125+ Ultimate Christmas Bucket List Ideas For 2023 - Become That Mom (2024)

Are you ready to make this holiday the most wonderful time of the year with a Christmas bucket list? Embark on a journey through our long list of fun Christmas activities where each festive activity can create cherished memories for your family while adding a sprinkle of holiday magic to your wintery days.

125+ Ultimate Christmas Bucket List Ideas For 2023 - Become That Mom (1)

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Celebrate the most magical time of the year and take some time to create the most beautiful core memories for your family. Family traditions stay in your children’s memories. Sometimes, they take them into their own lives as adults, which is why planning a Christmas bucket list of holiday activities and traditions is so important.

Looking back on these moments, you’ll soon understand that as we move on and begin new chapters of our lives, the cherished memories we share with our family, friends, and loved ones keep life special.

Toys will get lost, gadgets will get broken, and the kids will forget about them. Still, they will remember the time spent with loved ones and the memories of all the Christmas activities and holiday experiences.

You are now the mom in charge of how your kids remember their holidays, just as you remember yours when you were little. Keep that magic alive for them as long as you can.

This holiday bucket list is the ultimate collection of festive ideas, family-friendly Christmas traditions, and fun winter activities to make this Christmas season unforgettable. This post is full of different ways to celebrate the holiday season and there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for activities on Christmas day, date night ideas for the holidays, or memorable activities to do as a family, this ultimate Christmas Bucket List has it all.

I hope this list inspires you to start a new family tradition this holiday season.

This post includes all the fun holiday activities you can add to your Christmas bucket list.

The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List for 2023 + Free Printables!

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Christmas Eve Activities

The night of Christmas Eve is always filled with anticipation and excitement for Christmas Day to finally arrive. Here are the top ten Christmas Eve activities that you can do to prepare for Santa’s arrival and get into the Christmas spirit:

  1. Let your kids open up one gift on Christmas Eve and let it be their Christmas Eve Box.
    • Put holiday-themed items in the box and wrap it like a Christmas present. My favorite things to include in the Christmas Eve Box are their Christmas pajamas, Christmas-themed toys, a new ornament to hang on the tree, a hot cocoa and marshmallow mix, a gingerbread house, and a holiday craft.
    • I usually put items in the box that we can do as a Christmas activity the next day. It is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit and get them excited for Christmas Day.
  2. Wear the new matching Christmas pajamaswhile doing the Christmas Eve activities, or save them for when it is time to open presents on Christmas Day.
  3. Prepare for Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve.
  4. To prepare,bake Christmas cookies and decorate them as a family.
    • Spend time in the kitchen baking gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies, or other holiday treats.
    • For easy Christmas baking, use thePillsbury Sugar Cookie Doughin either the Reindeer or Christmas Tree – or both! They are delicious and already have a Christmas design on them if you don’t feel like decorating cookies.
  5. Watch a Christmas movie while baking cookies, and make it a tradition to watch the same movie every year.
    • We always watch either “The Polar Express” or “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” during Christmas cookie baking time on Christmas Eve.
  6. Make magic reindeer foodto sprinkle on the front lawn for all of Santa’s reindeer.
  7. Write a letter to Santa.
  8. Place the cookies, a glass of milk, and the letter to Santa by the Christmas treebefore the kids go to bed.
  9. Read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”as a bedtime story.
  10. Set up awrapping paper wall for the kids to run throughChristmas morning.
    • You’ll be able to capture the joy on their faces when they see their presents for the first time.

