main image of Christmas bucket list: decorated tree with presents by the fireplace

30 Cool Christmas Bucket List Ideas

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What do people do on Christmas?

Christmas is coming! And if you want to make sure you have to do all the fun Christmas things, it’s a good idea to make a Christmas bucket list.

People do many things at Christmas as part of their family traditions.

And sometimes you’re so busy doing the things you’ve always done, that you don’t think about what you could be doing. That is where a Christmas bucket list comes in.

I use my bucket list to track all the important things I want to remember to do.

But you could have a bucket list made up entirely of ideas you only want to do once at Christmas (or in December). Like going on a ski trip, taking a trip to Hawaii to get away from the snow, or enjoying a sleigh ride. (I actually went Disney for Christmas one year.)

Get your copy of this Christmas bucket list to track all the Christmas related things you need to do.

Start checking things off and make some great memories!

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What should I put on my Christmas bucket list?

Christmas Bucket List: Getting Ready Ideas

family decorating their tree
Photo by Jonathan Borba

1. Decorate your home

You want to be ready for Christmas early by decorating your home.

Why not go all out this year? Put up two trees. Hang those outdoor lights. Put wreaths in your windows. Get some inflatables for your lawn.

Get in the Christmas spirit early and let the joy of Christmas shine for your kiddos.

2. Write a letter to Santa

Writing a letter to Santa should definitely be on your Christmas bucket list if you have little ones. While they’re working on the letter to Santa, have them write out their Christmas list as well.

This is also a great time to make your own wish list, so friends and family don’t have to guess at what to get you.

3. Have a Christmas movie marathon

Start your countdown to Christmas early by adding a Christmas movie marathon to your Christmas bucket list.

Pick a weekend early in December before your schedule is full and pick out your family’s favorite Christmas movies. Make sure there’s something for everyone, even the littlest of viewers.

Some of my favorites: It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, The Polar Express, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

4. Play Christmas board games

Board games are one of my favorite Christmas bucket list ideas for spending time with family. It could be something you do on the days leading up to Christmas, something you do for Christmas Eve fun, or even something you do after the gifts are open.

Here’s some of my favorites Christmas themed games:

  1. Don’t Break The Ice (ages 3+) – Enjoy some winter fun with a classic game.
  2. Pin the Nose on the Reindeer (ages 3+) – It’s the classic blindfold game played at kids’ parties. Or you can choose to Pin the Nose on the Snowman.
  3. The Santa Claus Game (ages 3+) – Deliver presents as you race across a winter wonderland. Fun spaces will have you singing and shouting Ho, Ho, Ho.
  4. Santa Claus Go Fish (ages 4+) – Use this holiday deck to play the classic card game. Easy to read cards allow younger kids in on the fun. Instructions are included for Old Maid and Slap Jack for even more excitement.
  5. Santa’s Sleigh Ride (ages 5+) – Race other Santas to deliver presents in this educational (shh!) Christmas game.
  6. Christmas Scavenger Hunt (ages 6+) – A family holiday scavenger hunt with no extra preparation for you. Choose an indoor or outdoor hunt, playing on teams or as individuals.
  7. Christmas Rush (ages 7+) – Holiday cards add an exciting twist to this Christmas version of the card game Spoons.
  8. Christmas-opoly (ages 8+) – A Christmas themed version of the classic game. Watch out for Santa’s naughty list!
  9. Clue: North Pole Holiday Edition (ages 8+) – Find out who stole the presents in this holiday version of the classic who-done-it game.
  10. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Board Game (ages 8+) – Be the first to find all the misfit toys in this fun game that combines elements of Chutes and Ladders with Sorry.

5. Read the Christmas story

For an easy-to-understand version of the Christmas story, read The First Christmas.

To learn the whole life of Jesus, get out your Bible and read Luke Chapters 1 through 24 throughout the month of December.

6. Read A Christmas Carol

This may take you a while to get through. But Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is the classic Christmas story of becoming a kinder human being and how we should treat each other. It’s a good reminder each year at Christmas.

For younger kids, check out these Christmas books for toddlers.

Christmas Bucket List: Creative Ideas

gingerbread house
Photo by Jamie Lee

7. Make crafts

Spend time with your kids this Christmas by making crafts together.

It could be decorations for your home, a festive wreath, or even some bookmarks to give as gifts at school.

Use an ornament kit or these foam decorations if you’re in need of some inspiration.

