams, and more dreams. As I drive home that night, in the stillness of my car, God says to me…I will always provide you with your people…I see you and I love you.

My golden doodle greets me when I get home. Tail-wagging, love abounding, I’m a celebrity. I hear again, I fill your day with simple pleasures on purpose…I want to consistently remind you… I see you and I love you.

Or I hear my three boys talking. They’re hovered around a Calvin and Hobbes comic book laughing. “Do you remember when I put you in the red wagon and sent you down the hill like this picture,” the older says to the younger pointing to the comic book. They laugh hysterically. “At least you put a helmet on me,” the younger remembers. I thought I understood love, but then I gave birth to three kids and my heart cracked open in deeper ways than I’d ever expected. God says, my daughter, don’t you see… I love you with the same passion… I see you and I love you.

Whether we are the person writing the cards, missing the once-devoted husband, longing for a lost love, or skipping the Hallmark holiday because of our current survival modes, today let’s all look for the extravagant love that comes from above…

Let’s see the sacred rose petals sprinkled throughout our mundane.

Let’s feel God’s just-for-us words.

On this day, this day of love, let’s not forget to SEE our Greatest True Love.

“Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.

This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength. Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too! If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting! Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me.” (Psalm 139:1-10, TPT)

Related article: Create the Perfect (Or Not So Perfect) Valentine’s Day for Your Family

gifts for moms

10 Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids the True Meaning of Christmas

(Inside: Teach kids about Christmas.  Simply ways to help kids learn about the true reason for Christmas and feel the joy of the season.)

My son’s little legs dangled over the edge of the couch a foot shy of reaching the floor. His usually busy hands were folded neatly on his lap. His legs were still. Alarmed – because my 4-year-old never sits still like this – I asked, “What are you doing?”


“What are you waiting for, sweet boy?”

“Christmas to come.”

It was November. The day after Thanksgiving to be exact. We’d busted out the artificial tree, opened boxes of ornaments, and made our best creation out of it all. The tree sparkled to my son’s left, the stockings hung on the fireplace in front of him and he waited – expectantly.

Joy to the world…joy to this momma’s soul.

Christmas naturally awakens delight in our little humans’ hearts. But do they know why? Do they know the gift of Jesus sent to a broken world in need of a Savior? Do they know that in decorating and baking cookies we are recreating the excitement the people felt in anticipation of their promised Messiah? In giving gifts, do they know that we are reminding ourselves of the gift of Jesus to us? In showing us how to live with real joy not dependent on our circumstances? In connecting us with God through eternal salvation?

Though a 4-year-old is not going to understand the full gift and depth of the Christmas message, he can understand parts of why we celebrate. And that understanding will grow as he grows. I haven’t been very intentional with pointing out the “whys” of Christmas traditions, but this year would like to give it a try. So, I came up with a list specifically for busy moms to incorporate the message into the moments of this season.

Teach Kids About Christmas

*This blog post contains affiliate links.*

Teach kids about Christmas

1. Tell the Candy Cane Story:

Have you heard this delightful little tale? I was late to the party on this one. The skinny version is:

A German choirmaster in 1670 gave the children a white peppermint stick to help them sit still during the Christmas service. The white represented the purity of Christ and the mint represented the hyssop traditionally used for purifying in scripture. Other candy makers in later centuries added to this idea. The stick was turned into a “J” representing Jesus and/or the shepherds’ staffs. The stripes were added to represent the lashes Christ bore on the cross and the red color, the blood that Christ split to save us from our sins. Voilà – the candy cane!

This story is a legend, no one knows the exact facts, so spice it up all you want to tell it your way as you:

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

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2. Use Candles:

During my stay-at-home mom years, the Minnesota winters would leave me with cabin fever itching to get out but not wanting to put the effort into taking my 3 young boys (all under the age of 5) actually out. One night, over a spaghetti-from-a-jar dinner, I dimmed the lights and set glowing candles in the middle of the table. The room became magical. No joke.  This can be repeated and the Christmas story read as the family breaks bread together. (Or twists spaghetti noodles around their fork as they pretend their one-year-old isn’t throwing it onto the floor.)

