A Christmas Bucket List to Help You Savor & Focus on the Season

Christmas is almost here, December is literally flying! Christmas preparations are in full swing here and I’m trying to cram in every tradition and activity I can while I have energy and motivation to do so. OK,  maybe not to that extreme but you get the idea. There is a lot I want to do and only so much time to do it.

Here is my Christmas Season Bucket List:

Christmas Season Bucket List

 Fortunately, Christmas goes beyond Christmas day for us so we have plenty of opportunities to get all the activities in. As Catholics, we celebrate Advent leading up to Christmas and then the Christmas season begins from there and runs through the Feast of the Three Kings which is January 6th.

So what usually ends up happening in our house is we celebrate before December 25th,  starting with St. Nicholas Day on December 6th, and then all the way through to January. 6th or so. At least that is about how long our tree and decorations are up.

Some families I know (including my own growing up), have more discipline with waiting until closer to Christmas to decorate and celebrate, but I get swept up into the excitement and holiday sparkle so I just try to have a balance of both.

For inspiration on ways to celebrate the season, check out the Simplify the Season blog party that I’m a part of where a group of bloggers share their wisdom for having a stress free and memorable holiday season.

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To Celebrate Advent:

Here is a special Advent countdown we’ve started with our kids involving daily activities with the Shepherd on the Search doll. 

We have an advent wreath with candles that we light each week:

We do an Advent calendar with little tasks to complete and check off as we get closer to Christmas.

I try to read a short Advent reflection each day as well. One for me and one for the kids:

I’m also excited this year to try and do the O Antiphons which are little prayers said nightly between December 17th and December 23rd. There is a great post with more information and ideas for themed activities by Pinot Noir and Prayers.

I tend to turn on the Christmas music in early December. Amy Grant and Michael Buble are among my favorites. We pull out our Christmas books, movies and decorations around the first week of December too.

Favorite Christmas Books include:

The Nutcracker

The Night Before Christmas

The Very First Christmas

Happy Birthday Jesus

Favorite Christmas Movies include:

Wee Sing Best Christmas Ever

Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Christmas

The Original Christmas Classics

Holiday Inn

It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas

The Star

See my review of the Star movie in this post.

St. Nicholas Day Traditions:

On St. Nicholas Day, December 6th, the kids get presents in their shoes in honor of the legend of St. Nicholas secretly putting gold coins in the stockings of young girls who needed money for their wedding dowries.

Here are my favorite ideas for St. Nicholas Day gifts for Catholic kids.


In the evening of St Nicholas Day, we have started the tradition of decorating our tree while listening to Christmas music or watching Christmas music videos by Homefree.

The last few years we have put up two trees. One in the girls’ bedroom and one in the living room:


I’m sending off my Christmas cards and wrapping presents this week which may or may not include some gifts for my daughters from my Disney princess gift guide.

Also be sure to check out my gift guide for coffee lovers if you or someone you know absolutely loves coffee!

I hope you are savoring this season with all the little joyful moments, as the days lead closer and closer to the “holy night, where stars are brightly shining…..the night of our dear Savior’s birth.”

How are your Christmas preparations going? What family traditions do you have?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

17 thoughts on “A Christmas Bucket List to Help You Savor & Focus on the Season”

  1. I love your Christmas Bucket List and all the information you shared about Advent! I was researching some activities for Advent a couple of weeks ago. I found some new things here:) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great bucket list!! But you forgot one: Go Christmas Carolling!! When I was little, my mom used to “make us” go round the neighborhood singing carols and then we would have a party afterwards. I thought it was stupid at first but people would open their doors and listen and cheer and if they had cookies or something would feed us…it was great.
    p.s.- love that you celebrate St. Nicholas Day

    1. yes, we actually did this too growing up, we would go around to visit and carol to all the elderly people from church and those are some good memories. I was going to include it, then I figured I would just say sing carols and that would cover it 😉

  3. I love the idea of putting your nativity under the tree! This is the first year we are hardcore embracing Advent. Our tree went up the first Sunday in Advent with white lights only and it’s still that way! We’ll put up ornaments when we get home from the children’s Mass on Christmas Eve. We have a nativity up sans baby Jesus (much to the chagrin of my 2yr old) and that’s about it. I am a Christmas music junkie so I listen to it from early November until Advent, then listen to non-Jesus is born type holiday/wintery music until Christmas, then we rock out to Christmas music until the Christmas season is done. I love how the Catholic faith celebrates Christmas for more than just Dec. 25.

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