8. Make a gingerbread house

Be sure to add making a gingerbread house to your Christmas bucket list.

I’ve never actually done this one, so I’ll be super excited when my son is old enough that we can build one together.

Try a gingerbread house kit if you’re just starting out, so you don’t have to worry about baking the gingerbread.

9. Create an advent calendar

So, an advent calendar is a countdown to Christmas with little boxes that hold chocolate or small gifts.

For kids that are too small for chocolate (or too hyper) and for those gifts that are too small for tiny hands, consider creating an advent calendar, but with Christmas books.

Put a title of a Christmas book behind each of the numbers, and each night leading up to Christmas have your kiddo select a book to read at bedtime.

Of course, if you still want the chocolate calendar, be my guest. (You could probably use the extra jolt of energy right now.)

10. Prepare a scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite things. And you can easily make one for Christmas day.

You can hide a special present (like a new bike) and make directions to where it’s hidden.

Or maybe you’re getting a new puppy! (Congrats.) Make a scavenger hunt that the present is at the animal shelter.

Or have Santa hide gifts throughout the house, leaving fun clues to where they are hidden.

Christmas Bucket List: Outdoor Ideas

horses pulling a sleigh in the snow
Photo by Pixabay

11. Go caroling

I feel like neighborhood caroling is something you just don’t see anymore.

But that’s okay, this is your Christmas bucket list. And you can say “I did that!”

Just gather up your family, some friends, or other interested neighbors and head out in your area. Enjoy some hot chocolate and Christmas cookies after heading home.

If you don’t want to go around your neighborhood, you might be able to find a nursing home that would welcome some Christmas carolers.

12. Take a sleigh ride

It might take a little bit of work finding a sleigh ride in your area. But that’s why this is a Christmas bucket list.

This is something you just can’t pass up. Grab some gloves and scarves and get ready for a wonderful experience.

13. Visit a live nativity

There are many churches that do live nativities these days.

This is a fun and interactive way to learn about the birth of Jesus, and it is sure to be something that will stick with your kiddo for years to come.

Can’t get to a live nativity this year? Set up your own nativity under your tree. I love this nativity set for small kids. Not breakable and not a choking hazard!

14. Visit a light display

We have a few local parks and zoos that do huge displays of Christmas lights each year.

If that’s your area, make this the year that you get out to see them. They are spectactular!

If you don’t have one in the area, that’s why it’s on you Christmas bucket list.

Get to one! Pick a weekend and head out of town to visit one of these beautiful displays.

Related: How to Budget Your Christmas Vacation

Christmas Bucket List: Christmas Eve Ideas

red and white Christmas stockings on the fireplace
Photo by Goran Grudić

15. Hang stockings

Hanging stockings is a fun Christmas bucket list idea for the whole family.

And Christmas Eve is the best time to hang them, especially if it’s Santa who is filling them.

You could even hang stockings for your fur babies. They need special treats at Christmas too!

Christmas bucket list: horse drawn carriage ride in the snow

16. Go to church

It may have been a while since you’ve been to church. But Christmas Eve is the perfect time to go.

It’s super busy, they’ll be Christmas carols, and maybe even a Christmas play.

Many churches hold candlelight services on Christmas Eve.

If you want to add this to your Christmas bucket list, ask a friend for a recommendation. It’s easier to attend if you know somewhere there.

17. Track Santa

This has been a favorite Christmas bucket list item of mine, even before I had a family.

Visit NORAD throughout the month of December for music, games, fun facts and videos.

Come back to NORAD anytime on Christmas Eve to track Santa on his journey across the world, as he delivers gifts to everyone.

18. Make Christmas Eve dinner

This is something my mother used to do when I was very little.

It was a big deal with her wedding China and candles and fancy table linens. And it was something that we shared as a family (before all the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day).

Your Christmas Eve dinner doesn’t have to be that fancy. Maybe it’s pizza on the floor while you watch Christmas movies. Just something you can do together.

Related: How to Make Christmas Eve Extra Special

19. Wear Christmas pajamas

This is something you can save for Christmas Eve or pull them out any time you’re doing a Christmas activity (preferably at home).

You could opt for matching family pajamas for cute pictures.

Definitely find a cute pair and get in those Christmas morning pics, momma! Our kids need to know we were there too.

Christmas Bucket List: Christmas Food Ideas

person decorating Christmas cookies
Photo by Jonathan Meyer

20. Bake Christmas cookies

What is Christmas without cookies?!