Things To Do On Christmas Day With Family

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The day has finally arrived! Here are twelve heartwarming activities that you can do on Christmas Day with family to make the day a little more special:

  1. Get up early andwatch the sunrise on Christmas morning.
  2. Make it a tradition to cook or bake a special family breakfast.
    • It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe. Make something quick and easy.
    • I make Shepherd’s Pie and cinnamon rolls for our family for Christmas. I do all the prepping beforehand so that I can wake up and throw it in the oven. I want to spend quality time making memories with my family, not being busy all morning in the kitchen.
    • At the same time, I still want to be able to provide a happy meal for breakfast. Find recipes you and your family love that are quick to put together, and reserve the recipe for the holidays only.
  3. Take the family toChristmas mass in your best holiday outfits.
  4. Open presents in your matching family pajamas.
  5. Take a family photo with everyone wearing their matching pajamas.
  6. Build and decorate a gingerbread houseor gingerbread Christmas tree.
  7. A fun activity on Christmas morning ispainting ceramic holiday objectslike Christmas trees, a ceramic Santa, and snowflakes.
  8. Put together a 500-1000 piece puzzleas a family.
  9. Burn candles that smell like pine trees.
  10. Consider doing aFamily Secret Santa. Use the websiteELFSTER.COMto sign up everyone who wants to participate.
    • Our family uses Elfster every year as it makes the Secret Santa processso easy. It is an Online Secret Santa Generator.
    • You are even able to create a wishlist of presents you want. Your secret Santa can see your wishlist and can buy you a gift off your wishlist.
  11. Buy a new Christmas decoration or ornament for your tree each year.
    • My daughter has her own Christmas tree, and each year, one of her Christmas presents is a new ornament for her to hang on her tree.
  12. Drive or walk through your neighborhood to admire your neighbor’s festive holiday light displays.Bring the hot chocolate!

Fun Holiday Season Bucket List

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  1. Reflect on the year to prepare for the new year.
    • Write out all the pros and cons of the last year for better reflection, and see what you can improve on, change, or keep for the upcoming year.
  2. Have a “no technology” dayto enjoy each other’s company.
  3. Create a time capsule for the yearto open next holiday season.
  4. Sing Christmas carols.
    • Spread holiday cheer by goingChristmas caroling.
  5. Help Santa fulfill holiday wishes by participating in Operation Santa.
    • USPS receives thousands of Letters to Santa annually and publishes these letters online. You can volunteer to adopt a letter written by kids and send gifts to them on Santa’s behalf.
    • If you want your kids to participate, they can also send letters to Santa’s address:
      • 123 ELF ROAD, NORTH POLE 88888(and yes, it is an actual address for letters to be sent to!)
    • Check out the Operation Santa website for more information.
  6. Make a list of everyone you need to buy a present forand write down ideas of what Christmas presents you want to gift them. Bring your list with you when yougo Christmas shopping.
  7. Spread some holiday cheer by doinga random act of kindness.
  8. Decorate the outside of your housewith Christmas lights and decorations.
  9. Visit a Christmas townwhere the whole town decorates for the holidays, has the best Christmas light displays, and looks like a winter wonderland.
  10. The holidays can be stressful, so decompress andprioritize a self-care night with a holiday pamper routine.Take time for yourself this season.

Best Christmas Activities For Kids

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If you are stuck trying to figure out what Christmas activities to do during this time of year, I’ve come up with 49 of the best Christmas activities you can do as a family. The first section includes general fun things to do throughout December with your kids. The second section includes fun ideas for holiday crafts or something you can make or create. Lastly, take the family out to experience the 15 places to be for the holidays.

