30 Christmas Bucket List Ideas That’ll Bring Your Family Joy


The days are shorter, the leaves are gone from the trees, and stores everywhere are prepping their holiday sales. And that means it’s time for some wintertime fun. As Christmas gets closer and closer, you might want to create a Christmas bucket list of fun things to do with the family. 

Jump ahead to these sections: 

A Christmas bucket list is a great tool for getting the most of your holiday season. With family visiting and the kids home from school, you’re going to need some creative ideas to keep everyone busy. 

Here’s a winter bucket list to help you stay warm, have fun, and bring your family even more Christmas joy this year. 

Christmas Bucket List Ideas for Families and Couples

Whether you have a large family or it’s just you and your partner, these wintery activities will have you wishing Christmas could last forever. 

» MORE: Planning doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Join the peace of mind movement.

1. Give a mistletoe kiss

Hang mistletoe in any door frame, or just hold it over your significant other’s head when you want a Christmas kiss. 

2. Go ice fishing

Search your local area for lakes and parks that offer ice-fishing. See if you can find a cozy cabin nearby to cuddle up in afterward. 

3. Soak in hot springs

While you’re searching local parks and resorts, find out if there’s a natural hot spring near you. If there is, there’s nothing better than soaking in hot water while the snow falls all around. 

4. Do a themed photoshoot

Get your partner and the family together for a family photoshoot. Set up a festive holiday scene to set the tone. 

5. Go see the Nutcracker

Find a theater that’s performing the classic Christmas ballet, the Nutcracker. It’s a show that everyone needs to see at least once in their life, and it’s perfect for a winter date night. 

6. Knit a scarf

With your significant other or the family, watch some YouTube tutorials on knitting and get started. A scarf is the easiest thing to tackle when you’re first getting started with the basic stitches. 

7. Make deluxe hot cocoa

Find a recipe for some hot cocoa with added ingredients (above and beyond the standard marshmallows and whipped cream.) Consider looking up recipes for slow-cooker hot cocoa, Mexican hot chocolate, and red velvet hot cocoa. 

8. Go inner-tubing or sledding

Grab a tube or sled and hit the slopes with your partner or your whole family. You can find public sledding spots or just visit a steep hill near your home. Just make sure it’s closed to traffic! 

9. Take the plunge (the polar plunge)

The Polar Plunge, or “Polar Bear Plunge,” is a charity event that takes place around Christmas in many towns and cities. Look for one near you, and dive into freezing-cold waters for a good cause. 

10. Make mulled wine

When you’re done with your hot cocoa, move onto something with a higher alcohol content: mulled wine. Mulled wine is specifically designed to keep you warm, so it’s a perfect Christmastime treat. 

Christmas Bucket List Ideas for Kids

Over the holidays, kids can run out of fun activities, fast. While games and movies might be entertaining, it’s also important to keep the kids active. Here are some Christmas bucket list activities that kids can do over the holiday season. 

» MORE: Planning a funeral? Get access to discounts in minutes.

11. Build a snow fort

If there’s enough snow where you live, it’s the perfect opportunity for the kids to construct a snow fort. They can even build multiple forts to use as strongholds for an epic snowball fight. 

12. Decorate Christmas cookies

Get the kids involved in baking the annual Christmas cookies by letting them decorate some on their own. Supply some colored frosting in pastry bags and sprinkles, and let them create their own unique designs. 

13. Mail a letter to Santa

The classic Christmas tradition is writing a letter to Santa. Have the kids sit down with paper and crayons and write a message to the North Pole. Tell them to choose just one thing they want to ask for as a Christmas gift from Old Saint Nick. 

14. Build your snow-family

In addition to snow forts, you can also help your children build their own family of snow-people. Build each member of the family, made of snow. Decorate them with noses of carrots, stones for eyes, and other distinctive characteristics. 

15. Create a gingerbread village

Instead of just a gingerbread house, you can build a whole village made of gingerbread. Start with the town center in the shape of a city building, and then surround it by a few smaller houses. You can even decorate it with gingerbread trees and fill it with gingerbread people. 

