I’m a planner and I like to have a plan of what’s going to happen. So far – no plan for Christmas 2023! I’ve started putting together this epic list of 40+ ways to celebrate Christmas 2023. Whether it’s a busy family holiday or a more quiet family affair, let’s all try make sure it’s one to remember in a good way.
I’ve been working hard on coming up with an epic list of ideas and things to do and ways to celebrate Christmas in 2023 as magical, fun and exciting for the whole family as it can be. First and foremost, though, the huge debate raging across the world right now is …
“When is the best time to put up your Christmas tree?”
Whether you’re a middle of November tree putter upper, or you wait until the 1st of December to put your Christmas tree up , I guarantee you that once your Christmas tree and lights are up, you will definitely start to feel more Christmassy. But just in case you need MORE, here are some fun ideas to make Christmas 2023 more Christmassy!
Connect with Santa this Christmas 2023
So here are a few different ways to celebrate Christmas by connecting with Santa:
- Lapland letters – a letter from Santa – these are awesome letters that arrive through the post personalised for your little ones. My girls loved them last year!
- Be Safe this Holiday Season. Book your virtual chat with Santa! – A video chat with Santa!!! Brilliant! A virtual chat with santa is the perfect way to social distance and still give your kids the magic of santa.
Wear Your Christmas Jumpers … like, a lot!
What would Christmas be without a Christmas Jumper? And the louder, more outrageous and uglier the better for Christmas 2021. I definitely think that considering we will be spending more time at home, online and away from society, 2020 is the perfect year to wear all your Christmas jumpers, just one day after the other! And if you don’t already have one, here are a few Ugly Christmas jumpers to choose from !!
I get that ugly Christmas jumpers are not for everyone, so if you’re after a really cute and pretty selection of Christmas jumpers for kids, check out this post from Shelley at Wander & Luxe.
Christmas Advent Calendars with a Difference!
We all know about the traditional Christmas Advent Calendars, here are a few different ideas for Advent Calendars for the whole family.
- If you want to create your own one here’s a post on how to create your homemade Christmas Advent Calendar from Emma Reed.
- Here are 20 Chocolate Free advent Calendar ideas from Beth at Twinderelmo.
- Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Glitter (only because of the mess), but this fun advent craft for kids looks brilliant – how to make an Advent Calendar full of Glitter, sequins and stickers from Kate at Counting To Ten.
- I also love this cross stitch advent calendar which is a bit more of an heirloom to add to your other family Christmas traditions. Thanks, Ruth for the free cross-stitch advent calendar pattern.
- And here are a few of the chocolate-free traditional style advent calendars, that aren’t your typical dairy chocolate. Thank you to Rice Cakes and Raisins for sharing this. I do like the coffee one!
- And here is a printable family activities Advent Calendar that I absolutely love and will be doing this year!
p.s. I saw a few ready-made DIY Christmas advent boxes at Aldi.
Christmas Baking Ideas for Kids
What would Christmas be without baking and stuffing our faces? And if lockdown taught us anything, it’s that baking (banana bread specifically) can help fill a void and make us all much happier. And screw the diets! We’re all living in loungewear and Christmas jumpers anyway! So add baking to your list of ways to celebrate Christmas 2021 with these fun Christmas recipes for Christmas baking for kids (and adults too).
- Make your own Candy Cane Candy
- What’s Christmas without Gingerbread. Here’s a lovely recipe for soft fresh Gingerbread, and another for Gingerbread Biscuits.
- Malteser Christmas Puddings! YUM!
- DIY Christmas Rocky Road! I need this in my life!
- A Christmas Tree Puff Pastry Bake
- Or you can do what I did and buy some cookies from the local supermarket and decorate them at home.
Make Your Own Christmas Decorations!
Whilst I’m saying ‘make’ what I really mean is that I’m going to buy a wreath-making kit from a local maker! There are so many options available on Etsy local to me that I can’t even make a decision right now, but I do know I need to get cracking on ordering it! Oh, and I have to convince my husband that it’s not going to damage the door to put a Christmas Wreath up!
- But you can get the kids to make their own ones too – check out this one from Hodge Podge Days – A hand-printed Christmas Wreath.
- Also, why not try a Festive Rag Wreath like this one from A Rose Tinted World
- If you want to make a hoop wreath yourself, Sarah from Extraordinary Chaos has a helpful guide. And it’s gorgeous!
- Cerys from Rainy Day Mum says she buys plain ready-made ones and then decorates them herself. One of the most popular things to add to your Christmas wreath is slices of oranges that have been dried. (Who knew?) Cerys has a helpful guide on how to dry orange slices in a microwave.