Christmas Things To Do

  1. Instead of the Christmas Eve Box mentioned above, I like to do aDecember 1st Box.
    • It is the same concept, except the box of holiday items is given on December 1st instead of Christmas Eve. Instead of doing all the activities on Christmas Day, we do whatever is in the December 1st Box throughout December.
    • It is an excellent opportunity to feel the Christmas spirit throughout the month instead of just one or two days. It also builds Christmas anticipation and keeps the activities going throughout the month.
  2. Call Santa on his personal hotline at (319) 527-2680!
    • There are numerous phone numbers that you can search for Santa’s personal hotline, but this is the phone number saved in my contacts.
    • Your kids can leave a voicemail to Santa and say what they want for Christmas.
    • The best part is that calling this number is completely free!
  3. Collect 24 holiday-themed books and do a Christmas advent with those books.
    • Each night in December, unwrap a book and read it as a bedtime story. Read one book each night until Christmas Day.
  4. Set up sleeping bags in the living room and spend a night sleeping by the Christmas tree.
  5. Set up a small tree just for the little kids.
    • Your kids can have their own tree where they can pick out their ornaments. They’ll have the best time decorating it however they like.
  6. Spend an eveningdecorating your Christmas treewith lights, tinsel and ornaments.
  7. Hang up Christmas decorations in your home.Deck the halls with holiday decorations and lights.
  8. If your family does holiday pajamas yearly,wear all your old Christmas pajamas throughout the month.
  9. Come up (or take ideas from this list!) with new traditionsyour whole family would love to do on Christmas morning.
  10. Build a fort of blankets and chairs and watch holiday movies.
  11. Donate toys or gifts to children in need.
  12. Read classic Christmas books with a holiday theme.
  13. Have a pajama day with holiday-themed onesies.
  14. Hang candy canes on the Christmas tree.
  15. Deliver a goodie bag of holiday treats to a neighbor.
  16. Have a Christmas movie marathonand play all of the family’s favorite Christmas movies.
    • I’ve listed 24 of my family’s favorite holiday movies near the bottom of this post to make it easier for you.
    • Grab the Holiday Movie Bucket List Printable to keep track of all the holiday movies you want to watch. It’s completely FREE!
  17. Have afamily game night with board games.
  18. Get Santa hats for everyone.
  19. Go through your old clothes and toys your kids no longer play with,and donate them to a shelter.
  20. Have a Christmas scavenger hunt.
  21. Every parent’s favorite holiday activity:Elf on the Shelf.
  22. Set up your ownPolar Express train around the tree.
  23. If you have a newborn, take a picture of themsleeping under the Christmas tree.
  24. Have an indoor snowball fight.
  25. A heartfelt, cute way to teach little ones about acts of kindness is throughThe Giving Manger activity.
    • For every act of service or kindness, your child can place one straw in the manger to prepare for baby Jesus’s arrival.

Christmas Things To Make & Create

  1. Have the kids help youcreate a Holiday Treat Box for delivery drivers.
    • Set out the box of treats outside by the front door with a sign to notify the delivery drivers that they can help themselves with some goodies.
    • They are working hard to deliver your holiday packages, so it’s a fun way to show them they are appreciated during this busy season.
  2. Decorate Christmas stockingsand hang themby the fireplace or mantle.
  3. Have aDIY Christmas Craft Day, making handmade ornaments, wreaths, or Christmas cards.
    • Your kids can send out these handmade crafts as Christmas gifts!
  4. Makehomemade hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows.
  5. Make a DIY advent calendar.
    • Create your own advent calendar with small surprises or activities for each day leading up to Christmas.
  6. Create a holiday music playlistand listen to Christmas music throughout December.
  7. Make homemade ornaments for the Christmas tree.
  8. Make paper snowflakesand hang them up around the house.
  9. Make tamales togetheror cook a family holiday recipe.

Places To Be

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  1. Visit a local Christmas tree farm and pick out a tree.
  2. Visit local holiday light displays or neighborhoods known for their decorations.
  3. Volunteering as a family at a local food bank, shelter, or community center duringthe holidays.
    • This is a great time to teach kids about serving the community and showing more compassion and kindness to others.
  4. Go on aPolar Express Train ride.
    • They usually get busy around Christmas, so I recommend booking your train ride months ahead!
  5. Take the kids to visit Santa Clausat a local mall or holiday event.
  6. Or,visit Santa at the North Pole!
  7. Take a silly picture with Santa.
    • Make sure Santa joins in on the fun and does a wacky face during holiday pictures!
  8. Visit a winter wonderland-themed event where you can ice skate, play in the snow, or do other winter activities.
  9. Attend a Christmas parade.
  10. Go on night walks every nightto see Christmas lights.
  11. Visit the animal shelter.
  12. Check out your local zoo for any winter events!Our local zoo has ZooLights all December long, and it is usually a good time when we go!
  13. Christmas at the Princessis a holiday event we make sure to attend every year.
    • They have over 2 million lights, ice skating, train rides, firepits, a light show, and all the best things to celebrate the holiday.
    • Christmas at the Princess is held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort. Check out the Fairmont Resort or other hotels near you for winter events.
  14. Attend a tree lighting ceremony.
  15. Visit a holiday farm.

