Kids can’t usually handle long countdowns to big events, but these 12 fun holiday activities will make the lead-up to Christmas enjoyable for everyone.
1. Visit Santa
The obligatory Santa visit is an excellent opportunity to get a cute photo and also eavesdrop on that gift your child really wants but hasn’t told you about.
2. Go see the holiday lights
Check your local newspaper or community grapevine social media page for where the best decorated streets and houses are.
3. Listen to Christmas carols
Just search “Christmas carols” on YouTube or Spotify and get your jingle on while you’re doing household chores.
4. Send season’s greetings
Make festive cards out of cardstock and decorate with stickers and drawings, then write a cheerful message inside. Hand out to school friends or post to family who live far away.
5. Bake cookies
Homemade cookies are a treasured holiday treat. Bake an extra batch and give some to a neighbour.
6. Be someone’s secret Santa
Choose a special school friend, neighbour, or even the postie, and adopt them as your Secret Santa recipient. Make or buy a gift, wrap it up, and leave it where they can find it — signed only “From your Secret Santa”. Never reveal it was you!
7. Donate to charity
Contact a local charity and ask what’s on their wish list for the holidays. Many charities are looking for new, unwrapped children’s gifts to give children in need. Go shopping with your child to pick out gifts they think another child would like, then drop off to the charity you’ve chosen.
8. Climb a kiwi Christmas tree
A good sprawling pohutukawa tree is a joy to climb, and when they are in full regalia with their iconic red bristly Christmas flowers, it’s an exciting taste of summer to come. Take a sketch pad for the kids and create a few pieces of art for grandparents as gifts.
9. Decorate your tree together
We know how hard it is to see all the decorations end up on the bottom of the tree (as short arms can’t reach very high), but children will love to help decorate your Christmas tree. Make a plan to dress in red clothing and take your annual photo under the tree.
10. Mix up some reindeer food
Mix rolled oats, sugar and biodegradable glitter or confetti, then sprinkle it on your lawn or footpath on Christmas Eve to show Santa’s reindeer where to come.
11. Write a letter to Santa
Create a digital postcard to send to Santa at writetosanta.nzpost.co.nz or send a handwritten letter (no stamp needed!) to Santa Claus, c/- Santa’s Workshop, North Pole, 0001. You may even get a reply….
12. Make Christmas crackers
You’d be surprised at how easy they are to make using toilet rolls and wrapping paper! Kids can write jokes on bits of paper and craft crowns to go inside, and instead of disposable plastic toys, pop in a lolly, mini candy cane, or even some chocolate buttons.