Christmas—the season of wonder and anticipation—has finally arrived!
There is no one way to celebrate the Advent and Christmas season, and we’ve compiled 28 activities and recipes that you could make part of your celebration. In addition, some of Catholic blogger friends were gracious enough to share some of their favorite holiday traditions with us.
- 1. Learn more about the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. The Feast of St. Andrew kicks off the Christmas Novena tradition on Nov. 30.
- 2. Give blessings. Catholic Icing has printable blessings for your Advent wreath, Christmas tree, crèche and door. And, be reminded of the intercession and spiritual protection of St. Benedict by hanging blessing beads on a doorknob or another hook in your home.
- 3.“Family and faith are the cornerstone of our celebrations of Advent and Christmas. It is important to us to preserve our Italian heritage by gathering with our extended family for holiday dinners. However, within our Domestic Church, we strive each year to create our own family memories by engaging in faith-filled activities such as our daily prayers around the Advent Wreath, watching faith-based Christmas movies and counting our blessings.” - Debbie Guadino, Saints 365 (Read: “7 Ways to Celebrate Advent with Your Family.”)
- 4. And count your blessings. Christmas shouldn’t be the only time of year we count our blessings. DIY a Count Your Blessing Jar, that you can start when the new year hits. Beyond the Inspiration has a free tutorial.
- 5. Remember loved ones. A beautiful way to remember your loved ones is to personalize a Merry Christmas from Heaven ornament.
- 6. “The best decision I made for removing a lot of the stress in Advent and making our celebration of Christmas more joyful was adapting an Advent calendar for the Twelve Days of Christmas. The children were excited to see what each day would bring - from watching a special Christmas movie or attending Mass to baking cookies or building a snowman. It really was a game-changer in our home for appreciating the liturgical seasons.” - Bonnie Engstrom, A Knotted Life
- 7. Bake a gingerbread house. This is a classic Christmas tradition and usually a favorite among kids. The Humbled Homemaker has a free, easy tutorial. The best part? It’s edible and allergen-free.
- 8. Celebrate St. Nicolas Day Dec. 6. Can’t decide what should go in the shoes this year? Catholic Icing has a long list of ideas.
- 9. “My family hangs stockings on the feast of St. Nicholas. This is a long-time family tradition for my wife’s family, which has long held onto this German tradition. This helps us emphasize the spirit of giving to others during the Advent and Christmas season, just as Jesus came to give us new life through Him!” - Marcel LeJeune, The Catholic Evangelist
- 10. Take the kids on a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt. The whole family will love this little excursion. Get the kids ready for bed and surprise them with a late-night trip. Download a free printable from Not Consumed.
- 11. Listen and enjoy some seasonal music favorites. Many get burned out by Christmas music, but it really is a joyful sound of the season. Embrace it! Carrots for Michaelmas has a playlist that includes favorites such as “Silent Night” and “The Little Drummer Boy” that is ready to go.
- 12. “One of the benefits of an Advent of waiting is that once Christmas arrives, we're not all burned out, so we really can celebrate for the whole liturgical season of Christmas. We have a little tree in the middle of our breakfast table, and we add a new ornament to it for each of the twelve days of Christmas (while singing, of course). We also watch a different Christmas movie and eat a different Christmas treat on each of the twelve days. And the wise men from our nativity set travel a bit each night, all through the house until the end up with the holy family on epiphany.” – Kendra Tierney, Catholic All Year (Read: “Keeping Christmas: How We Keep Celebrating From the Partridge All The Way to the Drummers.”)
- 13. Celebrate the Feast of Immaculate Conception Dec. 8. Catholic All Year has some great suggestions for celebrating the holiday, including menu ideas and free printables.
- 14. Bake cookies. Cookies are always a part of the holiday season. A traditional German favorite during Advent are Zimtsterne, or Cinnamon Star, cookies. Good Food has an easy recipe.
- 15. Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady Guadalupe Dec. 12.
- 16. Make keepsake ornaments with the kids. From ABCs to ACTs has a simple tutorial on how to make a handprint Santa ornament.
- 17. Bake “Saint Lucia Buns” in honor of St. Lucy’s Day Dec. 13. A Knotted Life features a delicious recipe.
- 18. “During Advent, we have a favorite book of prayers that we read from each evening when we light the candles. Depending on the day, the prayers are sometimes short, and other times, they are filled with a story we can read and reflect upon. When we remember, we like to light the candles during dinner, too. On a lighter note, each year we gather both Advent and Christmas children's books and wrap them up in pretty tissue paper and put them in a basket. After evening prayers, one kidd selects a book and we read it to them.”– Martina, Catholic Sistas (Check out Catholic Sistas’ entire Advent section.)
- 19. Make Christmas Crunch. If you’re looking for an easy and festive Christmas treat, Christmas Crunch is it. Cooking Classy has the recipe.
- 20. Start the Christmas Eve Box tradition. The idea behind this tradition is that everyone gets to open their special box the night before Christmas. Inside you can include snacks, a holiday movie or book, new jammies, or any other things that can be used that evening to celebrate. Must Have Mom has suggestions for what to put in your box. As for one of our own ideas, think about including a Prayer Buddy in your little ones’ boxes.
- 21. Track Santa. Santa has a very big job to do on Christmas Eve, and the official NORAD Santa Tracker will show you exactly where Santa is making his rounds—and even when he’ll be making a stop in your area.
Remember, being present and connected during Advent and Christmas is the key to truly enjoying and appreciating this magical time of year. Merry Christmas, to all!
If you’re still shopping around for the perfect Christmas gifts, stop by our Christmas Gifts page. From candles and stuffed animals to clothing and home décor, we have awesome items for everyone on your list.