Winter Activities For Families

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Bring out the snow gear and snow boots for a winter wonderland of fun! Here are ten winter activities that involve having fun in the snow:

  1. Building a snowmanis a great way for kids of all ages to participate in winter activities together.
  2. Go ice skating on an outdoor rink or frozen pond.
  3. Goingtubing in the snow or sledding down a snowyhill is always so much fun.
  4. Start a snowball fightwith your kids.
  5. Take a scenic train ridethrough a snowy landscape.
  6. Catch snowflakeson your tongue.
  7. Lie down in the snow and show the kids how tomake snow angels.
  8. Slide down an ice slide.
  9. Make some core memories with anevening bonfiresurrounded by snow.
  10. Justhave a family snow day.The only plan of the day is playing in the snow all day long.

Christmas Bucket List for Couples

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The holiday season can create an overwhelming, but fun-filled schedule for the whole family. Make sure to carve out some alone time with your significant other to reconnect during this busy time of year. Plan out your next night out using ideas from this list of 20 fun holiday date night ideas:

  1. Enjoy a night out at an ice barwhere almost everything is made of ice.
    • The whole room is made out of ice. It would be best to rent a coat and gloves since they usually keep the room at around 23 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the ice doesn’t melt.
    • There is one in Arizona called the Polar Play. Other ice bar locations within the United States are in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Orlando, Florida. Check if there is a location near you.
  2. Create a date night holiday advent calendar like this Advent Calendar For Couples. It comes with its own date night ideas. Or you can get an inexpensive advent calendar and come up with your own dates. Take ideas from this list!
  3. Get each other anexperience-only Christmas giftlike tickets to a concert, and a season pass to a favorite amusem*nt park, or cooking classes for two that you can use for your next date night.
  4. Do theChristmas Gift Exchange Challenge.You and your partner would have to buy gifts for each other in each of these categories and exchange them at the same time:
    • Something that reminds me of you
    • Something to do together
    • Something special
    • Something you need
    • Something random
    • Something in your favorite color
    • Your favorite drink
    • Your favorite snack
  5. Make homemade eggnogand enjoy it by the fireplace.
  6. Writing andsending personalized holiday cardsto friends and family.
  7. Attend a live performance ofThe Nutcracker ballet.
  8. Explore a local Christmas marketto shop for unique gifts and enjoy seasonal treats.
  9. Take ascenic drive through a snowy area.
  10. Gostargazing on a clear winter night.
  11. Visit alocal botanical garden with holiday lights.
  12. Walk downtown to see holiday lights.
  13. Take aspontaneous day trip to a big city.
  14. Hang up mistletoeand try to kiss every time you both pass under it.
  15. Try out a new Starbucks holiday drink.
  16. Pick out ormake a new Christmas ornament together.
  17. Go skiing or snowboarding.
  18. Wrap Christmas gifts together.
  19. Take a romantic horse carriage ride.
  20. Do acharity Christmas walk or run together.

Christmas Bucket List With Friends

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Here are 14 holiday activities and party ideas that everyone can enjoy together:

  1. Spend time with family members and friends by attending or hosting a holiday party.
  2. Host a gingerbread house decorating contest with friends, where everyone brings their own gingerbread house kit.
  3. Organize a Secret Santa gift exchange among coworkersor friends.
  4. Have a holiday-themed game night.
  5. Give gifts with a funWhite Elephant Gift Exchangewith friends.
    • Make it even funnier and give gifts with a theme such as “used gifts only” or “raunchy gifts only.”
  6. Organize a potluck dinner with friends or family,with everyone contributing their favorite holiday dish.
  7. Do a holiday movie night marathon with friends.
  8. Host a holiday-themed costume party.
  9. Throw an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.Everyone votes for the best ugliest Christmas sweater.
  10. Have a hot chocolate bar at your Christmas party.
  11. Take a winter trip to a cabin.
  12. Mix up Christmas co*cktailsfor your holiday party.
  13. Have aChristmas cookie-baking party.
  14. Host a bingo nightwhere your family and friends can win Christmas presents as their prizes.