16. Finish a giant puzzle

Find a Christmasy puzzle, and set the goal to finish the puzzle over the Christmas holiday. You can spend just a few minutes a day working on it, or sit down to finish the puzzle in one go. When you’re done, paint the puzzle with glue to hold it together, and hang it up next Christmas season. 

17. Create cranberry-and-popcorn strands

Pop some plain popcorn, and buy a few bags of fresh cranberries. Then, thread a needle (it’s best to do this with older children, but you can use a relatively blunt needle), and have the kids create strands of alternative popcorn and cranberries. Then, let them hang the strands on the Christmas tree as a crafty garland. 

18. Make salt-dough ornaments

One of the easiest and most fun ways to make your own Christmas ornaments is with salt dough. All you need is flour, salt, and water, and you can bake ornaments in any shape you’d like. Have the kids create the shapes and paint the ornaments when they’re finished baking. 

19. Donate toys

Most kids have at least a few toys they don’t play with anymore. Christmas is the perfect time to help your kids get in the giving spirit by donating their toys to charity. 

20. Host a Christmas craft party

Help your kids create Christmas-themed paper invitations to give to their friends, inviting them over for a craft party. Together, the group can make ornaments, garlands, paper snowflakes, and more. 

Funny Christmas Bucket List Ideas

The Christmas season is all about enjoying time with the people you love. And one of the best ways you can share the Christmas spirit is by sharing a good laugh. Here are some silly Christmas bucket list ideas that’ll put a smile on anyone’s face. 

» MORE: Make a difference this Memorial Day. Create a plan to honor those you love.

21. Play a Christmas prank

Playing a lighthearted Christmas prank on a family member or friend can be fun for both the pranker and the pranked. Consider wrapping their desk chair in wrapping paper, tying their gift up with zip ties, or another Christmas-themed gag. 

22. Construct giant gingerbread men

Pick up some poster board, and construct some life-sized, colorful gingerbread. Then, you can place the gingerbread men around the house to give your loved ones a startle. 

23. Hold an eggnog tasting

Christmas is the eggnog connoisseur’s favorite time of year. Invite friends and family over to sample the finest eggnog, or even make some from scratch.  

24. Make a comical Advent calendar

Most Advent calendars contain pleasant surprises like candy and candles. But you can spice it up by giving your loved one an off-beat Advent calendar filled with odd items. Ramp up the weirdness with each date on the calendar. 

25. Sing Christmas karaoke

Host a karaoke party at home or take the group out to a local karaoke bar to sing some holiday songs. 

26. Decorate cookies... as each other

Instead of just decorating sugar cookies as trees and snowflakes, challenge yourselves to create perfect likenesses of each other out of frosting and sprinkles. 

27. Play Christmas charades

Play a game of charades that’s strictly Christmas-themed. You can buy a set of Christmas charades cards or come up with your own ideas and write them down on scraps of paper. 

28. Draw a paper plate Christmas scene

For an entertaining Christmas challenge, have everyone hold a paper plate on top of their head. Then, have each person try to draw an accurate Christmas scene with a pen on the paper plate, without looking. Compare your artwork after a designated time limit.

29. Host a white elephant party

Have everyone bring a gift to the party, and play a game of white elephant. You can make it even more interesting by limiting the gifts to home-made items only, or only gifts under $5. 

30. Play “take a bow”

Another silly Christmas game is called “take a bow.” When your invitees arrive at the party, show them that there’s a bowl of Christmas bows (the kind with the sticky back) available. Each person’s goal is to stick as many bows on other people’s backs as possible.

Checking Off Your Christmas Bucket List

Your Christmas bucket list could be filled with all of the items listed above and many more that are unique to you and your family. 

If you’re feeling truly courageous, you can try to check each item off your bucket list in a single Christmas season. But you can also keep a running bucket list that you check off and add onto each year. As you think of new things you want to do, put them on the list. And let family members do the same if they think of something they’d love to do next Christmas. 

Your Christmas bucket list is a way to keep everyone entertained over the holidays, enjoy the winter season, and bring the family closer together. 


Icons sourced from FlatIcon.