​Your 12 days of Christmas bucket list

Cheap and cheerful activities that the whole family will love

By Alexia Dellner, 28 November 2016
​Your 12 days of Christmas bucket list

'Tis the season to fill your home with holiday cheer, and to help, we've rounded up some brilliant activities and fun things to do with the family before the big day. 

There's something for everyone in our 12 days of Christmas bucket list - even your surly teenager will crack a smile! Because while it's wonderful to enjoy all the delicious food and brilliant gifts for Christmas, it's important to remember that the holiday season is also for spending time with loved ones.

That's why we've selected some amazing family-friendly activities to fill your December with joy.

From hitting the ice skating rink to finding your family's favourite hot chocolate recipe, get into the festive spirit with our 12 days of Christmas things to do.  

Decorate the house

Transform your home into a winter wonderland with dazzling Christmas decorations and festive touches. Will you fill your home with gold and glitter this year, or go for something more rustic and traditional?

There are no rules when it comes to spreading festive cheer - you could even skip the pine tree and make your Christmas tree out of empty wine bottles instead! Get little ones involved in the process - they'll love hanging up the stockings and putting out decorations.

Make a gingerbread house

Let your family's imagination fly with this ginger & fruit mountain cake. Decorate this magical gingerbread house with candy canes, dolly mixtures and liquorice allsorts and colourful sweets

Make Christmas cards

There's nothing like receiving a letter in the post from the people you love. Spread some holiday cheer by sending Christmas cards to friends and family with a personal touch. Let your children design and draw the cards themselves or pick a pretty shop-bought card and let them write their very own Season's Greetings. 

Write your letters to Santa

Sit down with little ones as they compose their letters to Santa and see their faces light up when they get a response from the big man himself! The Royal Mail now offers a service that promises anyone who sends a letter to Santa (carefully following the instructions provided on their website) a personalised reply. Find out more about where and when to send your letter to Santa here

Listen to carolers

There's nothing like the power of song to fill your heart with joy, so why not enjoy a concert or some caroling in your nearest church or musical venue? Or you could just have you very own Christmas sing-a-long at home - dancing encouraged! 

Read a Christmas book

Depending on how old your children are, you could either let them read their favourite Christmas story to you or you could read one of the classic tales to them, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or A Visit From Saint Nicholas. Get cosy by huddling around the fire (don't forget the marshmallows!) or snuggling together in bed. 

Get baking

Who can resist the tantalising smell of freshly baked gingerbread or a chocolate and cherry roulade? Get your little helpers involved in the cooking process (they'll love adding festive decorations to cakes and biscuits) and then enjoy the fruits of your labour together! 

Watch a Christmas film

There are plenty of family-friendly Christmas movies to choose from that will have everyone (even teenagers) laughing out loud and getting into the festive spirit. A Christmas Carol is an old favourite but newer films like Elf will delight children of all ages. Go on an adventure of a lifetime with The Polar Express or visit the town of 'Whoville' with The Grinch. Just don't forget the popcorn! 

Go for a winter nature walk

A big chill has been predicted for this year, so we may well get a White Christmas! That means it's the perfect opportunity to head outdoors and go sledding, build snowmen and play in the snow. But even if we don't see any flurries this December, enjoy the crisp winter air and get some exercise as a family by going on a long nature walk and observing the changes of the season.

Entice children by promising them a cup of hot chocolate afterwards as their reward! 

Make the perfect cup of cocoa

Do you prefer your hot chocolate topped with whipped cream or marshmallows? Made from scratch or from an instant mix? Make it your family's mission to discover the BEST hot chocolate recipe this year, by trying out new and fun recipes and add-ons until you find everyone's favourite. From a fruity twist to a peanut butter topping, we've got 12 brilliant ways to upgrade your hot chocolate in an instant

Go ice skating

Don your wooly hats and mittens and head down to your nearest ice skating rink. Plenty of rinks have special assistance for first-timers (like adorable penguins that little ones can hold on to) and many are located next to Christmas markets and fun fairs that the family will love. Find 10 brilliant outdoor skating rinks here. 

Get crafting

Keep little hands occupied with some easy-to-make holiday crafts. From creating their own Christmas cards to making festive ornaments for the tree, children will love getting creative and learning new skills with these 7 festive craft ideas

Get into the holiday spirit with Christmas decorations and treats you can get online at or in-store