Christmas Bucket List Printable

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Make it easy to keep track of all the festive adventures you want to do this year and grab your FREE Christmas Bucket List Printable.

The PDF also comes with a FREE Holiday Movie Bucket List Printable to keep track of all the 24 holiday movies you want to watch leading up to Christmas Day.

How To Use the Christmas Bucket List Printable: Print out the freebies, go through the ideas on this list, and write down everything that you want to do this holiday season. Check them off as you complete each activity! The printables can be printed on standard US letter-size paper (8.5″ x 11″).

How To Use the Holiday Movie Bucket List Printable: Write the movie title within the wreath for the Holiday Movie Bucket List Printable. Watch the first movie written in the first wreath on December 1st, and repeat this each day until you’ve watched all the movies in 24 days.

Christmas Movie Bucket List: 24 Days Of Christmas Movies

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A holiday bucket list is only complete with a list of must-watch movies. Many great holiday movies exist, but I’ve compiled the top 24 Christmas movies that are a must-watch in my home.

These are Christmas favorites that almost everyone loves. There may be some movies you think should be on this list, so feel free to switch out any film with the ones you prefer. I’ve never seen Miracle on 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Story – which I know are Christmas classics – so I wouldn’t be able to recommend them.

However, if you’ve got some holiday movie recommendations that are part of your family’s favorite Christmas movies, please send them my way and leave me a comment! I’m always open to new holiday movies.

Choose 24 of your favorite Christmas movies and watch one movie every day leading up to Christmas. We usually start with the older movies and then progress to the more modern ones as Christmas approaches. Use the printable above to keep track of all your movies, and keep it for next year to do again!

The following movies are ones that I highly recommend for you to watch. They are primarily family-friendly and give you the best holiday vibes:

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  2. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  4. Home Alone 1 (1990)
  5. Home Alone 2 (1992)
  6. The Santa Clause 1 (1994)
  7. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
  8. The Santa Clause 3 (2006)
  9. Elf (2003)
  10. The Christmas Chronicles 1 (2018)
  11. The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020)
  12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  13. Noelle (2019)
  14. Jingle Jangle (2020)
  15. The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000)
  16. A Boy Called Christmas (2021)
  17. Last Holiday (2006)
  18. Love the Coopers (2015)
  19. Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
  20. Klaus (2019)
  21. Godmothered (2020)
  22. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
  23. The Polar Express (2004)
  24. A Christmas Carol (2009)

Need help figuring out what other movies to add to your list? Netflix has a vast collection of great holiday movies like The Princess Switch series and A Christmas Prince, which are also some of our favorites, but they didn’t make our top 24!

I also have another huge tip for Christmas movie lovers: If you have a smart TV, search “Christmas Plus” and add the channel. It has free Christmas movies, including all the classics!

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The best gift you can give your loved ones is quality time and being present in the moment with them. When your kids are older, and they look back, they aren’t going to remember every toy you bought them for Christmas or how much money you spent; what they will remember is the traditions and time spent together that make those memories magical. The little things are truly the biggest blessings.

So, this is your reminder to spend this season with your loved ones and give them the gift of happy memories. Start creating your own memories and traditions by using the great ideas on this list to curate the best holiday memories for your family on your very own Christmas bucket list. Remember to make it magical for everyone, including yourself.

I hope your family has the merriest holiday season.

Which fun holiday activities will you put on your Christmas bucket list this year?

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125+ Ultimate Christmas Bucket List Ideas For 2023 - Become That Mom (2024)
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