Photo by Zoran Kokanovic on Unsplash

3. Listen to Christmas Music:

In the car, as you and your child together set the table for lunch, straighten the toy room, or go over spelling words crank up Christmas music that tells the Christmas story.  At some point, maybe pause and talk about what the words mean for one of the songs. Listen to Christ-centered Christmas songs:

4. Incorporate Drama:

Not, the I-can’t-find-my-shoe-and-we-needed-to-leave-5-minutes-ago drama, but real drama. Like, acting. Y’all my talented friend wrote a script of the Christmas story. And she’s sharing it with us. I have my copy and can’t wait to sit near the tree and read through this story together. My perk? Since I’m the only girl in my house – I for SURE get to be Mary!

Yes, I want the Mary & Joseph Script!


5. Set Out Your Nativity Scene:

As you unwrap your Willow Nativity scene (Or the plastic Little People Nativity Scene) tell about an angel appearing to Mary telling her she is going to bear a son and name him Jesus. Talk about Joseph traveling with his pregnant wife to Bethlehem knocking on doors, asking for a place to stay. Describe the shepherds and the wise men rushing to see baby Jesus. Or ask your kids to tell you what they know about the story. Feel the hope and joy the Christmas story brings.

6. Listen to the Christmas Story in the Car:

I did some research on this one and found some stories that share the Christmas message that can be listened to. On the holiday lights drive, the road trip to see Grandma, or your umpteenth trip to Target where you vowed to THIS TIME to get out of there in under $20, these stories will help your kids see Jesus.

7. Watch Christmas Movies:

Watch Christmas movies and as the end credits roll, ask your children:

  • What was the message of the movie?
  • What did you learn about Christmas from this movie?

8. Read the Story by the Tree:

Dim the overhead lights, let the Christmas tree flicker and gather your family near. With legs tucked under blanks and arms around the wiggly ones, read the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-20. (Or a book about the Christmas story like Christmas Stories Heartwarming Classics of Angels, a Manager and the Birth of Hope or God Gave Us Christmas.)  Feel the Holy Spirit’s warmth hover in the air. Finish with hot cocoa, or making homemade fudge, or then take your kid to basketball practice, whatever – life is busy – but a simple pause to hear the Christmas story in the beauty of the decorations can fill our soul in unexpected ways.

9. Go Shopping:

Before you shop, ask your kids, “Why do we give gifts?” This is a teachable moment to talk about why we give gifts. Because we’re reminding each other of the gift of Jesus God gave to us.  This could be a chance to stop and get a Tall Vanilla Latte before you start shopping you know…to talk with your child…not because you’ll make any excuse to get coffee.

Photo by on Unsplash

10. Enjoy Church:

Dress in your Christmas finest and go to a Christmas service. On the drive home or around the dinner table afterward, talk about what your kids learned and discuss the point of the message. A short conversation can have a powerful impact.

Teach Kids About Christmas:

So, then next year mommas, when one of our children hops on the couch a “waits” for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, we could say, “Ah, yes – that’s  the same excitement the shepherds and wise men felt as they waited to see baby Jesus!”

I didn’t say that way back then when my son was 4. But now, he’s 11…and I have a few ideas this year of how I’m going to unveil his eyes to see the real reason for Christmas and feel the true joy of the season.

Be encouraged by the full “raise kids of faith” series.

Over the years, as my kids have grown and their seasons have changed, I find myself going back to this one prayer, “Dear Jesus, please capture my kids’ hearts.” If as they journey through life, they consistently go back to their Creator for comfort and guidance, it’s all going to be okay.

So, as a mom, I strive to (in my imperfect way), teach my boys faith.

10 Easy Way to Teach Your Kids The True Meaning of Christmas
A Busy Mom’s Christmas Prayer

Free eBook: Devotions for Kids and Families
5 Fantastic Devotionals that Help Create Forever Family Connections

A Free Gratitude Journal Your Teen Will Love (Raise Grateful Kids)
The Science Behind Why a Gratitude Journal Works (Raise Happy, Faith-Filled Tweens and Teens)

Teach kids about Christmas

Join this community of mom raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kids, feel empowered in your personal growth, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get inspiration, resources, and stories in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below.

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