23 Websites to Save You Time and Money Planning for a Memorable and Magical 2018 Christmas
by Michele Thymmons
Christmas is getting closer and it's never too early to start prepping for a holiday full of family memories. We have searched throughout the internet to find resources to help make this time less stressful and easier to plan. Whether it be games, starting family traditions, learning more about Christmas traditions around the world, or activities for Christmas Eve and the advent time leading up to Christmas, the below websites can help you save time and money by giving you a plethora of ideas and lists of what you may need to allow you to plan throughout the year for this coming Christmas. Who wouldn’t enjoy an amazing Christmas without the craziness and hassles that often accompany getting everything ready in December? Continue to watch this site for more Christmas and Winter resource articles to help you a memorable and magical Christmas in 2018.
http://www.allthingschristmas.com is simply put - all about Christmas to include ideas for Christmas traditions, games, stores, gifts, recipes, music, decorations and more. This is one of the biggest gathering of Christmas resources in one location (just like the name :)).
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/gmp2725/christmas-games/ Some of these ideas and games are hilarious and full of fun for all ages. I’m convinced that the first idea (Do you want to build a snow man) is perfect for those toddlers that insist on unraveling the entire roll of toilet paper and then rewinding it back everywhere but the actual toilet paper roll. Other fun games include an ornament beanbag toss, snowman drawing contest with a twist (paper plates are placed on the head of the individual drawing), snowman bowling, silver bells memory game, snow paint, throwing snowballs indoors (snowman slam but not with real snow so no messy clean up), and many many more fun games.
https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/christmas is centered around various activities for kids to include Christmas Coloring Pages, Christmas Crafts, Origami, Fuse Bead Patterns, Stories and Poems, Jokes, Recipes, Videos, and even more Christmas Activities. Great place to get started with activities for the whole family!
http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/christmas/m.index.html#.WFYG0bU8KaN This site has so many resources and divides them up in various topics to include the Nativity, Activities and Crafts, Advent, Role-play, Stories and Rhymes, and even an after Christmas Follow-up. While a lot of these are focused on Christmas in the UK, much of the resources here can be used wherever you are!
http://m.busyteacher.org/classroom_activities-vocabulary/holidays_and_celebrations/christmas-worksheets/ This website is all about the teacher and trying to make Christmas time easier for those with classrooms. There are Christmas worksheets here from movies and songs, Christmas Reading from around the world, Vocabulary, quizzes, and much much more. Great for the teacher that needs help planning. The full website is also a great resource for many other times of the year as well.
http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/seasonal/seasonal.htm This site has over 70 activity ideas for kids and even has age recommendations for a majority of them. Most of these are centered around teaching - math, science, language, counting, etc but some also involve songs and scripts for acting out Christmas related plays. This site also has numerous other teaching resources for throughout the year.
https://seasonal.theteacherscorner.net/christmas/ While again, this website focuses on teachers, there are a number of other activities on here besides lesson plans to include ornaments and various craft ideas. Each idea has the grades of the child recommended to best enjoy that particular idea. However, a lot are enjoyed by any to include a candy cane recipe, celebrating an Australian Christmas, creating a dough ornament, gingerbread play dough and many others.
http://redtri.com/family-christmas-party-games/slide/1 is a list of about 10 games that can be added to any party and enjoyed by all. Making a snowman wrap, olaf bowling, pin the heart on the grinch, oven mitts unwrapping of gifts, navigating an obstacle course full of jingle-jangle good times, balancing ornaments, and more.
http://www.timeout.com/new-york-kids/things-to-do/the-20-best-christmas-movies-for-kids lists out the 20 best Christmas movies for kids and discusses what each one is about and gives the rating (G, PG, etc). Only four of the twenty recommended are recent movies (Elf, Frozen, Arthur Christmas, and the Polar Express), but many included are those we adults loved as kids (A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Frosty the Snowman, and others).
