When the kids were growing up I always had a family gift from Santa under the tree. It was usually a new game. We open gifts on Christmas Eve and play the new game.
Christmas morning was for a leisurely breakfast usually monkey bread and Christmas stockings. Then we would play games and put a puzzle together. As the kids have gotten older they often bring a puzzle or game home for us to enjoy together on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the cooking and playing together that are the special memories of holidays for us.
Playing games, putting puzzles together, cooking something fun and reading together are all great ways to build a sense of family identity, make memories and increase family togetherness.
Family Subscription Boxes
These are a great solution if you want to build anticipation and have someone take care of planning a fun activity.
Create special things with your teenager.
A fun creative project with no trip to the store to get supplies. These activities are designed for kids 6-9.
Bring all the adventure of an escape room to your own home every other month you get a new mystery to solve as a family.
Games for Family Game Night
Depending on how old your kids are there is a regular and a junior version. If you and your kids are into Disney there is even a Disney version.
This is one of our family’s favorite games to play together.
This is as fun to play virtually as it is in person. If you can’t be together with grandparents or aunts and uncles that live far away this is a great game to play during a video call.
A friend told me this is a favorite at home date night game. We played it as a family and had fun working together to solve the mystery.
You can find more fun games to play as a family here.
Best Outdoor Games for Families Memories
Here in northern Minnesota at Christmas outdoor family activities are mostly sledding, skiing and cross country skiing, but summer is a fun time for outdoor family games. If you live further south you could use these games during Christmas break.
I remember having fun playing this with my brothers and sisters when I was growing up it is a classic.
Camping is a great way to spend time together as a family whether you go to a state park or camp in your back yard.
Family Gifts to Make Together
I had no idea Lego made a Christmas Village. A new friend told me about it this year. She said part of her family Christmas tradition is putting together the Lego village the end of November so that it is on display all of Christmas.
I think if I had this I might store it put together, but she insists putting it together every year is part of the fun.
This combines two of my favorite things Legos and Christmas.
Puzzles are great family memory makers
Puzzles were a favorite family activity in the winter. We would work on it when we had a few minutes between things or for an evening while watching a favorite TV show. Now we often work on a puzzle over Christmas break while listening to Christmas music.
Reading Together is One of My Favorite Memories
I read one or two of the Harry Potter books out loud to my kids while we were on a family vacation. I’m not sure I’d suggest them as family reading, but it was what I happened to be reading at the time and being introduced to Hogwarts that way was magical for them.
Narnia is also a magical world and the books are much shorter and much more doable as a series to read aloud.
We also enjoyed the Guardians of Ga’Hoole Series
Here are some of my favorite books to read to young children. I enjoyed them as much as the kids did.
Gifts to Make Family Memories in the Kitchen
You could make a whole meal of fondue food with a cheesy fondue to dip bread and vegetables, oil to fry mini meatballs or slices of brats and chocolate fondue dessert. If that sounds too complicated have a regular meal and make fondue for dessert or appetizers.
Jazz up your ice cream making experience with this fun recipe book.
This ice cream ball requires no electricity, so it is fun to make ice cream when camping or playing in the back yard. It does take a lot more work than the electric one, so you decide. We’ve used both to make ice cream. I think the ice cream from the ball is extra special.
I hope you enjoy using these ideas to make memories with your family as much as I’ve enjoyed making memories with my family. What is your favorite family gift?
More Gift Ideas:
Hi, I’m Tamara the creator of Empowered Single Moms, a single mom, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and the author of Thriving a Single Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Positive Life and Thriving a Single Mom Journal. I have a solo private psychotherapy practice where I treat anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.
As a member of the Empowered Single Moms community, I believe you can stop carrying the weight of the world alone and build a life you love. Join my mailing list and get 5 Keys to Single Mom Success.