Spend some time in your kitchen this year baking those delicious Christmas cookies.

If this is something you do as part of your annual Christmas traditions, change it up for your Christmas bucket list.

Host a family baking party, where everyone gathers in one kitchen to make their own special treat. Play Christmas music or watch Christmas movies.

Or if it’s usually just mom in the kitchen, get the kiddos to help out this year. Put them in charge of the cookie cutter or stirring the ingredients. Or let them be the special taste tester.

21. Make a hot chocolate bar

Hot chocolate is the beverage of winter.

But for Christmas, make it extra special with a hot chocolate bar. Where everyone can make their own yummy mug.

Include all the flavors: vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg. And all the toppings: marshmallows, chocolate chips, whipped cream.

Add some of those delicious Christmas cookies and enjoy a movie!

22. Have dinner with friends

With all the preparations that go into Christmas, it’s really easy to forget to relax and enjoy the month of December.

Leave a spot on your Christmas bucket list for having a meal with your friends. Maybe it’s your new mom tribe, your work buddies, or even friends who only come home during the holidays.

This year, say yes and go out for a night to yourself.

23. Make a Christmas themed breakfast

This is a fun idea for Christmas morning (or any days leading up to Christmas).

Make tree shaped waffles or Santa pancakes. Use powdered sugar and strawberries to make them extra festive and oh so yummy!

Christmas Bucket List: Gift Giving Ideas

Christmas gift being wrapped
Photo by cottonbro

24. Make a donation

Christmas is the time for giving. So, it’s the best time to make a donation to your favorite charity.

Whether it’s money, your time, or even items you no longer use, giving to others is truly what this season is all about. And it’s a great way to show this lesson to your kiddos.

You could also choose to gift presents to a child from an Angel Tree. These trees can be found in many businesses. You select the name, age, and gender of a child. Purchase gifts based on the card. And return the gifts in time for Christmas.

25. Participate in a secret Santa

Okay, you may have participated in office secret Santas before (or a white elephant gift exchange).

But let me suggest doing this secret Santa exchange with family members.

This is especially great if you have a large family and don’t want to buy gifts for everyone.

Or you could add it to the list of gifts you’re buying, limit it to a $5 item, and play a Christmas gift exchange game. Use dice, read a poem, play trivia, or do a swap.

26. Have a wrap party

This can be as much fun as a cookie baking party.

Whether it’s family or friends (or both), get everyone together for one big wrap session.

Trade wrapping paper back and forth. Use up all those little scrap pieces that you never know what to do with. And get your wrapping taken care of all at once.

Just be careful not to bring any presents for any of the people who may be in attendance.

Christmas Bucket List: Memory Making Ideas

Christmas card with penguin
Photo by Lisa Fotios

27. Meet Santa

This may not be an easy one if your kiddos aren’t too fond of old St. Nick.

But Santa meet and greets aren’t just for kids anymore.

Get the whole family involved. Mom and dad can hold any kids that just aren’t ready. Grandparents, cousins, or even family pets can make the whole experience more fun for everyone.

28. Take family photos

When you have little ones, any picture you take during the Christmas season is a good picture.

But even if your little ones are grown, Christmas photos can be a great way to make special memories.

Of course, you need to take the “official” Christmas picture in front of the tree.

But take pictures when you meet Santa, or when you’re baking cookies, or on your sleigh ride, or wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. Enjoy these times together and take the photos to remember them all.

29. Send Christmas cards

I love sending photo cards. And you can use any pictures you’ve taken during the year for those cards. It definitely doesn’t have be a professional picture or even Christmas related.

If you plan on sending Christmas cards (and you should because now, it’s on your Christmas bucket list), you want to get them out well before Christmas.

You should have them bought or ordered by the first week of December and mailed by the end of the second week. (The mail is CRAZY at Christmas.)

If you don’t have any extra time during the holidays, you could always send out New Year’s cards or even Valentine’s Day cards.

Related: Fun Things for Your Kids to Do on New Year’s Eve

30. Visit relatives

Christmas is the time of year to spend time with family. So be sure to make extra time to visit all your relatives.

Take some extra time off the week of Christmas to really enjoy the family you spend every day with and spend time with family you don’t see all that often.


There you have it: 30 cool Christmas bucket list ideas you can do with your kids. Have some fun this holiday season! And don’t forget your copy of our Christmas bucket list, so you can start crossing things off today.

Did you find any new ideas to add to your Christmas bucket list? Let us know in the comments.

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