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/christmas/0/the-top-10-family-games-for-christmas/ per a poll in the UK, this article lists out the 10 family games most popularly played on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Monopoly, Scrabble, Battleship, Jenga, and others among the list. Included are interesting tidbits about each game such as Monopoly actually being used in World War II by the British Secret Service to get the game into prisoner of war camps enabling them to smuggle in real money, maps, and compasses.
http://www.parenting.com/gallery/christmas-eve-traditions focuses on 20 Christmas Eve traditions as told by 20 different people that have them incorporated into their families. Reindeer gifts (each person is left a gift with a note from the reindeer who were “scouting where the stockings were to let Santa know.”, Chinese take-out, leaving carrots on the lawn for Santa’s reindeer, movie night, candlelight caroling, driving around to look at Christmas lights, are just a couple of the Parenting reader’s traditions that have been shared in this article.
http://www.parents.com/holiday/christmas/traditions/creating-family-traditions/ Traditions can become a great memory for all involved each Christmas. This article describes 14 traditions that can be started before Christmas. Some of these include a countdown to Christmas, visiting a tree farm (always a fun time especially if they have animals, allow you to cut your own tree, and even provide horse drawn transportation), trimming the tree together, baking cookies together with the family (kids included), posing for family pictures, incorporating a cultural tradition, create a twelve days of giving (starting Christmas Day and ending after the new years), and many more. It’s not too late or too early to start planning for next year’s traditions.
https://www.parentmap.com/article/15-meaningful-holiday-traditions-and-fun-family-activities is all about how to create various holiday traditions for the family. This article is more about various holiday traditions and not just for Christmas. Some of the traditions recommended specifically for Christmas include volunteering as a family, game night on Christmas Eve, making Christmas treats for furry friends, creating a family tree, holiday readings, giving back as a family, and celebrating a season of light.http://theimaginationtree.com/2013/12/50-family-christmas-traditions-magical-ideas.html has a huge list of 50 family traditions for Christmas which is broken up by topics to include baking and fun food traditions, keepsakes and memory makers, acts of kindness, advent traditions, Christmas Eve traditions, Christmas Day traditions, after Christmas, keeping the magic alive, and more.
http://howdoesshe.com/18-fun-family-christmas-traditions-to-start/ is a list of 18 family Christmas traditions ideas and include ideas such as a night before Christmas box, countdown to Christmas with reading, 25 days of service, several other ideas that help teach children about giving, and yet more fun ideas for helping to create memories with your family.
http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/holidays/featured/christmas/10-great-ideas-for-christmas-traditions gives a list of 10 ideas for Christmas traditions but first tells several reasons why traditions are good to incorporate into the family. They bring the family closer together, they create legacy and share values, and they are symbolic of what the family believes.
http://crazylittleprojects.com/2012/11/countdown-to-christmas.html These ideas for traditions include a minivan express complete with golden tickets, Christmas themed minute to win it games, 12 days of Christmas with stories and coordinating treats, a Christmas Storybook Advent, special Christmas tree ornaments, celebrating St. Nick’s day in early December, hanging the Christmas pickle on the Christmas tree, advent activities for each night counting down to Christmas, and more. Each idea is complete with description and full links for all that is needed for each idea.
http://www.clarkscondensed.com/holiday/family-christmas-traditions/ has over 29 ideas for Christmas traditions. These include various ideas for advent calendars, alternatives for elf on the shelf - Kindness/Service Elves, North Pole Communicator, Texts from Santa, opening a new game, ornaments with Christ’s name in them, Christmas book unwrapping (using however many books you want to do), write letters to Santa, cookie baking day, elf on a shelf, PJs from the elves, zoo lights, and much more.
Christmas Around the World:
http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/ is all about Christmas and includes the history and it’s origin, party ideas, decorations and recipes, Christmas symbols, and Christmas around the world. Christmas around the world has over 50 countries and how they celebrate Christmas with some traditions, foods, and a video with pictures and music from around that country.
http://greenglobaltravel.com/2013/11/29/christmas-traditions-around-the-world/ gives a list on 50 different Christmas traditions around the world. Who knew that fruitcake originated in ancient Egypt where it was considered essential for the afterlife?! And that poinsettias are actually native to Mexico where the red color symbolized purity to the Aztecs who also used it to reduce fever? And be very careful while in Greece during this time to not kiss your significant other under a mistletoe as this is considered an unspoken promise to marry them! These are only a couple of the 50 different traditions and facts about Christmas from around the world.
http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/ is a websites all about Christmas and this link opens directly onto a world map where you can tap on a country to see how that country celebrates Christmas and when.
http://www.the-north-pole.com/around/ is focused on the historical way that Christmas was celebrated within each of the over 30 countries.
http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/christmas-traditions-worldwide lists over 20 countries and how they celebrate Christmas to include how they say “Merry Christmas” to their traditions and other days that may be celebrated similar to Christmas in that particular country.
I hope these enable you to start planning or putting aside ideas for this year's Christmas. If you have great ones to add, send me an email and let me know what we are missing!