- And keeping with the alternative ideas for a Christmas Wreath, Louisa from Thimble and Twig has this one using grapevines, which you could then add your dried orange slices to as well as whatever you want.
- As something different from a Christmas Wreath, why not try make a Christmas Wall Tree decoration like the beautiful one from Life Loving Blog.
- Or you can make a Popsicle Christmas tree like the one from In The Playroom blog.
- You could also make your own Printable Christmas Cards. This will keep them busy and make the cards really personalised.
Christmas Crafts for Christmas 2023
If you’re looking for some Christmas Crafts and Christmas activities for kids, there are a few sites to get some downloadable activities that the kids can do at home this Christmas.
One of my favourites at the moment is Collette & Co. She has some brilliant Free Christmas downloads. Check these out:
- Christmas Behaviour Chart – We all need one of these!
- Elf On The Shelf Planner – for those of you crazy enough to commit to this! And if you’re looking for some ideas, my friend Helen has a new post with 24 Days of Elf On The Shelf Ideas – with pictures!!
- Christmas Countdown Flag
- Make a sensory Snowman Tuff Tray.
One of my kid’s favourite holidays/observances is Halloween. They love dressing up and getting out and about seeing all the houses done up and what everyone else is wearing, and of course the sweets. I came across this brilliant idea for something similar but with a Christmas theme from Emma at Me & Bee Make Tea – A Christmas Scavenger hunt. She’s got a free cool download too so wrap up warm (if you are in the North) and then go out and about with the kids and see how many things from the Christmas scavenger hunt list you can find!
Watch as many Christmas movies as you can!
My top 5 Christmas movies for moms have to be – in no particular order:
- Love Actually – hands down, my all-time favourite Christmas movie!
- The Holiday
- Four Christmases
- Bridget Jones Diary
- Holiday In The Wild
My kids have already been watching Puppy Star Christmas on repeat, but I feel
they I am ready for them to expand on their viewing! Now if you’re after Christmas movies for Kids, Helen has a great list to choose from. Until then, let’s watch a little Hugh Grant dancing! Or if you have toddlers, here’s a list of the best Christmas Movies for toddlers from The Mummy Bubble.
Christmas Traditions To Start in 2023!
Something I’m always curious about is other people’s Christmas traditions. I have shared a number of different Christmas traditions over the years, from friends and family all over the world. Here are a few of those posts, plus a few others – you can never have too many Christmas traditions I think. And in 2020, the year of everything being Xtra, let’s all start some new Christmas traditions:
- Baking, Christmas Eve boxes and reading the night before Christmas are some lovely Christmas traditions from Karly of Unicorn Puffs And Rainbows.
- Christmas Traditions 1 – incorporating different traditions
- Watching Christmas movies and splitting the years
Christmas When You Are Far Away From Your Family
I’m in no way taking away from anyone, just how hard Christmas could be for those who are spending it away from their loved ones for the first time. However, as someone who has spent far too many Christmases away from my family, I wanted to share a few ways in which we try to ‘celebrate’ Christmas with our loved ones far away.
- ZOOM Calls! My daughter keeps going on about how she wants a group zoom chat with all the family whilst we open presents. Now, most people including grandparents, don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn to open Christmas presents. Even parents with little kids in their home don’t, but we don’t get a choice. So this isn’t something we’ve done before, but I think that considering the time difference between the UK and South Africa & Zimbabwe is now them 2 hours ahead, this might be a reasonable achievement. If it’s 06.00am here, then it’s 08.00am there and I’m sure that we could try manage this – internet connectivity permitting.
- Sending recorded Christmas messages to loved ones so that they can replay them over and over again. Yes mother – I know you do this!
- Creating family Christmas messages to send to your loved ones via Whatsapp. I feel like Canva have made it impossible to be lazy and just forward the generic Whatsapp messages we receive from others. There is no excuse not to whip up your own one to then spam all your contact with in a much more personal way!
- Organise a Christmas Eve story reading session with your children’s grandparents so that they can read the kids a bedtime story live via Zoom/Facebook or whatever video calling service you use.
- Sending personalised gifts ordered online. For a Mega 2020 Christmas Gift Guide, check out this one from my friend Nicole.
- You could even host a virtual Christmas Party with your kids and their friends, Christmas 2020, dancing social distancing style! lol
I hope this list of 40+ ways to celebrate Christmas 2023 provides some cool, fun, and Christmassy inspiration for you. It’s been a rough year for so many of us, and I really wanted this post to offer alternative ideas to spending loads of money on Christmas. Christmas is about family, spending time with loved ones, making memories and for many, it’s a time to rest of a crazy year. I pray that Christmas 2021 will be one to remember for all of us – I’m sure it’s going to be different to what you’re all used to, but let’s try to make the most of it.
Merry Christmas everyone.