Snow is falling, the lights are twinkling, the aroma of fresh baked cookies fills the room as you sit by the toasty fire, sipping a mug full of homemade hot chocolate with your loved ones gathered round.

Ah, Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. I don't know about you, but one of my favorite Christmas traditions is baking cookies. Each year our family comes together to bake fresh cookies, package them up and then deliver them to our neighbors. These cookies make such great gifts, yet they are so simple to do. The best part is, we get to come together as a family and have fun.

We've come up with 3 festive, but incredibly fun activities for you and your family or friends to do together this Christmas season.

Gingerbread House Competition

It might be the holidays, full of cheer and whatnot, but a little healthy competition never hurt anyone. Whether you're awesome at decorating or not, this activity will be loved by all, no matter how young or old.

You can either buy a gingerbread house kit at your local store or if you're feeling extra crafty, you can bake your own gingerbread pieces from scratch (it makes for a great Christmas scent in the house). Once you have your pieces though, depending on how many people want to participate, you can build individual houses or partner up in teams. For younger children, sometimes it's fun to have a little sibling rivalry.

Grab some frosting to use as glue, choose some of your favorite candies for d├ęcor and get to work! You can be as creative as you want, building a three-story gingerbread mansion or as simple as you choose, making a lovely one-room cottage.

DIY Gift

For those who like to shop on a dime, DIY crafts are the way to go! There are so many different gifts you can make and create, designed specifically for the loved one receiving the gift. The classic handmade ornament is always a favorite for parents and grandparents. If you know how to knit, a nice hat or sweater makes great gifts too. Enjoy baking? Put together your own Christmas gift basket, full of their favorite snacks, a sweet letter or maybe a collage of photos. I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good DIY gift made with love. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate and throw a DIY party night, inviting all of your friends over to make your gifts together!

Light Scavenger Hunt

Christmas time, the one time of year where everywhere you go is lit up in beautiful, colorful lights. Strung from trees, outlining dancing snowmen, you can find just about anything decked out in lights at this time of year. Put together a fun scavenger hunt, requiring people to find certain objects covered or outlined, in Christmas lights. You can either be specific with your objects, leaving clues at each spot, leading to the next spot they need to go to, or simply give them a general list and require them to take a photo of each object, proving that they found one. At the end of the hunt, you can either regroup back together to have a movie night or have a special prize waiting along with hot apple cider and goodies. In case you need help with a scavenger hunt list, here's one we've made to get you started!

  • Reindeer
  • Santa's sleigh
  • Wreath
  • Tree
  • Lake
  • Town square

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